Quarry’s List

Quarrys List (Hard Case Crime) by Max Allan Collins - Paperback - from World of Books Ltd (SKU ...

Quarry’s List is the second book in the series, was first published in 1976, and details Quarry’s adventures in the immediate aftermath of the Broker’s death. Quarry has been laying low in his cottage for months, believing that someone will be sent to kill him, tying up loose ends. Quarry has been expecting a two-man team and, although he has a two-bedroom cottage, he sleeps in the fold-out couch in the loft, believing that it will get him better odds.

After dealing with the assassination attempt, Quarry follows his leads to whoever is appearing to take over the Broker’s business in Miluakee, believing that this is the person who ordered the hit on him. He sees that there is a two-man team watching a brick house.

Quarry stays at the Concort Inn, a place where he used to meet the Broker. He liked to swim there. “Maybe I was an idiot,” he explains, “coming back here, staying here again. Maybe I was just risking my ass, just so I could go swimming.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a Quarry book without a romantic interest and, as Quarry takes his swim, he hears a voice from behind him, “feminine, soft, so soft it didn’t even echo in a room that threw sound around so thoroughly the barest ripple of the pool caused a tremor.” She was a “good-looking woman of maybe twenty-eight, with white blond hair that hung to her shoulders and the sort of face you see on the covers of classy fashion magazines.” Is this a coincidence or was she sent there to lure Quarry into a trap?

The book reads quickly and perhaps too quickly as Quarry maneuvers between the Broker’s replacement and the blonde (whoever she is) and tries to figure out how he will get out of this situation alive. There are great fight scenes throughout the book as Quarry deals with those who are planning to put a hit on him. In the end, the title makes sense, too.

Like all Quarry books, it is a great read. Collins has a great ironic tone to the narrator’s voice and it is not hard to accept that he is a hit man, perhaps one with certain morals and qualms.

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