cover image Quarry's Choice

Quarry's Choice

Max Allan Collins. Hard Case Crime, $9.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-783290-84-0

Mickey Spillane fans will relish Collins's 11th novel featuring the hard-hitting hit man who goes by Quarry (after 2014's The Wrong Quarry). In 1972, a year after Quarry finished his tour of duty in Vietnam, he's settled into his new career as a murderer for hire, working for a middleman known as the Broker. After a failed attempt on the Broker's life, he himself becomes Quarry's client, setting the mercenary on the trail of a Dixie Mafia leader, Jack Killian, whom the Broker believes wants him dead. Quarry finds getting close to Killian easy, but the assignment becomes an emotional challenge as his target becomes human to him, as does a hooker with the clich%C3%A9d heart of gold . A few twists bolster the fairly predictable story, as dolean prose and well-constructed action sequences. Impressively, Collins manages to make his violent, brutal, and efficient killer somewhat sympathetic rather than merely repellent. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Jan.)