Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: QUARRY'S LIST (Quarry #2) by Max Allan Collins

Quarry's ListQUARRY’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 instalment 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 Brokers 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.”

The Chicago syndicate angle, alluded to in QUARRY yet unsustained by the Broker is addressed here, in large part by Curtis Brooks who shines a light on the dark dealings of the mob. It provides a deeper understanding of the Brokers former business and how the clientele are sourced.

One of the highlights of QUARRY’S LIST is the mouth watering revelation at the end surrounding Carrie’s farther and relationship with her former husband. I added a little something extra to the murderous plot and provided for a great slice of entertainment. This book really sets the tone for the further instalments.
My review of QUARRY (Quarry #1) can be found here:

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