Hard Case Crime 8/06: The Last Quarry by Max Allan Collins (#23)



The ruthless professional killer known as Quarry long ago disappeared into a well-earned retirement. But now a media magnate has lured the restless hitman into tackling one last lucrative assignment. The target is an unlikely one: Why, Quarry wonders, would anyone want a beautiful young librarian dead?

And why in hell does he care?

On the 30th anniversary of the enigmatic assassin’s first appearance, bestselling author Max Allan Collins brings him back for a dark and deadly mission where the last quarry may turn out to be Quarry himself.

This is the first of Max Allan Collins’ Quarry series that I’ve read. It’s an efficient page-turner (less than 200 not-tightly-spaced pages) and an enjoyable one.

The book’s chief flaw is that it never feels like Quarry is in danger from anyone–he’s so much better than his foes, it may as well be Superman versus Dortmunder.

The Last Quarry has recently been made into a movie, The Last Lullaby.  The book was inspired by a short film that was inspired by a short story about Quarry. Got all that? It’s explained in the afterword by the author.

The cover art is by Robert McGinnis, the artist behind hundreds if not thousands of movie posters and paperback covers, including at least some (not sure about all) of the Fawcett Gold Medal “Here’s Parker!” editions.