Keller's Fedora (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 96 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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This summer's beach readers will call this work 'short and sweet.' Keller comes up with a novel solution to resolve any problems he and Dot may face from the hit and it adds the necessary 'tart' note to the confection. I see from reviews that most Keller fans enjoy Block's latest in this series. I wish he had written more and plotted harder but I enjoyed what there was just like the other positive reviewers.
Keller takes a new murder-for-hire mission, but this time there’s a twist. The client who hired him for the job does not know the identity of the intended target. So, Keller buys himself a fedora, boards a train, and resigns himself to playing the role of detective for a little while.
This most recent tale is really a novella—barely more than a short story, in fact—but Block himself has said it is unlikely he will write another one, so this received a limited-edition hardback edition from Subterranean Books.
This is perhaps not the best of the Hit Man stories, but it did remind me how much I miss the character and Block’s strong writing—that great blend of dark comedy, philately, and cold-blooded murder.
How can we possibly identify with and champion a man who kills people for a living? We can and do because Mr. Block is an absolute grand master of a storyteller. And Keller, despite his unorthodox profession, is a very interesting and charming fellow.
This latest story in his saga is really a gem. I read it on my Kindle, which I generally use at bedtime and I had to make a conscious effort to turn it off before I finished the book. This really is a page-turner and I wanted to hold off and make it last a little longer. Sounds silly, but it's that good.
If you're already a Keller fan or a fan of LB then I'm preaching to the choir, but if you enjoy a good yarn with some complications along the way, do yourself a favor and get this book. You may even find yourself wondering how you'd look in a fedora.
The Keller adventures are pretty straightforward in their way: Keller has an assignment with a greater or lesser degree of difficulty, and he solves it. What makes them work are the characters and the dialogue. Keller himself has a tendency to overthink things, and has a lively and speculative mind, and yes, a creative one. Getting to spend time inside his head as he solves his problems are much of the appeal. While that may not be the most morally uplifting situation for the reader, it's a great deal of fun. His business manager/handler, Dot, is whimsical in her own way, and the conversations between the two are invariably good for chuckles and full-on laughter. The target/s in this story are sufficiently unpleasant as well -- while they aren't loathsome, the reader doesn't see their potential departure as lessening the world's beauty.
One can draw certain parallels between the Keller stories and Block's well known Bernie Rhodenbarr series. Both series offer us charming, affable criminals who bring us along on their capers. Keller's activities are more taboo than Rhodenbarr's, and Keller is correspondingly more solemn, though not offputtingly so. Both have sidekicks (Keller's Dot and Bernie's Carolyn) who offer a lot of comic banter. And both are -- for this reader, anyway, well worth the investment of time and money.
When I met Mr. Block only mumblety-mumble years ago, he told me he was beginning to think of himself as a retired writer. If this is retirement, may it continue apace.