Picks and Pans Review: Hit Man
Page-Turner of the Week
THERE MAY INDEED BE 8 Million ways to die, as crime writer Lawrence Block put it in the title of his 1982 classic, but for a seasoned snuff artist like Keller, Hit Man's deceptively ordinary-seeming antihero, a handful of favorites suffices quite nicely. You just can't beat the trusty gun or garrote, this self-styled "troubleshooter" believes, or, if that becomes too pedestrian, there's always the old potassium-cyanide-in the-salt-shaker ploy.
By expending less brain power pondering methodology, Keller allows himself ample time for more interesting musings—on everything from classic westerns to the question of whether a woman can ever have too many earrings—which provide much of the book's macabre charm. As he crisscrosses the country on his fatal missions, in what amounts to a series of interlinked short stories with more plot twists than the current White House imbroglio, Keller proves the perfect observer of life—clear-eyed, ironic and always dead-on. (Morrow, $22)