Keller. What a gent. A stamp collector who won't take up contracts on children. My kind of hit-man.
He began life on the page in a collection of killings that ran from one to another. Because of that, he's the perfect character for a standalone short.
You don't need prior knowledge to enjoy this one - Block provides enough back-story to keep a newcomer informed without alienating those familiar with the work.
Here, Keller is a new person. He has a new identity, new home-town, a family and a socially acceptable job. Unfortunately, his work is suffering from the recession, so when his ex-boss Dot (no longer in White Plains or having the same name) gets in touch about a job, it's difficult for him to turn it down. The icing on the cake is that he can combine the killing with a stamp-collectors' conference.
Keller's different in his approach on this one that I'm used to. A little rusty. Not prepared to do all the careful planning. He has Google (and maybe easy access to information has made us all a little complacent) to help him and something to lose.
Thankfully he's still agile in terms of improvising at the scene.
This job plays out unexpectedly. The twists and action keep the interest levels high.
It's a pleasure of a read. In some ways this read is a little bit like a classic car. There might be the odd splutter from the engine and a dent or two in the body-work, but it purrs and flows when it's on the open road. It's all you'd want from a hit-man story.
I had high expectations when I bought this and I certainly wasn't disappointed.