Quarry's List by Max Allan Collins
|Quarry's List by Max Allan Collins|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: When Quarry quits the killing game it is not long before he's dragged back in. The only way to leave being a hitman is to kill those who know what you do. Join Quarry is an intense and slightly nasty slice of pure pulp.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: December 2015|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
The Quarry series is classic pulp fiction from Max Allan Collins that has spanned almost 50 years. The newest books in the series may be set in the past, but where actually written recently. The success of the newer books, has revitalised interest in the original 1970s run of books. Once known as The Broker's Daughter, Quarry's List is the second book in the series that may not introduce you to the character, but it does introduce you to why Quarry became a killer of killers.
Life seems a little dull when you're a retired hitman; not because you miss the cut and thrust of cutting and thrusting, but because you have to stay in the house waiting for someone to kill you. There are no retired assassin's, just dead ones. Quarry is not a nice man, but he is a good killer – surely he has the skills to get himself out of the death game, or at least bend the rules enough so that he can win?
A series like Quarry can sometimes take a while to settle in, but List shows that this does not always have to be the case. The books were not originally envisioned as a series, but once the publisher got in touch with Collins, he brought Quarry back and needed a way to make the character stick around and partake of more deadly adventures; therefore we have the list. This is a list of hitmen and hitwomen that many people want; whoever holds the list, holds the money. You can dictate who lives and who dies.
This being a Quarry novel, our antihero somehow manages to get himself right in the middle of the fight for the list. The criminal underworld think that he has it and Quarry must disabuse them of this notion. Rather than taking a full page advert out in The Times, Quarry does what he does best and tracks down the people after him and despatches them. It is this cold heartedness that makes the book strangely appealing. Too many authors are hell-bent on making even their antiheroes somehow likable, Collins just does not care. All we know about Quarry is that he kills bad people. In a perverse way you could be following one of the other characters in the book and witness them killing Quarry – you probably would not tell the difference.
The book works because Collins is such an effective writer. List is short and grimy; somewhat like its central character. It comes along, quickly packs a punch and then leaves. Most readers can probably finish the book in one sitting, but that is how the books should be read. There is a sense of dark entertainment to be had from quality pulp fiction and this is exactly what Quarry's List is.
Hard Case have had loads of great exploitation fiction for a reader to get their teeth into, try one of the other outing in this series, such as Quarry's Choice or the ruder sounding than it is So Nude, So Dead by Ed McBain.
You can read more book reviews or buy Quarry's List by Max Allan Collins at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Quarry's List by Max Allan Collins at Amazon.com.
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