Cult favorite Quarry, the killer for hire, is back in print with this debut novel and four other early works by author Max Allan Collins. They don't come any harder-boiled than Quarry. After carrying out his assignment in a down-at-heels river town, the gunman finds someone has played him for a sucker. To figure out who, he must solve the murder he committed. This new edition includes a previously unpublished Afterword Qy the author.
The start of another Max Allan Collins series after wrapping up with Nolan last month.
Quarry works as a hitman, taking jobs through the Broker. We open at an airport where Quarry dispenses with his target and recovers a couple of packages, something not in his usual remit. We have a falling out between the two men over the involvement of Quarry in recovering drugs. Quarry questions the prudence of their continued arrangement, but is soon off on another job, one which Boyd, his partner on a number of assignments is scoping out.
The job goes pear-shaped, the target is killed, but so too is Boyd and Quarry barely escapes, after being attacked with a wrench. Their $4k wages are stolen. Instead of fleeing town, Quarry stays to turn detective and recover his fee.
Hitman turned policeman with the unwitting assistance of an ex-Playboy bunny, Peg Baker in small town Port City, Iowa (fictional?) – What’s not to like?
At the conclusion, we have recovered our money and resolved our outstanding issues with the Broker. Roll on book two.
Interesting character, Quarry – a veteran of Vietnam and now a bit of a loner. His history – he killed the man he found in bed with his wife and got himself a divorce.
Great setting – a small town where everyone knows everyone and if they don’t know your secrets, they still know enough to gossip about you.
Plenty of action – gun play, fisticuffs and a bit of sex.
Pacey – once I started I was kind of reluctant to put it down, especially as it was competing for my attention with a rather dreary book from Patricia Highsmith.
All in all, my kind of book.
4.5 from 5.
Bought on Amazon kindle a couple of years ago. Originally published in 1976 as The Broker.
Max Allan Collins website is here.