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The Last Quarry (Quarry #7)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  613 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Coming out of retirement to do one last—and extremely lucrative—job for a media magnate, professional killer Quarry finds himself unable to take out his target, a young, beautiful librarian. This is also Book 7 of the Quarry novels.
Paperback, 201 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Hard Crime Case
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Oct 23, 2011 Greg rated it it was ok
When I hear the term hack writer the first name that pops into my head is Max Allan Collins. That is probably unfair of me, since before yesterday I had never read a word he had written, but seeing all the books he's written at work I can't help but think that is one of those mercenary write anything for pay writers. It seems like almost every movie novelization or tv show tie-in gets penned by him. Unfair to think hack, I know, but it's tough to take people seriously who write those novelizatio ...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 17, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardcase, cool-covers
When Quarry notices a gay hitman he once had a run in with buying tampons at an out of the way convenience store, he gets suspicious. The trail leads him to a media millionaire's daughter being held for ransom. Quarry re-unites the girl with daddy for a price and a few months later, the dad offers him a job. But why would anyone want a librarian like Janet Wright dead?

Max Allan Collins knows how to write 'em. There are quite a few twists packed into this slim 200-pager. I didn't really see the r
Aug 17, 2010 Josh rated it it was amazing
HE LAST QUARRY sees series protagonist Quarry take on one last assignment, one that he falls into by way of professional curiosity. Having spotted a rival mob guy at a store, Quarry follows him back to his place of residence only to discover a damsel in distress - a kidnapped young woman, naked and tied-up to prevent her escape.

After taking care of the mob guys, and having returned the young woman to her wealthy father, Quarry is asked to take on one last assignment.

Quarry's latest target is a
Best of the series so far!
Feb 23, 2014 Maddy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads
PROTAGONIST: Quarry, hitman
SERIES: #7 of 10
WHY: Quarry is a hitman who has retired. He is convinced by a media magnate to take on one last assignment. The payoff is large. The target is a female librarian. Quarry accidentally becomes involved with her and can't figure out why she has been chosen. Collins is a deft hand at plotting and creates some very satisfying twists. A quick read with the only negative being an over-the-top killing scene near the end of the book. THE LAST QUARRY w
Apr 21, 2011 Joseph rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
After reading Donald Westlake's The Cutie, I went out and got myself about a half dozen titles in the Hard Case Crime series. I wasn't thrilled with the second title I read (Somebody Owes Me Money, also by Westlake), and now, having been underwhelmed with this Quarry story, I'm starting to worry about my investment in the Hard Case imprint.
Whereas The Cutie's protagonist had an authentic Henry Hill-type feel to his narration, Quarry sounds more like a crime fiction writer who secretly wishes he'
Dec 12, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it
This, according to the author, will likely always be the last in Quarry's chronology. Very good. Excellent read. The epitomizes why I buy HCC books. The cover is great & the material in between is perfect HCC material. The ending is wonderfully done.

As I would expect, lots of hard boiled action, not all of it predictable. In fact, I was plain surprised more than once. Quarry never really steps out of character, but he has matured. Be warned that this book does contain some spoilers for earl
Sep 22, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another new audio book from Skyboat Media, read by Stephen Rudnicki. Well read as usual & twisty. A fitting final episode for Quarry.

------ Current order ------
"The First Quarry" - early 70's
"Quarry's Choice" - a year to 18 months after "The First Quarry"
"Quarry in the Middle" - spring of 1986? (Reagan on 2d term for a while.)

"The Last Quarry" - after 2004 (Kerry's failed 2004 presidential race bumper sticker is old.)
Mar 04, 2014 Travis rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-case-crime
The hitman Quarry comes out of retirement for one last job and proves he isn't "getting too old for this stuff" (to borrow a cleaned up phrase from Lethal Weapon).

I do include a very tiny spoiler but only enough to write a review and absolutely no details or anything that will detract from your enjoyment of the plot.

This is my second Quarry book (the first being "The Wrong Quarry") and already I'm amazed at the depth of the character. You can truly see a difference between how he acts at the dif
Apr 19, 2014 Eric rated it it was amazing
Now this was more like it! A fun a quick read; I read it in two sittings. Max Allan Collins is the kind of author who continually publishes novels at an incredible pace. I've found, if an author can produce this much, he doesn't waste time describing the colour of the paint on the walls.

Quarry is a retired hit man, enjoying a quiet, secluded life in Minnesota lake country. On a sleepless night Quarry drives to the local convenience store for a snack run. There he notices a man he knows, an enfor
Dec 13, 2007 Jason rated it did not like it
Perhaps I'm spoiled by Richard Stark's Parker, but this seemed flabby in its suspense, in its aggressive (and unfunny) sarcasm, in its run-through of the antiheroic tropes. Maybe I was in a bad mood, but the book really annoyed me--I instead suggest going to find _Comeback_ or _The Outfit_ or any of a number of sleek, wonderfully nasty Stark exercises in antiheroic crime.
Richard Block
Mar 07, 2017 Richard Block rated it really liked it
Tasty Big MAC

Craving more junkfood, I reached for The Last Quarry, another satisfying and fast read to fill me up. This 'last' novel places the charming hitman in 2005, now 50ish, supposedly retired. He has lost a lot of money, has to take a job for one of his Vietnam vet buddies, and somehow, shit happens. It's nice the way Quarry has aged - he get more interesting the more mistakes he makes, and it these mistakes which contribute to some decent progressive complication - plot twists.

A rich man
Oct 08, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing
I bought "The Last Quarry" by Max Allan Collins a while back. Though it is the seventh book in the series, it is by no means the last, except chronologically. At the end of this book, Quarry's long career is over...or is it?

If you've never met Quarry, he's a Midwestern hitman who is cool under pressure and usually finds himself in dire situations and involved, if only briefly, with beautiful women. Once his former boss "retired" and Quarry started going after other hitmen (and hitwomen) to make
Mar 13, 2009 Johnny rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Not only is Collins a first-rate historian of the pulp genre and a respected journeyman for the graphic novel genre, but he is a solid practitioner of the pulp novel, himself. Not only did one of his Nathan Heller stories find its way to the big screen, but his Quarry novel (the title being a pun that cannot be discussed without providing an unwelcome spoiler)is emblematic of the kind of protagonist who is hanging onto life by his fingernails while the muddy sides of his existential hole begin t ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Drew rated it it was amazing
After tremendously enjoying Collins's other Hard Case Crime contribution featuring his hitman character, Quarry, I just had to go back and check out this one as well. Weirdly enough, despite this being "The Last Quarry" and the other Quarry novel I read being "The First Quarry", this one was actually written first. It tells the story of a much older Quarry, who stumbles upon an old mob associate while living as a retired resort-keeper on the shores of a lake in Minnesota. This book is an expansi ...more
Craig Hansen
Apr 30, 2012 Craig Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Quarry, based in part on his short story "A Matter of Principle," by Max Allan Collins is everything an old-school Quarry fan could hope for: a new chapter in the tale of this character who seemed to have been abandoned more than once my Mr. Collins, but who has joyfully returned to the scene since 2006 in this volume, and three others that have followed it since.

The Last Quarry finds the aging hitman contentedly retired, working in a lake resort in Minnesota, when a chance trip to a lo
Chuck Barksdale
May 22, 2012 Chuck Barksdale rated it really liked it
This was the first Quarry book I have read and first of any book by Max Allan Collins. I've seen him at a couple of Bouchercons and had collected some of his books and finally decided to take one from my TBR pile. I'm glad I finally read one and I'm also glad that Hard Case Crime convinced him to go back and write more of these Quarry books.

THE LAST QUARRY is probably not the best place to start in this series, but it was the first one he wrote for Hard Case Crime and therefore the first one I r
Jeff Benham
Jan 20, 2014 Jeff Benham rated it it was amazing
It has been awhile since I have read this one, but all of the Quarry's have been really good, as have the Nate Heller series by this author. The Last Quarry is basically in the middle of the series with the ones that follow being the earlier years. In this book Quarry is retired and managing a resort in MN. His retirement is interrupted when one of the units is used to hold a kidnapping victim. Naturally Quarry has to get involved and this leads to him being hired for one last job. By the way, Q ...more
Jim McGrath
May 17, 2016 Jim McGrath rated it it was amazing
I read this book about two years ago. It did two things for me. It introduced me to Max Allan Collins work and to the fabulous Hard Case Crime series.

The book is really a long short story or novella at best, but it's a little gem. Full of vicious action one minute and dark humour the next. A great way to spend a wet afternoon or storm lashed evening. Read it, you won't be disappointed.

I've now bought pretty much the entire Hard Case Crime library. For any crime reader the series provides a mag
Jul 10, 2009 Taijilibrarian rated it really liked it
Quarry is a retired contract killer. But retirement is boring. When his curiosity is piqued by an encounter with an old mob associate, Quarry decides to take one last job. But why would anyone want a harmless librarian dead?

Hard Case Crime's mission is to replicate or revive noir, pulp, and adventure stories and characters. The Last Quarry follows Collins' series from the 90s. It has a noirish angle, but without a totally downbeat ending. It is a quick read that relies heavily on archetypes rath
Jason Seaver
Jun 04, 2010 Jason Seaver rated it really liked it
Max Allan Collins puts his series about an assassin to rest for the last time, as Quarry finds himself drawn to his new target - a beautiful woman who, unlike the vast majority of the people he's hired to kill, doesn't seem to have given anybody any reason to do it.

According to the postscript, "The Last Quarry" had a somewhat circuitous route to life - it started as a short story, was made into a short film,and then was expanded to novel length, incorporating elements of a different short story
Mar 13, 2012 Talia rated it liked it
When I saw another of the “Hard Crime” series titles, I thought it might be interesting to give it a go. The cover art reminded me of one of those old “pot boilers” where the good guy is a gun toting, cigarette smoking wise ass who manages to get the job done and get the girl in the process.

This book was along those lines, but a bit updated. It’s set in modern times, and the good guy is actually a bad guy. And there was a lot more swearing and sex in it than I imagined. But, it was a good read.
Feb 18, 2008 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: noirboiled
One problem with contemporary noir is that the freedom to curse freely and describe sex explicitly can make writers lazy. In The Last Quarry, for example, there is nothing even remotely sexy about it when Quarry pauses to describe the nipple dimensions of the book's two female characters, and the actual sex scenes read like stale Penthouse Forum. This book isn't terrible, but noir writers should at least aspire to be Raymond Chandler or Jim Thompson, even if they can't quite pull it off.
Aug 12, 2014 Jemir rated it really liked it
Much like going to a plot light action-movie JUST to see the familiar beats I often find myself reading pulp themed stories for the familiar beats. If a book delivers them - even if not in a solid, original, fashion - I'm satisfied. The Last Quarry delivered that (though The First Quarry remains my favorite of the selections I've personally read)as well as some smart twists and plays on the genre I didn't see coming but made sense when I backtracked to re-read certain passages.A great entry in a ...more
Dec 17, 2013 Thomas rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-boiled
The Last Quarry was my first, and my first Max Allan Collins as well. It reminded me a little of the old Gold Medal paperbacks-- hard-hitting fast-paced no-nonsense airport reading. The execution is as efficient as the executioner. The men are mercenary thugs and the women are simple-minded broads, and there's a fair amount of inconsiderate killing. There's not a lot of introspection going on here, but who needs to reflect on the human condition when your flight for Seattle is an hour late and y ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
This was a fun little book, fast-paced, entertaining, with lots of amusing/foul-mouthed writing in the more modern hard-boiled style (referring to a twenty-something girl as "AIDS-bait", talking about how there's nothing wrong with wanting to fuck your dad, etc).
If there was to be one complaint with the book, it would be that the surprise ending (I won't give it away, but I would bet ten to one, you will see it coming a mile away) is not a surprise. Also, the gunfight that occurs right before th
May 03, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, thriller
#7 in the Quarry series. Quarry is, of course, author Collins contribution to the criminous subgenre of hitmen.

Quarry stumbles on a kidnapping, rescues the victim and returns her to her father for $100,000. Months later, the father returns and offers Quarry $250,000 to kill a woman. After accepting, Quarry finds that the victim is the sister of the girl he rescued, his client's daughter. Novel is an expansion of "A Matter of Principal" 1989 and "Guest Services" 1995.
Chris Adams
Jan 16, 2012 Chris Adams rated it really liked it
This was my second entry to the Hard Case crime series, a mix of new and republished works that are all hard boiled noir and pulp fiction goodness. This book did not disappoint. A quick read with a main character who cracks wise and skulls in equal amounts. There are dames. Goons. Cold hard cash. Death. Guns. Romance. And it's all in the name of one last job. A punch to my fictional gut, and I loved it!
Nov 14, 2013 Donald rated it really liked it
A great read! Raw and gritty, with "adult" language, Quarry is a man not to be messed with! When he comes out of retirement to take one last "hit", he finds that the target is not the usual type, and decides to find out why she has been contracted to be taken out. What he discovers is pretty messed up! I think this was a great find, and I am going to find the old Quarry stories and read those too! And who knows? Maybe this won't really be "the last Quarry" tale after all!
Dec 07, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing
Superb. With this one MAC has really hit his stride. Quarry is perfect, the prose is snappy and at just 200 pages this one will fly through your hands and leave you wanting more.

While this one would make a great endcap for the series, I must admit I am glad he is writing more. Highly recommend this one, in fact, this one has led me to read the entire series and eagerly waiting for more.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2006.

He has also published under the name Patrick Culhane. He and his wife, Barbara Collins, have written several books together. Some of them are published under the name Barbara Allan.

Book Awards
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1984) : True Detective
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1992) : Stolen Away
Shamus Awards Best Novel nom
More about Max Allan Collins...

Other Books in the Series

Quarry (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Quarry (Quarry, #1)
  • Quarry's List (Quarry, #2)
  • Quarry's Deal (Quarry, #3)
  • Quarry's Cut (Quarry, #4)
  • Primary Target (Quarry #5)
  • Quarry's Greatest Hits (Quarry)
  • The First Quarry (Quarry #8)
  • Quarry in the Middle (Quarry #9)
  • Quarry's Ex (Quarry #10)
  • The Wrong Quarry (Quarry #11)

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