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Quarry in the Middle (Quarry #9)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  311 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
When a pair of warring crime families each hires the same hit man to knock off the other, the man in the middle finds himself in a very dangerous spot.
Published October 27th 2009 by Hard Crime Case
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(showing 1-30 of 623)
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Dan Schwent
Jul 11, 2011 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcase, cool-covers
Using information contained in the deceased Broker's database, Quarry goes to the rathole port town of Haydee's Port, Illinois to prevent a hit and earn some cash in the process. As a result,Quarry puts himself in the middle of two casino owners, both of whom would like to see the other put out of business. Permanently...

I'd say Quarry in the Middle is in the top 10 or 15 Hard Case novels. There is a lot of sex, a lot of violence, and the standard Quarry orgy of violence ending. Quarry proves to
Mar 28, 2014 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-s-reads
Quarry might just be one beautiful bastard, even if he manages to lose a few teeth along the way. The women certainly don’t seem to mind. Whether he goes for the more experienced ones, or the younger ones who managed to knock themselves on the head with the beauty branch, right before their mouths open wide, he certainly empties himself in a rather judicious fashion. He’s an equal opportunity sexual healer, who pounds Percocet with reckless abandon, and always manages to get his man…or woman.

James Thane
Quarry is a hitman who used to work for a man named the Broker who arranged such jobs working out of the Quad Cities, a collection of towns in Iowa and Illinois divided by the Mississippi River. The Broker is no longer with us, for reasons that need not concern us here. However Quarry has the Broker's extensive files and has found a new line of work in "preventive maintenance." Basically, he shadows other hitmen, deduces their targets, then warns the targets and offers to remove the hitman--for ...more
This is one case where you CAN judge a book by it’s cover. There’s a menacing looking guy with a table full of booze and a couple of scantily clad beautiful women clutching weapons. What more do you need to know?

Collins has been delivering some quality contract murder stories with his run of Quarry books for Hard Case Crime. You won’t find a hired killer you can sympathize with more other than Lawrence Block’s Keller.

The First Quarry gave us the origin story set in the early ‘70s. This is Quarr
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. As straight forward & cold as Quarry is, he rarely manages to keep it simple. This time he puts himself in the middle of illegal gambling operations as he tries to figure out who sent in the assassin.

Takes place about the spring of 1986.

"The chronology of the Quarry novels is vague. The First Quarry marks the beginning of his career (so it goes first), The Last Quarry goes at the end of his
Vikas Datta
Feb 12, 2016 Vikas Datta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Savage but satisfying...
Sep 25, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading books by Max Allan Collins ever since I was a kid, starting with such movie adaptations as DICK TRACY and MAVERICK. Later in life, I moved on to the TV tie-in work he did for shows like DARK ANGEL and BONES. But it wasn't until stumbling across the Quarry series that I became aware of Collins' true ability as a writer. Every sentence in QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE packs a punch. The whole thing reads like hardboiled poetry, and not many writers can utilize black humor so effectively. ...more
The second Quarry book I've read. It's a classic noir style, tough hit man story with ample sex and violence. Of course there's a twist in the story, but not one that was to hard to figure out. The story here takes place after Quarry has supposedly 'retired' from his line of business. Of course, a few nudges in the right direction and he's back to his old self.

Characters were all pretty decent although somewhat stereotypical, but then again that's one of the common trademarks of this genre.

A qu
Another good, quick read. I really love the Quarry books. Perfect HCC material. Quarry's toughness, practicality & wit are irresistible. His amoral attitude is quite refreshing in our PC world.

I've heard there will be another Quarry novel published by HCC in 2010. I'm looking forward to it. In the meantime, I have several other similar novels of Collins' that I'm looking forward to reading & will try to collect the rest of the Quarry books, even though they've been out of print for years
Apr 05, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Quarry in the Middle" by Max Allan Collins is the ninth book in the "Quarry" series--which is about a "Joe Average" type of hitman working in the Midwest in the 70's and early 80's. At this point in the Quarry timeline, he is still hunting down hitmen based on the files of his former employer. He's making his money by offering his services to the victims of said hitmen. For a fee, he gets rid of the hitmen and those who hired them.

But this seems to be the novel which explains why Quarry decided
Jul 20, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine "Men's Adventure" book. A very quick read at a little over 200 pages. This one is a little more..."raunchy" I guess is the word I will use....than the previous installments I have read. Nothing too bad but not something you would tell your mom about at the dinner table.

If I had to sum this one up, it would be: murder, sex, drugs, and another side of murder. Again Quarry is on the case, hunting for a hired assassin when he gets caught up in the middle (hence the title) of a mob turf
Oct 31, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, action
#9 in the Quarry series. Finalist 2010 Anthony Award for Best Paperback / Finalist 2010 Barry Award for Best Paperback. Quarry is the adopted name of author Collins' hit man protagonist. Quarry is continuing the business he developed in #3 (The Dealer (1976)). This is an inventive series in a restricted sub-genre, the world of professional hit men.

Quarry has developed a profitable line of business - he hits hit men. Quarry finds that a casino owner is scheduled to be killed and for a price he of
Dec 31, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in between the last Quarry and the First one (dah), we find our anti-hero on a job with a body in his trunk. Quarry has decided on a new line of work now that the "broker" is dead, and he came into possession of a fat file that listed all the contract killers in the broker's employ as well as their work history. The idea is to tail one of the assassins, determine who his next hit might be then go to the intended victim and offer to kill the killer and the person who hired him (as an extr ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining, but not very deep novel in the Quarry series. Generally, if you like tricky plots about power plays and organized crime, then you'll like this. Quarry isn't the snappiest talker in hard-boiled fiction, but he's pretty amusing. That's really all there is to it, though the book has a pretty obvious final reveal that kind of enduces eye-rolls.
Mar 02, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2010
The least of the three Hard Case Crime/Quarry novels, that doesn't mean that Quarry in the Middle isn't still a hell of a lot of fun. Collins plays with the 1980's backdrop, painting it in broad, stereotypical strokes for (mostly) humorous purposes.

I feel like the air has been let out of the series a bit by virtue of the author's exploration of Quarry's past within the confines of already having written the character's "last" story... but I'm altogether too fond of the resulting books since The
Feb 15, 2010 Mohammed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
The story of this book of Quarry going to Haydee's Port, Illinois to prevent another hit-man and make money from the target was a very interesting read. I liked the ambitious,self-made Quarry looking only money for himself.
Not as Hardcore story,action as The First Quarry but different enough story to enjoy this book too.

The great sense of humour of Quarry is what makes these books special. He is violent,smart as contract killer but its his lines,humour that makes the books so enjoyable. Collins
Jason Seaver
Oct 31, 2009 Jason Seaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun but quick bit of pulp fiction. I don't think I've read any of Collins's Quarry books before, although the books in Two For the Money seem to take place in the same "world". Anyway, this is the some of the pulpiest stuff Hard Case publishes, a perfect example of a certain kind of fantasy - a hit man wading into a war between two casino owners, surviving despite getting occasionally knocked unconscious and getting laid by the best girls in the story. It gets a bit lazy at times, but it's goo ...more
Doctor Sax
Jan 22, 2014 Doctor Sax rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has everything classic Pulp Fiction requires....raunchy sex, violence, and a better than average mystery twist. I look forward to more from this series of Hard Case Crime!
Oct 29, 2009 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Broker is dead and Quarry has his files. His intent is to transition to preventative maintenance. Find out when a hit is set up, learn the victim, and make a deal with the victim to stop it and find out who set in up.

Haydees Port has two crime families coveting the same territory. Quarry jumps in the middle to protect one side for a fee so that he can buy a business and get completely out of this line of work.

As usual, things never go that smoothly. that's why Quarry gets the big bucks.
Britton George
Oct 02, 2015 Britton George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. The action, inner thoughts of Mac Conway aka Quarry, sexy vixens, gritty atmospheric tone, location/scenary all mesh together perfectly in this traditional pulp classic by Max Allan Collins. Loved his work since I got a copy of Road to Perdition and saw it in theaters back in 2002. I intend to read more Quarry novels as well as see the Cinemax TV show adaption of the books in 2016. Highly recommended series, Collins is a gifted storyteller.
Matthew Lipson
I fell in love with Max Allan Collins with my first Quarry book, Quarry's First. Since then I have read two other books of his and one other Quarry, Quarry's Ex. I have found all books very entertaining and the prose clear and fresh. I this book, though, I found the Quarry formula to be a little tired and the story on the whole predictable. While still enjoying the read, I found this book a little longer to finish than the others of his I have read.
Feb 23, 2010 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series of mostly new "pulp fiction". I may have grinned at inappropriate places while reading this. But it is a rare thing that I laugh at a book. At the denouement I said to myself, "why didn't he do that right away?" Then he did after closing the door.
It's pretty fun and it only took two hours to read.
Apr 25, 2016 Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rapid fire fun on every page. Collins has great fun with Quarry in the 80s, dropping topical references just for laughs, and keeps up an incredible pace up to very end. A breakneck read written so smoothly it goes down faster than a rum and Diet Coke from a casino waitress.
Another good read from MAC about his tough, wise-cracking hitman character Quarry. As MAC gets better at his craft the books get more interesting and the characters more three-dimensional. I'll probably read more of his stuff as it comes out.
James Hein
Dec 27, 2012 James Hein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series, the writing style is unique and the character of Quarry is the kind I like.

It is a quick read and a good way (for me at least) to clear the reading palate before starting another saga style of book.
I enjoyed "Last Quarry" but I didn't care for this one at all. The 80s setting felt painted on and not terribly authentic.

(ARC copy won from a Hard Case Crime twitter contest)
Craig Hansen
Jul 04, 2012 Craig Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not the best, or worst, installment in the Quarry series, Quarry in the Middle doesn't really stand out. It blends into the pack, telling an interesting, but not fascinating, story.
Sadie B
Oct 07, 2011 Sadie B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Essentially a trashy romance, but for men - guns, fighting and sex with hot strippers. And very short.
Feb 04, 2010 Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-bookshelf
A wonderful addition to Collins' Quarry canon. Great fun and another hit from Hard Case Crime.
Mary Cannon
Dec 05, 2009 Mary Cannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kick-*ss and hilarious. Love the Quarry books.......
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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 Last Quarry (Quarry #7)
  • The First Quarry (Quarry #8)
  • Quarry's Ex (Quarry #10)
  • The Wrong Quarry (Quarry #11)

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