THE FIRST QUARRY
By Max Allan Collins
Hard Case Crime
Available Aug. 08
Max Allan Collins is one of those writers capable of turning a plot upside down in just a few short paragraphs and giving his readers an entirely new look at something old and worn. That he now does it with an entire series is simply terrific fun.
Back in 1976, the author of the NATE HELLER books and THE ROAD TO PERDITION, began a new series of crime thrillers about a professional hitman known as Quarry. He followed it up with six other volumes, the final being the aptly titled THE LAST QUARRY, published in 2007 by Hard Case Crime. As I reviewed in this very column, it was a great read and fitting end to this dark, always mesmerizing saga. And of course lots of us were sad that there just wouldn’t be any further Quarry tales to enjoy. Boy, we’re we ever wrong.
After telling us his professional killer’s last assignment, Collins flips the entire stage end over and end and now offers up THE FIRST QUARRY. Yup, it’s the juicy, razor blade to the throat hor douvere after we’ve already devoured the bullet blasting dessert. Collins is one manipulative S.O.B. God bless him.
Coming home from
Once these required preambles are done with, Collins serves up a truly twisted gem of a thriller for his freshly minted killer. Quarry’s target is an English professor at a small college. The fellow is writing an expose their customer does not want finished. By the time Quarry discovers their employer is actually a mob boss from