books

Lawrence Block

Books

Keller: Hit Man (1998)

Anthologies: Dangerous Women (2013)

 

 

Hit Man (1998)

hit_manKeller–he has a first name but no one uses it–is a hit man. He gets a call to visit the Old Man in the house in White Plains, receives instructions, and then does the job he’s paid to do.

Hit Man is not a novel, it’s a collection of short stories. The only reason it was an issue was that Chapters 6 and 7 were talking about two different men, but that wasn’t at all clear from the end of the first chapters and the beginning of the next. But once I realized what was going on, I settled down and enjoyed the stories.

First off, Keller is a hit man. So if you don’t like stories about people getting killed, this is not the book for you. If you’re okay with that, then you’ll probably like reading about Keller. We spend time with him as he goes to work, but we also see his personal life, including his attempts to see a shrink. Occasionally, he also gets himself into a muddle professionally, and those were the stories that I think I enjoyed the most.

If you like short stories, than this is a collection I can recommend. If you’re not a fan of short stories, you may still enjoy Hit Man as the entire book follows a single character over time.
Rating: 7/10

 

Dangerous Women (2013) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner DozoisDangerous-Women

“Some Desperado” (Red Country story) by Joe Abercrombie
“My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott
“Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland
“The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
“Bombshells” (Harry Dresden story) by Jim Butcher
“Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
“Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm
“I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block
“Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson
“A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman
“The Girl in the Mirror” (Magicians story) by Lev Grossman
“Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress
“City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland
“Virgins” (Outlander story) by Diana Gabaldon
“Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon
“Pronouncing Doom” (Emberverse story) by S.M. Stirling
“Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes
“Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
“Lies My Mother Told Me” (Wild Cards story) by Caroline Spector
“The Princess and the Queen” (A Song of Ice and Fire story) by George R.R. Martin

There are a lot of different stories here–on purpose.

Dangerous Women was conceived of as a cross-genre anthology, one that would mingle every kind of fiction, so we asked writers from every genre— science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, horror, paranormal romance, men and women alike— to tackle the theme of “dangerous women,”

Thus I was fully expecting there to be a number of stories I wouldn’t particularly like, or would even skip. And there were. Unfortunately for me, the dislikes were higher in number than the likes, and there were several dystopias, which I really dislike. And a lot of the women were in the neutral to evil category of dangerous. Which is fine, but all that dark got a bit overwhelming, which is why I took several months for me to finish this anthology.

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“I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block was a mystery of sorts, but mostly about the man, rather than the woman. Not my thing.

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All in all, there were more stories I disliked than liked, which sometimes happens. As this covers all diffeerent genres, you’re likely to find at least one story you like, you’ll just have to decide if it’s worth the price.
Rating: 5.5/10

Published by Tor Books