Monday, June 11, 2018

Pick Up A Pulp [35]: QUARRY'S LIST by Max Allan Collins

QUARRY’S LIST opens with the swift and ice cold professional killing of an intruder inside Quarry’s home. The midnight attack, the result of a former associate in the murder of hire business looking to take out any competition that may stem the takeover of the Brokers former empire. Not wasting time, Quarry grills the back-up man from the attempted hit for information which leads him to a confrontation and subsequent sit down with the Brokers lawyer, Curtis Brooks, and Ash, a former partner of Quarry’s. 

Originally titled THE BROKERS WIFE, QUARRY’S LIST is aptly titled twice over with both capturing the theme of the second installment in the hitman series. The Brokers wife, Carrie, plays a huge role as she is thrust into the violent world her now deceased husband so flourished by virtue of some over zealous and ambitious business associates. While a 'list' supposedly in Quarry’s possession detailing the Broker's hired guns contact information is coveted by the same associates hoping for a one-two punch in taking over the business while also scoring a monetary windfall by eradicating Carrie in order to obtain her inheritance.

It’s in QUARRY’S LIST that Quarry takes a turn of direction, using his former associates as form of revenue:

“…there were other Brokers. Most of the hit men (and women) named here would be working again, soon, if not already, for new Brokers. If I picked a name from the list, followed whoever it was to a job, found out who the potential victim was, I could go to that potential victim and offer my services. If my offer was rejected, no skin off my ass; let the asshole die, it’s up to him.” 

My rating: 3/5 stars. QUARRY'S LIST contains one of the most mouth watering twists I've read across all the Hard Case Crime books and had just the same impact on the re-read. 

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