Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Interrupted Listen: "Quarry's Choice" by Max Allan Collins

Interrupted Listen: Quarry's Choice by Max Allan Collins, 2015, download.

My damn phone broke halfway through this audiobook. Fortunately I keep the audio files on an SD card and I was able to get back to the book after I bought a replacement mobile phone.

A few months ago someone reviewed a different Quarry novel, I think the review was for The Wrong Quarry, and the reviewer griped about the characters, the plot, the setting, etc. My only thought when I read the review was, "What the fuck was wrong with you, dickhead?" When it comes to the Quarry novels I am a straight on Company Man. A Lifer. A True Believer.


This is 1972 and Quarry has been working as a hired killer for The Broker for a couple years now. He meets The Broker in the Quad Cities for dinner and afterwards Quarry is there to interrupt a drive by assassination attempt on The Broker. The Broker is all shook up and a week later Broker asks Quarry to hound dog the guy The Broker suspects of calling the hit.

Quarry takes the job and heads down to Biloxi, MS. Biloxi is a popular tourist spot and aims to set your tourist soul on fire with plenty of prostitutes, bars, and illegal casinos. Broker has teamed with Victim-To-Be's Partner for Quarry to take a job as Victim-To-Be's bodyguard. Quarry is comped a room and a young prostitute. He feels his temperature rising because she is there to love him both day and night.

The prostitute/stripper is only about 18-years-old but has doing the work for years. Quarry happily enjoys her services but starts to like her as a person. Quarry soon finds that Victim-to-Be is a murderous thug. Quarry finds out Victim-to-Be's Pal is a pimping dirtbag and murderer.

Quarry does a hit to prove his bona fides to Victim-to-Be but prostitute is a witness. Whoops. When Quarry turns Victim-to-Be into Victim at a local hotel he is recorded by Prostitute using the hotel's hidden-for-blackmail-cameras and she demands Quarry kill Victim's Partner in return for the tape.Quarry is caught in a trap; he can't walk out, he needs to recover that tape.

Did that sound confusing? It isn't.

Quarry is already sticking around town after the first kill rather than draw suspicion. Quarry gets his kicks with Prostitute and figures out how to get rid of Victim's Partner.

The whole story is an uplifting tale of Dixie Mafia goons, hired killers, forced prostitution, sudden murder, fatal drug overdoses, beatings, con games, extortion, bribery, corrupt police, and a rental Chevelle.

EDIT, 3-10-17: Collins is slated for Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee this year. This makes me happy since I can actually attend this year. The past 8 years I've been involved in the planning and running of the annual Cub Scout Pancake Breakfast that takes place on the same weekend.
Doubly cool is that Megan Abbott will also be there. So will Reed Farrell Coleman. But, Coleman is always there. Does he has a relative, his brother, living in Milwaukee?
EDIT, 3-13-17. I am always amused that Quarry lives outside Lake Geneva, WI.

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