Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quarry's Ex -- Max Allan Collins

While I enjoy all of Max Allan Collin's books, it's the Quarry books I like best. Of all the good things Hard Case Crime has done, reviving this series ranks right up there near the top. Quarry's Ex is the latest (and let's hope it's not the last). In this one, professional hit man Quarry's in Boot Hell, Nevada, and he's going to prevent the killing of a movie director by taking out the hit man assigned to kill him. And to earn an additional fee, Quarry's going to find out who wants the director killed, and why.

An interesting complication is Quarry's ex-wife, Joni, who inadvertently started him out on his current career. She's now an actress and married to the director. So is she the one who wants him killed? Or is it the mob boss who appears to be crazy about the leading lady? Or is it someone else entirely?

What I like about these books is the fast-moving first-person narration and Quarry's hardboiled attitude. And his sense of humor. There's some funny stuff about movie sets here, and you have to wonder how much is based on the author's personal experience. Or maybe it's better not to wonder.

Take out the graphic sex and some cuss words, and this book could be a Gold Medal novel. It has that kind of feel and that kind of pacing, and it's a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.


Randy Johnson said...

Looking forward to this one I just this month finished the fourth and last of those early Quarrys. My card complained mightily, especially on Quarry's Cut, but I just smacked it and said, "Shut up!"

Bill Crider said...

I have that one in paperback. I think the title is The Slasher in that version.

Mel Odom said...

Looking forward to this one as well.

Anonymous said...

Some are better than others but all of them are well worth reading.
I've got them all, back to the original editions.


Stephen B. said...

I recall he was in books for Bantam on BATMAN - later I went on to find his newer work --- Collins is a fine writer, you are right.

George said...

I think the QUARRY series is Collins' best series. It would be nice if HARD CASE reprinted those early QUARRY titles.

Max Allan Collins said...

You guys are really kind.

I just signed with Perfect Crime to reprint the first five Quarrys. My MS. TREE artist Terry Beatty is doing the covers.

I love doing Quarry. But my best series is Nate Heller...and you can see if you agree with me when BYE BYE, BABY comes out next year.

P.S. To Bill Crider -- you are very, very close to convincing me to send you the negatives of the photos of you and that sheep. Keep trying!

Bill Crider said...

You gotta admit that the sheep was pretty cute.