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Hieroglyph: Stories and Blueprints for a Better Future
Neal Stephenson
Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated
Natylie Baldwin, Kermit D. Larson
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Our Souls at Night: A novel
Kent Haruf
Above the Waterfall
Ron Rash
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock
The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America
Jill Leovy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Hit Parade - Lawrence Block Keller is a hit man. These are his stories. I suppose it is disturbing how normal Block makes this morally reprehensible character. Then again it is interesting to see how he lives, how he plies his craft, what he thinks about, what are the other flaws in his character. This is not the first Keller book Block has written. I am interested in reading what came before. Block has a very readable style. The tales cruise along. The first hit is of a Dave Kingman-type player, a selfish lout. Keller takes in a few games, and lets the guy cross 400 homer and 3,000 hit career marks before applying the final tag. Another is of a Cubano in Florida, but keeps one eye on the events of 9/11. He stays in Arizona for a brief spell, taking out a corporate type. One business partner wants to whack the other in a chance encounter on a plane. Two women want to whack a vicious dog, in a story that takes an amusing, if dark turn.

But I am feeling unfilled in reading it. There is also some thinness that I find less than satisfying. I am troubled as well that Block has created a character for whom killing is normal. He’s just a regular guy, isn’t he? Is he meant to be a stand-in for the amoral among us, the banality of evil?