One of the things I like about Zeltserman's writing is how human his characters are. Like I mentioned in yesterday's review of Outsourced, the main character of Dan Wilson could be any one of us. He has the same problems, the same hard choices to make. And while I'm not, and probably never will be, a hit man for the mob, I found the character of Leonard March (Killer) to be a reflection of some of the things I see in the mirror everyday.
Leonard March is former hit man for the mob that cuts a deal by ratting out his boss. Instead of the life sentence he would have received, he barters information for a shorter sentence. Now fourteen years later, he's back on the streets, looking over his shoulder for the hit he expects is coming.
Zeltserman does a masterful job of making you feel for the guy. Sure, he's was once a vicious killer for the mob, but it wasn't like his victims were darling little angels. The men he killed were lower than scum, the filth of society. They were the kind of people I would kill. Child abusers. Rapists. Drug dealers. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Now all he wants is to make a reconnection with his children, do an honest days work, and forget the past.
Unfortunately for Leonard, the past isn't going anywhere. It's in the papers and on the radio. It's on the faces in the street that recognize him as easily as Frankenstein's Monster. It's in the mirror.
What follows is a truly excellent dark noir story that blends the past with the present, suspense with emotional honesty. KILLER is a book by an author at the top of his game.