Oh, how I wanted to be writing this on a nice civilized train ride to New York.
Flying early this morning wasn’t an option, due to a late morning audition. Bus? I would’ve needed to leave before today. And the appeal of the comfort of train travel – sit at your table and write for example, or get up and walk around, not to mention the fact that you can ride downtown to downtown, and that all the fun has been taken out of flying what with airport security – well, you get the picture.
There was just no way to get me to Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan by 6pm today, where, from 6 to 8pm, the book launch of Lawrence Block’s new novel ‘Hit Me’ is taking place.
‘Hit Me’ is the latest in the series about Keller, Block’s stamp collecting killer-for-hire. Why is Keller so compelling? We’re talking about a cold-blooded mercenary here, yet he’s strangely admirable in his way, oddly likeable. There’s something about the meticulousness with which he performs his job and his own personal code of ethics that makes him appealing. His internal logic lies somewhere around the notion that the people he’s paid to target might somehow deserve it, but he also performs his due diligence in researching his ‘subjects’: thus he minimizes the chances of killing them while with other people, as he is loathe to take out an ‘innocent’.
And then there’s his friendship with his dispatcher of sorts, Dot. And he likes dogs… but it would be better for you to be introduced to Keller by a far better writer than I. (I mean me. I mean I. No wait…) Let Block himself introduce you; read ‘Hit Man’, available online from Amazon or Mister Block’s own website.
Or buy in person from Mister Penzler, if you’re dropping by the party this evening. You can stock up on the Keller books, including the title being launched, while you’re there.
And don’t get me started on another of his series of books, the Scudder series, about retired NYPD cop turned Private Dick, Matt Scudder. I truly love all of Block’s writing – as of this writing there’s a chance I may own all of it – but Scudder is my favorite.
Ardent Partner Chris Comrie urged me to post today anyway, despite that fact that I wanted to hold off until I could publish something more in-depth. “No one said you were limited to just one post. Besides, with all the Dick-Fic you read, you can’t stop at just one.”
LAWRENCE BLOCK’S BOOK LAUNCH PARTY
takes place tonight from 6-8pm
RSVP on Facebook.
58 Warren Street, New York NY 10007.
Warren Street is one block below Chambers; the bookshop is two doors east of West Broadway.
FOLLOW Lawrence Block on Twitter