KILLING QUARRY by Max Allan Collins


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Professional killer Quarry’s 1980s midlife career change to selling potential targets the ultimate protection from the people who’ve marked them for death comes a cropper in a way that would be unusual for anyone but him.

Double-crossed by his longtime handler, the Broker, Quarry (Quarry’s Climax, 2017, etc.) has executed him and taken the extensive list of contract killers whose services he handles. Intent on monetizing the list, which is definitely worth serious coin, but unwilling to take the Broker’s place as just another middleman, he comes up with the idea of choosing random names from the list, stalking them until he figures out whom they’ve staked out themselves, and then telling the marks they’ve been targeted and offering to take out their killers for a price. This new regimen works fine, at least according to the standards of murder for hire, until Quarry gets on the scent of Bruce Simmons, a hit man whose target is Quarry himself. A face-off between the two businessmen ends with Simmons predictably dead, shot by Lu, his partner in crime, who years ago had a brief fling with Quarry but hasn’t seen him since. After Quarry’s disposed of the body, showered to get rid of the blood and brains, he has sex with the beauteous Lu, who reveals that her own handler, the Envoy, is the client who hired her and Simmons to kill Quarry. Why would someone target an inoffensive hit man who’s now switched to killing only his own kind, along with the inevitable collateral damage? The answer awaits at a very, very exclusive investment conference at the Lake Geneva Golf and Ski Resort, which just happens to be run by Quarry’s poker buddy Dan Clark—an event at which discussions of high finance will take a back seat to sound and fury.

Rousing period pulp for those who miss the ’80s or the glory days of men’s magazines a generation earlier.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-78565-945-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2019


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