The Last Quarry (Quarry Series #6) [NOOK Book]



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, ...
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The Last Quarry (Quarry Series #6)

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Thirty years after the ruthless hit man Quarry first appeared in print (1976's The Broker), Max Allan Collins brings the iconic Vietnam vet turned assassin-for-hire back for his very last -- and deadliest -- mission. Living under an assumed name and working as the manager of a lodge in the wilds of Minnesota, Quarry has put his life of crime behind him -- until one night, suffering from insomnia, he drives to a remote convenience store and sees an old adversary. Hidden among the aisles, Quarry watches as Harry, a homosexual mobster from Chicago, buys an assortment of merchandise, including feminine hygiene products. Wondering if the thug is in Brainerd to kill him -- and frankly curious about his purchases -- Quarry follows Harry back to a secluded cabin where he stumbles onto a kidnapping and, after much bloodshed, saves a young heiress from probable death. The girl's father, a callous media magnate, contacts Quarry months later with a lucrative proposition that lures him out of retirement: he's to kill a librarian for $250,000. Quarry takes the job, but after meeting the seductively beautiful, brown-eyed blonde, he makes his biggest mistake: He gets emotionally involved. As James Bond is to spy, Quarry is to hit man. Collins's remarkably endearing antihero is a timeless noir icon, a truly unforgettable enigma of a character with an ever-expanding cult following even though he has only appeared in a handful of novels and short stories in the last three decades. And if this new -- and apparently last -- Quarry novel wasn't enough, the striking cover art by the legendary artist Robert McGinnis makes this one of the genre releases of the year. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Fans of Collins (Road to Perdition) will be delighted to find him resurrecting Quarry, the ruthless hit-man he put to rest years ago, after six Quarry novels and a small handful of short stories. Now living and relaxing in the Minnesota woods, Quarry is lured out of retirement by a Chicago media magnate who wants a seemingly harmless young librarian dead. But when he winds up falling for his target, one Janet Wright, Quarry begins second-guessing his assignment and experiences an uncharacteristic change of heart that almost gets him killed. Stemming from Collins's screenplay for the award-winning short film A Matter of Principal, this novel covers a lot of ground in a small space-a credit to the distinct, wry voice Collins has given Quarry, who doesn't waste anything, least of all words: "Louis cracked open the door and peered out and said, `What is it?' and I shot him in the eye." Compact enough to be read in a couple of sittings but bristling with suspense and sexuality, this book is a welcome addition to the Hard Crime Case library and, if there's any justice, will spark sales of Collins's back-catalogue titles. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780857686411
  • Publisher: Titan
  • Publication date: 4/20/2011
  • Series: Quarry Series, #6
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 96,219
  • File size: 959 KB

Meet the Author

Author of Road to Perdition, the acclaimed graphic novel that inspired the movie, and of the multiple-award-winning Nathan Heller series of historical hardboiled mysteries, Max Allan Collins is one of most prolific and popular authors working in the field today. He is also the literary executor of Mickey Spillane.
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Interviews & Essays

Ransom Notes Interview with Charles Ardai Paul Goat Allen: Charles, you know I'm a huge fan of Hard Case Crime, so I'll skip all the preliminary praise and get right to the questions: When you and fellow author Max Phillips started Hard Case Crime in 2004 (with a mission to revive the "vigor and excitement, the suspense and thrills -- the sheer entertainment -- of the golden age of paperback crime novels"), did you truthfully think that it would be the runaway success that it is today? And also, where exactly did the idea to launch Hard Case Crime originate? Charles Ardai: Max and I could never possibly have guessed that Hard Case Crime would explode in the way it has or that it would achieve its current level of notoriety and success. It was just a crazy idea we had one night, a true labor of love that we thought there was a good chance no one but us would enjoy. But we figured we'd have fun doing it, so we did it. Sometimes in life if you see a really juicy windmill you've just got to go tilt at it. The original idea emerged after a night of drinking. Max and I had worked together for seven years on an Internet company I founded called Juno, and we'd just merged Juno with its chief competitor and were talking about what we might want to do next. One of the things we both loved was the paperback crime novels of the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. We loved how they looked, we loved the sorts of stories they told, we loved the style in which they were written; and we missed them, in the sense that as readers we wished we could find new books of this sort to read and as writers we regretted that we'd been born too late to write books like these ourselves. So at one point in the evening I said, "Why don't we start our own line?" The idea from the start was to do it completely straight -- no winking, no spoofing, no elbow in the ribs or smirky, postmodern air quotes to show we were only kidding. Because we weren't kidding. We wanted to create a publishing company that would look like it had been founded in 1944 and had quietly been putting out a book a month ever since. And it worked. The biggest compliments we've gotten have been when people who were around in the post-WWII era and remember books like these in their original incarnation tell us that if they didn't know better they'd say our books were actually from that period. The late Mickey Spillane, for instance, was a big supporter. He wrote me a note saying; "Those covers brought me right back to the good old days." PGA: Publishing Stephen King's The Colorado Kid in October 2005 must have been a thrilling high point for you. I remember the buzz surrounding that release -- it was incredible. Looking back on the first two years, what are some of your most cherished memories and/or milestones regarding Hard Case Crime? CA: Absolutely -- there's nothing that can quite compare to the experience of publishing a new book by one of the world's most popular authors, especially when it's a book he wrote out of love for the same material that spurred us to create Hard Case Crime in the first place. Steve is an incredibly generous, passionate, talented man and he was a pleasure to work with. So, yes: That was a high point indeed. But there have been many, many high points. It has been a source of great pleasure to work with some of the surviving writers from the pulp era, people like Donald Hamilton, who created Matt Helm and is now 90, or Richard Prather, whose Shell Scott books were among the bestselling crime novels of all time, who is now 85. The chance to work with Evan Hunter (Ed McBain) before he died was extraordinary, as is the chance to work with writers I've admired for years, such as Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake. Then there was the pleasure of writing my own book for the line, Little Girl Lost; there was the experience of getting three major award nominations (and two awards!) in our first year; there was the day we first held one of our books in our hands, after three long years of work to make it happen; there was the day we found out that Entertainment Weekly had decided to name us publisher of the year in its annual "Must List" issue... Honestly, it sometimes feels like it has been nothing but high points. PGA: As you know, I also review science fiction and fantasy for Barnes &, and in the last decade or so, I've seen a real groundswell in the demand for largely forgotten bestsellers and award winners from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. And some publishers have really done a great job repackaging and reissuing these books to the delight of fans everywhere. Why do you think the demand for these genre classics is so great now? CA: Well, some of it is just a matter of statistics: Only a small fraction of the books published each year are good, and only a small fraction of those are really great; no publisher that only puts out new books can really compete, in terms of average quality, with a publisher that gets to cherry-pick only the very best books published over the course of several decades. Even a publisher like Hard Case Crime, which mixes new books and reprints, has an advantage over publishers that only do new titles, since it means that if we don't get a truly outstanding new submission in a given month we can always do an outstanding reprint that month instead -- we don't have to buy a second-rate new novel just to fill a slot. But I think there's more to it than just that. It's also that tastes change over time, often in a cyclical way, and though people get tired of certain styles, after enough time passes they get curious about those old styles again. Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra go out of fashion for a few decades, but then out of the blue you've got young people listening to them on their iPods. The same goes with literature, and especially for genre fiction. In the case of crime fiction (and I think science fiction as well) there was a wonderful, invigorating narrative drive and ingenuity to the books of the pulp era. They're just flat-out fun to read. And the very best of them (which are the ones we're bringing back) miraculously don't feel dated -- they're set in the past, of course, but they read like they could have been written yesterday. There's also the phenomenon of people wanting to reread books they remember fondly from their own youth -- when you ask about "genre classics" that's got to be part of the equation. But in Hard Case Crime we're not publishing genre classics. We're publishing books that have been forgotten (undeservedly), books that ought to be seen as classics but that have vanished instead, sometimes for 40 or 50 years. That's more fun, I think, or at least a different sort of fun. It's like finding a completely new book by a favorite author rather than rereading an old favorite. PGA: I just finished Max Allan Collins's The Last Quarry, Hard Case Crime's August 2006 release. I can't decide what was more enjoyable, the story (which I loved!) or the stunning cover art by Robert McGinnis. When I describe Hard Case Crime novels to fellow crime fiction lovers, I can't help but talk about the cover art. How significant is cover art and design to you? You know what they say about judging a book by its cover… CA: Art and design is central to Hard Case Crime, just as it was for the old-time pulp publishers. In the old days, paperback books (and pulp magazines, for that matter) were sold on newsstands, and publishers used lurid, sexy, surprising, enticing painted covers to catch the eye of busy workers racing through Grand Central Station on the way to or from the office. You had to stop them in their tracks and make them so curious about what was going on between the covers that they'd plunk down their 25 cents to find out. Well, we're asking for a lot more than 25 cents today (although our cover price has pretty much just kept pace with inflation -- our pulp novels, like their ancestors, cost about the price of a movie ticket). That means that eye-catching cover art is as critical today as it ever was if you want your titles to stand out from the pack. But apart from the practical value of making a prospective reader salivate and reach into his or her pocket, Max and I just love the look of old pulp covers and thought it would be great fun to replicate it. It's not easy to find painters capable of working in that style, but that just adds to the fun. PGA: How it is working with a legend like McGinnis? His cover art for Hard Case Crime releases like Lawrence Block's The Girl with the Long Green Heart, David Dodge's Plunder in the Sun, and Richard S. Prather's upcoming The Peddler are absolute works of art. Your stable of artists -- including Richard B. Farrell, Gregory Manchess, and Glen Orbik -- are almost as impressive as your list of superstar authors… CA: Bob McGinnis is a joy -- and astonishingly modest and self-deprecating, much more so than he ought to be when you consider that he's the guy who painted the original movie posters for the Sean Connery James Bond pictures, not to mention the iconic image of Audrey Hepburn with the cigarette holder for Breakfast at Tiffany's. He's in the illustrators' hall of fame, alongside people like Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish. But you'd never know it from working with him -- he's a sweet, gentle, considerate, helpful man and he pours his heart into every piece. It's not only the gorgeous women (which is probably what he's best known for) -- just take a close look at the way he paints textures. Every brick in a brick wall, every crevice in a boulder, every crease on a pillow or fringe on a lampshade -- he's an astonishing virtuoso. But then all the painters have been great. We feel lucky to be working with them. The funny thing is that many of them know each other, and they bring each other on board. For instance, Glen Orbik is the one who first put me in touch with Bob McGinnis, and Rick Farrell and Greg Manchess are friends. Once, when Rick was unable to finish a painting at the last minute for health reasons (he's fine now), he called Greg to step in at the last minute, and with only a few days till the deadline Greg finished the painting based on Rick's sketches. It's times like that when it feels like we're really an old-time pulp house, all laboring under punishing deadlines in a sweaty basement room with our sleeves rolled to the elbows and whiskey sweating out of every pore. I love it. PGA: What's been your biggest disappointment thus far with Hard Case Crime? CA: Not being able to find or reach agreements with some of the writers we'd like to work with. There's an old-time writer named Steve Fisher, for instance, and no one seems to know what became of his estate. The five years of detective work we've done to locate his heirs has turned up nothing but dead ends. Then there are cases like Spillane, where I was hoping to publish a book by him while he was still alive to enjoy seeing it; but in the end the schedule never worked out, sadly. There have also been a few authors -- very few -- who have thought about letting us reprint some of their long-forgotten early work and then decided not to, out of a fear that it wouldn't reflect well on them now that they've gained critical recognition for their more mature work. It's a shame when that happens -- but life goes on. There's so much great material out there, we're in no danger of running out any time soon. PGA: Do you have a favorite hard-boiled author or novel? Or one particular read that really affected you in your formative years? CA: Lawrence Block. He's just an extraordinarily powerful writer. His prose is so well written it's almost a physical pleasure to read it, and he's created some of the most memorable characters in the genre. Matt Scudder in Eight Million Ways to Die and When the Sacred Ginmill Closes; Bernie Rhodenbarr in The Burglar Who Painted like Mondrian; Paul Kavanagh in Such Men Are Dangerous. Any one of Block's best books would have been accomplishment enough for most writers, but Block's written dozens -- he's like a slugger knocking the ball out of the park over and over again. There are other noir authors I love so much that I've read everything they wrote -- James M. Cain, Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler -- and individual titles that just floored me, like The Big Sleep or The Postman Always Rings Twice or The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. But Block's books have a special place in my heart. It's not an accident that the very first book we published in Hard Case Crime was one of his.PGA: Any new novels from writer Charles Ardai (or his pseudonyms!) in the near future? CA: Yes. Richard Aleas, my dark alter ego, is working away on a sequel to Little Girl Lost called Songs of Innocence (another title drawn from the work of William Blake). Glen Orbik has painted the cover, which shows a naked woman with one arm wrapped around a big blue teddy bear and the other holding a revolver. She stares at me every time I sit down at the computer and reminds me sternly that Mr. Aleas has a deadline to meet. The book will be out in July 2007. PGA: Last question: where do you see Hard Case Crime in the next five years? CA: If you'd asked me this question five years ago, there's no way I could have anticipated what the right answer would be -- none. So any answer I give you now is bound to be similarly shortsighted. But the truth is that I just hope we get to publish some more good books and put them in the hands of readers who enjoy them. This simple act gives me enormous satisfaction -- more, maybe, than anything else I've ever done. Could there be other Hard Case Crime projects, beyond just books? You never know. Two of our titles have been optioned for television and two more are being developed as feature films (including The Last Quarry, which is scheduled to start shooting in Louisiana this fall). So it could happen, and it would be exciting to be part of that if it did. But for now, I'm content being an ink-stained wretch, toiling in the pulp factory...
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Poor copy of another author's hit man

    At least it was under 150 text pages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2014

    Poor short copy of another series where not

    Even his psychiatrist was sure of his vocation and when it seemed he was he eleminated him! however for a really funny group of hit men try maratha graham's Foul Matters and sequel buska

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2006

    First time reader of Max Allan Collins

    I received an advance copy of this very enjoyable book thru a publisher's drawing.. I wonder why I have not read previous books by this author... This is a perfect book to spend an afternoon or evening with... I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted March 14, 2009

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    Posted February 6, 2012

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    Posted December 25, 2011

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    Posted September 16, 2011

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    Posted October 16, 2011

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    Posted February 12, 2012

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