Another autumn descends and another Quarry novel is on the shelf. These are good times to be a reader. With four Quarry Novels in five years, Max Allan Collins can almost be forgiven for the 20-year gap in the series from the mid 80s to the mid 00s.
This time Quarry, a former hitman for the mob who has turned freelance, is on the set of a low budget biker movie in the late 70s. Heâ€™s trying to protect the director, Art Stockwell, from an inevitable assassination attempt. He is also trying to find out who put the contract out on Stockwellâ€™s life. Among the suspects are a Chicago mob boss and Stockwellâ€™s nearly-estranged wife who also happens to be Quarryâ€™s fully-estranged ex-wife. This situation proves to be the first socially awkward moment in the hitmanâ€™s career.
Writers are always telling each other to steal, but cover your tracks. So itâ€™s funny that Max Allan Collins, in his new novel QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE, has decided to blatantly admit his inspiration by way of three epigrams at the beginning of the book. The epigrams are quotes from Dashiell Hammett, Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone, one novelist and two film directors who each told stories about lawless men who played one gang of criminals against another in the hope of getting paid by each. Perhaps Collins thought his rip off was too blatant and it was better to display rather than hide his appropriations. This was unnecessary because QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE stands very well on itâ€™s own and merely nods to the works of these other artists.
October 27, 2009
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: 1980s, Hard Case Crime, hitman, Interview, Job-centered, Max Allan Collins Â· Posted in: Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Midwest, y Award Winning Author