The Keller hitman series lends itself well to a short story format and that is what we have here, a collection of episodes or stories connected by a character. Often this means that the reader suffers through some repetition of background details. And stamps. And then more stamps.
Keller now lives in New Orleans and where he has a successful business remodeling and flipping homes after Katrina. He’s married to Julia and has a child, Jennie, whom he loves and dotes on. Then Dot, his old “hit” contact, calls and offers him a job, The business having slacked off a little because of the subprime crisis, and wanting to add some rare and exotic stamps to his collection, Keller, with full knowledge of his wife (who gets “hot” when told of his exploits -- something I found truly abhorrent), heads off to other cities to fulfill the contract (and buy stamps.) Each case is unique and brings its own challenges. I liked the one at sea the best.
I like the series and in the past eagerly read all of Block, but Keller’s nonchalance about killing has begun to grate, not to mention Julia’s complicity in its rationalization. Keller’s greatest moral challenge is now which stamp to buy. The book does have some of the classic repartee between Dot and Keller that continues to make the book fun and interesting.
Of course, if you don’t like stamp collecting you won’t like Keller.