Reviews for Hit and Run

Booklist Reviews 2008 February #2
Keller, Block's stamp-collecting hit man, star of several novels and many short stories, is in Des Moines, Iowa, to do one last job before retiring. Dot, his friend and "agent," has managed Keller's money shrewdly, and he's a wealthy man. But while Keller is buying some stamps in a suburb, the governor of Ohio, campaigning for the presidential nomination in Des Moines, is assassinated. Within hours, Keller's picture is on every TV screen in the country. He's been set up to take the fall, and the sting cuts deeply into all aspects of his life, one aspect of which will prove particularly shocking to series fans. With no access to his cash--even his stamps have disappeared from his Manhattan apartment--and only $200 in his pocket, Keller is the most wanted man in the country, and his life, as he knows it, is effectively over. This is the first novel-length Keller since Hit Parade (2006), and it offers Block the room to take his character in some new and fascinating directions. Hit men have become more common as protagonists in crime fiction in the years since the first Keller story appeared, but it's no surprise that consummate pro Block's version of the ordinary-guy-as-killer remains the best of the lot. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 May #1
John Keller--the philosophical hit man who's brightened the pages of many a short story and a quasi-novel cobbled together from stories (Hit Parade, 2006)--finally gets a proper novel of his own.The assignment, set up by a client named Al who paid cash in advance, seems routine: Fly to Des Moines, wait for the high sign to kill Gregory Dowling, go back to New York. But the days pass without Keller being turned loose. Not until after he's finally given the go-ahead does a news broadcast tell him he's been set up. Stranded in America's heartland with no contacts, precious little money and a bogus identity that's about to blow up in his face, and sought by every cop in the nation for a murder he didn't commit, Keller can think of only one goal: getting back to his hometown. He's almost made it, courtesy of an impressive variety of tricks he's improvised along the way, when he realizes that Al has made New York just as dangerous as Iowa. Keller's only chance is to say goodbye to his old life and rebuild himself from scratch. Block treats both his unlikely hero's initial flight and his attempt to establish a new identity in such painstaking detail that they become riveting. Only his climactic search for revenge against Al feels ordinary.From the first, Keller assumes this hit will be his last case. Readers can only hope it isn't so. Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2008 March #1
A simple whack-the-guy job in Des Moines has assassin Keller framed for murder and on the lam in the latest by Block, who lives in New York. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Reviews 2008 March #2
Sent to Des Moines to do one last job, master hit man John Keller gets framed for a murder he didn't commit. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Reviews 2008 April #2

He leads a sedate life--bounded by his own apartment with its state-of-the-art TV and TiVo, the newsstand with the Times every morning, and his stamp albums all arranged on their shelves. When his neighbors come to be questioned by the police--and they will--he'll be described as "a quiet kinda guy. He kept to himself." The life of a hit man's not an easy one, and it's never seemed tougher than in this latest appearance (following Hit Parade ) of premier hit man Keller. Although he's looking forward to a well-deserved retirement, Keller just can't say no to a job in Des Moines, of all places. While he's there, the governor of Ohio is assassinated in town, and the evidence points to Keller. He's been set up, and despite having millions in a bank account, he doesn't have the cash to buy clean underwear and has to drive a hot car toward New Orleans with a Homer Simpson cap pulled down over his face. What a way to spend the golden years. Before it's all over, though, the old guys (both Keller and Block) show they've still got what it takes to teach the youngsters a thing or two in this brisk, suspenseful, and funny romp. A sure bet for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/08.]--Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 May #1

While in Des Moines for one last job in MWA Grand Master Block's solid fourth Greatest Hits thriller (after Hit Parade ), hit man John Paul Keller takes to the road. He's been accused of assassinating the governor of Ohio, who was in Iowa preparing for a presidential bid. By the time Keller gets back to his New York City apartment after too many days of fast food, his prize stamp collection has been stolen. With the governor's real killer still hot on his trail, Keller travels to New Orleans, where he rescues a woman, Julia Roussard, from a rapist in a local park. As Keller and Julia's relationship develops, he considers leaving the old life behind, but knows he must clear his name and settle the score. Block's trademark blend of humor and violence is a good fit for the deadpan Keller. While some fans may be disappointed to see Keller headed toward retirement, hope remains that this won't be the last outing for one of the crime genre's most unusual antiheroes. (June 24)

[Page 46]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.