Synopses & Reviews
Long considered cool, distant, and absolutely reliable, an American-born hit man, working throughout Europe, grows increasingly distracted and begins to develop an unexpected passion for architecture and art while engaged in his deadly profession. Although he welcomes this energizing break from his routine, he comes to realize that it is an unwise trajectory for a man in his business, particularly when he is sent on the most difficult job of his career.
Set in London, Paris, New York, and Barcelona, Calling Mr. King is at once a colorful suspense tale, laced with dark humor, and a psychological self-portrait of a character who is attempting, against the odds, to become someone else.
"An assassin buckling under the demands of his profession develops an appreciation for art in De Feo's dark debut. The assassin, a crack shot known by the alias Peter Chilton, has grown weary of trailing targets through a blur of cosmopolitan cities and finely appointed country estates. It is not the moral burden of his accumulated crimes that tires him but the vapidity of the endless hunt. Yearning for an education, Peter begins to cultivate a taste for architecture and painting, interests that distract him from his work, and after he screws up a job, Peter is sent to New York City to rest, allowing him to further indulge his emerging cultural appetite and a growing resentment of his working-class roots. But his vacation is brought to an abrupt end when he is dispatched on a critical assignment that will change his life. It's an engrossing story, persuasively depicting an angry, obsessive man as he comes to a greater awareness of the world around him. And though Peter's pursuits of art, enlightenment, his targets begin to feel monotonous in their relentlessness, De Feo's master strokes are in creating a remorseless psychopath you'd enjoy spending time with, and in resisting the easy temptation to bring Peter to a moment of emotional deliverance. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ronald De Feo has written reviews for The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, The New Republic, National Review, and Commonweal. His short fiction has appeared in such literary magazines as The Brooklyn Rail, The Hudson Review, and The Massachusetts Review. He worked at the Museum of Modern Art, was a senior editor of ARTnews Magazine, and served for many years on the editorial advisory board of Review Magazine, devoted to Latin American literature and the arts. This is his first novel.