I've had Parallax by Jon Merz on my Kindle for several weeks. Finally, I found some reading time, and what a treat this mob hitman novel was.
I'll admit from the start that I'm not a big fan of hitman novels, but the character of hitman Frank Jolino was so finely drawn that I was hooked within the first few pages.
I'd love to see Jolino in other books because he was intelligent, articulate, droll, and at ease in his own skin. He also surprised me because he had a moral compass. Add all that to the fact that he was a vintage mystery reader, and you get a guy who is complex, appealing, and likable.
Oh, yeah, he kills people for a living, but they're by no means innocents undeserving of being whacked, but Merz lets the reader draw that conclusion. He doesn't state the obvious and then hammer it home.
Less likable is Ernst Stahl, once an idealist radical and now a jaded assassin, despite constant reminders from Stahl's character that he was completing a job only to save his son. His moral compass is stuck on "anything goes in the name of paternal love."
Not Just Another Mafia Book
When the two end up in some odd paranormal mutual awareness of each other, it's interesting albeit rather unbelievable, but the compelling character of Frank Jolino keeps the reader turning the pages. You probably won't suspend disbelief, but you'll be compelled to keep reading. You'll also be rooting for Frank to figure a way out of the mess and to, somehow, end up with the babe who has some surprises of her own.
I downloaded the book in February, and there are numerous "glitches" in the book. I won't call them typos because, since I publish ebooks, I know that they are conversion errors that occur when punctuation marks in a Word manuscript get changed to weird symbols when the manuscript is converted to different file formats like HTML which Kindle uses for their digital publishing. Don't let this deter you from enjoying the book.
Do not read the Product Description of Parallax because it's a spoiler of what are meant to be neat plot twists. Just buy the book. Ignore the glitches, and start reading. Frank Jolino will hook you just as he did me.