Hit Me

For five decades, Lawrence Block has been writing about underworlds. Wealthy back-stabbers, the brotherhood of the criminal class, and hard-living souls who somehow inhabit their middlegrounds. Gentlemanly criminals. Ex-cops who drink too much. Dubiously-employed private investigators. They sound like cliché detective novel characters only because Block has so masterfully shaped the genre over the last 50 years. His new novel “Hit Me” finds a New Orleans builder collecting stamps, playing Dad, and trying hard to forget a past he knows isn’t done with him. When work dries up and the call comes from New York …  well, look at the title. Out today. COLE LOUISON