Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: THE WRONG QUARRY by Max Allan Collins


The Wrong QuarryQuarry, keeping in line with his recent business venture, is in Stockwell, hoping to tracking down the target of a hit in order to get some cash out of the unsuspecting soul by removing him of the perceived threat; eradicate the assassin(s) hired to kill him.  Roger Vale, a small time dance instructor, surprisingly takes well to this revelation despite some drama and theatrics (comes with the territory) and agrees to utilise Quarry’s morbid services all in the name of self preservation.  

THE WRONG QUARRY is pure popcorn pulp in all its overtly sexual and violent ways. Quarry not only nails the bad guys but also any young hottie in sight. There is a distinct Al Wheeler (Carter Brown detective pulp protagonist) quality to Quarry which is further emphasised by his easy going and blasé attitude towards his conquests. Be it 40yr old renowned easy women or 18yr old teens, Quarry manages to appeal to the broader demographic.  

However, it’s his ‘other head’ (as quoted by Quarry) that gets him in hot water as he becomes involved in a case surrounding the disappearance of a young women, Candy (and niece of Jenny, his 40yr old love interest) presumably at the hands of Roger Vale (Candy’s dance instructor). Without meaning to do so, Quarry finds himself an almost ad-hoc PI as he scours bars, women, and the missing Candy’s family for truth – what he finds could quite possibly result in him having tracked the wrong quarry.

THE WRONG QUARRY follows a linear plot with a small scale cast, making it easy for the reader to enjoy all this pulply goodness without having to think too hard about what’s going on. Making a novel read easy is hard and Max Allan Collins does just this with his latest venture into his acclaimed hit-man series, Quarry. I loved it.

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