Greatest Hits: Original Stories of Assassins, Hitmen, and Hired Guns

Robert J. Randisi, Editor . Carroll & Graf $26 (318p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1581-7

Veteran anthologist Randisi (Murder and All That Jazz ) has gathered 15 memorable tales of contract killers, antiheroes paid to carry out murders for a variety of clients and motives. Contributors include well-known names, among them Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins and Ed Gorman. While the moral code that guides the actions of some of the murderers requires a measure of suspension of disbelief, the taut language and suspenseful plot twists that mark virtually all the stories should draw in even non–hard-boiled devotees. The highlights are Lee Child's "The Greatest Trick of All," with its creative use of first-person narrative, and Randisi's own "Upon My Soul," an engaging variation on an old Western theme. Kevin Wignall's "Retrospective" doesn't quite hold up under the weight of its political themes. Though some of the plots are similar, there isn't a bad story in the bunch, a notable accomplishment. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/07/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-7867-1848-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-933299-11-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-933299-79-2
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