Quarry’s Ex

Quarry's Ex Paperback Max Allan Collins 9780857682864 | eBay

As detailed in the First Quarry, Quarry is a former Vietnam veteran whose real name is never disclosed to the reader. He comes back, finds his fiancé,Joanie, in bed with another guy, finds that guy working under his car and kicks the jack out, survives a murder trial, and is then recruited by a mysterious figure named the Broker to carry out hits and we don’t mean hits in baseball.
In Quarry’s Ex, Quarry no longer works for the Broker, who is no longer among the living. Rather, Quarry has obtained the Broker’s lists of contacts and he follows the hired assassins, staking them out and figuring out who their prey is. Once he is confident in that information, he offers a deal to the targets, he will, for a price, take out their hitmen and find whoever is the responsible party. I guess everyone needs a career doing something.

Here, Quarry follows a hitman team to a small gambling town in Nevada, a town which seems to have a Western theme. The target is a Hollywood film director who is bankrolled by Mob money, protected by a phalanx of balding wannabe bikers, and married to Quarry’s Ex-wife, the legendary Joanie who hasn’t lost her fabulous figure in the fifteen years since he last saw her. Does he want to kill her or have sex with her, she asks. Maybe both, he answers.

The star of the show is a Playboy centerfold who is out to make her way to the top whatever it takes. Quarry offers to interview her as part of his publicity work. Of course, it doesn’t help that she’s the mobster’s gal and she had an affair with the director.

This is a typical Quarry book filled with humor, bodies dropping left and right, and terrific writing from start to finish. Collins doesn’t try to make these stories some magnum opus. Instead, he concentrates on what he does best — telling a story. (

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