Saturday, October 3, 2009
"Hit and Run" to the next book.
Lots of good dialogue in this John Keller story but not much drama.
Keller is a hit man on assignment. He's picked up at the Des Moines airport by his contact, given the choice of two guns to use for the job and after making his choice, dropped off at his hotel.
The next day, he reads about the Ohio governor being assassinated. The killer used a Glock automatic, the same weapon Keller had held the day before. When he sees his photo on CNN, he realizes that he's been made a skate goat for an elaborate frame.
He drives to New York in a stolen car and finds his associate Dot Harbison has apparently been murdered. His apartment has been broken into and his laptop and valuable stamp collection stolen.
Needing a place to hide, he decides on New Orleans. That city is still undergoing transition after hurricane Katrina and he thinks his presence won't be noticed. When he arrives, he's out walking and hears a woman scream. He considers running away before police come but instead goes to the scream and finds a woman about to be raped. He saves the woman and dispatches the rapist. The woman, Julia Roussard, recognizes him from the news but doesn't care. When Keller tells her he's being framed, she believes him and invites him to stay at her house. He gets a job doing home reconstruction and seems content.
In a surprising development, Dot reappears. She staged her death thinking that after Keller was in the news, someone would be coming after her. How she did it was a preposterous story, a Jehovah's witness came to the door of Dot's home, she killed the woman, who had false teeth, Dot also had false teeth so she put her's in the woman's mouth and set the home on fire so the woman would be identified as Dot by dental records. Not in a million years.
This narrative story has good pacing and dialogue. However, there's so little action that it could have been called "Murder in the Library." For most of the book, nothing happens. However, Keller is an interesting protagonist, he's brave in facing his opponents and yet compassionate when coming to the defense of Julia. Julia is also a nice character. There isn't much to her background except for her elderly father but I would like to see more of her in the future. Her belief in Keller is what probably changed his life.