cover image Quarry's Cut

Quarry's Cut

Max Allan Collins. Hard Case Crime, $9.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-78329-889-1

The familiar trope of a killer picking off the inhabitants of a snowbound house gets new life in this reissue of Collins's fourth novel featuring hit man Quarry (after Quarry's Deal). Quarry returns from Vietnam to find his wife in bed with another man. After dropping a car on her lover, he finds himself unemployable. His proficiency at killing interests a middleman known as the Broker, who runs a murder-for-hire operation. After the Broker himself is killed, Quarry uses his list of targets to reimagine the business: Quarry will alert the intended victims of their situation and offer to guard them. That new venture leads him to the Wisconsin home of Jerry Castile, a prominent director of pornographic films who's hoping to shift to more legitimate work, and who's rumored to have directed snuff films. Castile accepts Quarry's offer of protection, but with the crew of his current movie trapped inside by a snowstorm, bodies begin to pile up. Collins maintains knife-edge suspense throughout and tosses in some surprising twists, while again making his stone-cold killer of a protagonist sympathetic. (Feb.)