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The Last Quarry


The Last Quarry

The story of why we are blessed with a new Quarry novel from Max
Allan Collins after all these years is related in the author's
afterword of the Hard Case Crime publication of THE LAST QUARRY. I
will note that the work was inspired by a shorter film version,
which in turn is one of the stories featured in the film anthology
SHADES OF NOIR, which itself is based upon... Well, you get the

By turns dark and humorous, the Quarry of THE LAST QUARRY is a hit
man, and a principled one at that. He has retired from the life,
but the life has not retired from him. Living quietly and
contentedly as the manager of a vacation lodge, Quarry abruptly
finds his past intruding on his present when a simple late night
trip to the local convenience store brings him into a
hostage-for-ransom situation involving some former acquaintances.
Quarry makes a split decision and interjects himself into the
matter in a somewhat unpredictable way, which is worth the price of
admission by itself.

Doing so unexpectedly results in Quarry being offered "one last
job," a hit with a payday so good that he'll never have to worry
about anyone again. But the target is a woman who, according to
Quarry's employer, doesn't deserve to die but will become a
"problem." Quarry shadows the woman and plans the hit. What he
doesn't plan on is becoming involved with her, but that is
precisely what he does. Quarry thus is faced with a conundrum:
someone has to die. He knows what he should do, but what he must do
is quite another thing. The result is a suspenseful, wild night's
ride, leading up to a shattering climax with a surprising but oddly
satisfying denouement.

While Collins no doubt will be remembered most for his classic THE
ROAD TO PERDITION, the greater body of his work is closer to THE
LAST QUARRY, and it is with books such as the latter that he has
built and maintained a reputation as one of the finest writers of
crime fiction that the U.S. has produced. And at this late date,
Collins, as exemplified by THE LAST QUARRY, continues to publish
some of his finest work.


Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 30, 2010

The Last Quarry
by Max Allan Collins

  • Publication Date: November 30, -0001
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense
  • Mass Market Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Crime Case
  • ISBN-10: 0843955937
  • ISBN-13: 9780843955934