Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finished: "Last Quarry" by Max Allan Collins

Finished: The Last Quarry by Max Allan Collins, 2006 (? or 2005), 0843955937.

Very Good. Another Hard Case Crime success. I'm glad they are getting printed again. I like the Quarry novels. He's a stone cold killer but he has a sense of humor and a weakness for women.

Collins's afterword details more about how the novel came about. The first chapter was an often anthologized short story. (I'm proud of myself for recognizing that before reading the afterword.) The short story had been made into a short film and the director was looking to expand the story into a feature length flick. Charles Ardai was looking for a novel so Collins produced this. I have checked out the library's DVD version of that full-length film, Last Lullaby, more than once. I have the movie downstairs right now. I have yet to watch the dang picture.

Quarry is now fully retired. He ran into an old Army buddy who gave him a job managing a north woods resort in Minnesota. But, Quarry can't sleep. In the middle of the night he goes to a convenience store and recognizes another customer as a button man from Chicago. The gay button man is buying tampons. Quarry gets curious. Quarry follows. Quarry finds the button man and his boyfriend kidnapped a socialite and are holding her for ransom. Quarry kills the two kidnappers. Drunken slut socialite is overjoyed for the rescue. Quarry calls the socialite's dad and asks for $250,000 ransom. End of short story and chapter one.

Quarry decided to take the risk and have some excitement by acting in his own backyard. That backfires when the rich dad tracks him down and offers $500,000 for a kill. Quarry is going to have to up and leave anyway after being found. May as well take the job and the money.

Quarry travels to Colorado and shadows the mark. Quarry has gotten soft. Quarry is hot for the 30 yr. victim to be. Quarry pounds on the abusive boyfriend. Quarry bangs the mark. The mark brings out feelings that Quarry had long submerged. Things happen. Relationships discovered. Quarry kills many people at a funeral.

1. Hi-Power love.
2. Quarry is socially capable but refuses to follow along. He's a killer and has separated himself from polite manners. He does not care what others think and is just as likely to kill them. Quarry does not have sex, make love, sleep with, etc. He fucks. He does not have relationships. It sounds like his dead wife was chosen for her cluelessness as much as anything.
3. Collins wrote before how Vietnam vet Quarry was partly based on the PTSD riddled Audie Murphy.
4. Quarry loves Coca-Cola. Even Diet Coke.
5. I did not realize they were so few Quarry books. I thought there were at least a dozen or so.
6. Collins bebopped his way over to this blog. He is scheduled to attend Bouchercon this year. Maybe I'll see him and act like a suck-up.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I keep meaning to read one of these.