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Quarry's Ex
Max Allen Collins

Hard Case Crime
September 20, 2011 / ISBN: 978-0857682864

Reviewed by Dennis Collins

Quarry got his start in the killing business while serving as a sniper during the Viet Nam conflict. When he came home from combat duty a little early and caught his wife sleeping with another man, his army training kicked in and soon his wife's casual lover was dead. A lack of hard evidence, coupled with the reluctance of a prosecutor to pursue a murder case against a war hero, resulted in all charges being dropped, leaving Quarry free to follow his career path and become a full-fledged assassin.

He found himself working in a sophisticated murder-for-hire organization with a large staff and even larger client list. But that didn't satisfy Quarry's sense of right and wrong, so he left the firm and began freelancing. In his new role Quarry sniffs out the hit men from his former stable and then identifies the mark. Then he contacts the intended victim and strikes a deal to take out the hired assassins, who incidentally always work in pairs.

His latest adventure takes him to Nevada, where a Hollywood motion picture company is filming a movie. The picture's director is the target. Identifying the would-be killers is the easy part, but finding out who hired them presents a long list of challenges. It could be the mobster who is financing the project, or maybe it's the director's wife... and she turns out to be Quarry's former unfaithful spouse.

Max Allan Collins certainly has a way with words. This book is well plotted, well written, and it's a good story. But even if the tale was terrible, it would be worth reading for the poetic prose alone.

Reviewer & Columnist Dennis Collins is the author of Turn Left at September, The Unreal McCoy, and The First Domino
Reviewed 2012
© 2012