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Quarry (Quarry #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  767 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Watch for Quarry on Cinemax! Cult favorite Quarry, the killer for hire, is back in print with this debut novel and four other early works by author Max Allan Collins. They don't come any harder-boiled than Quarry. After carrying out his assignment in a down-at-heels river town, the gunman finds someone has played him for a sucker. To figure out who, he must solve the murde ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Perfect Crime Books (first published January 28th 1976)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Quarry is hired to kill Albert Leroy, a virtual nobody. The job comes off without a hitch but when Quarry gets back to the apartment he'd been using as a lookout, his partner is dead and the money is gone. Quarry needs to know who hired them for the hit and the Broker is suspiciously uncooperative. Can Quarry find his partner's killer and get his money?

The three Quarry books published by Hard Case Crime were entertaining and so was this one. Quarry's a shit but you still end up rooting for him.
From the outset, Max Allan Collins establishes his Parker-like character, in hit-man Quarry as a methodical ice cold killer who fears nothing of bringing death to those he's been contracted to do so. A blistering opening sequence in an airport which ultimately sees Quarry carry out a rather clinical murder sets the tone of the character as well as providing a glimpse into the treacherous world of murder-for-hire. From then on in, the plot centres around a single contract brokered by the Quarry's ...more
Oct 18, 2015 F.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By the time we get to the 1970s there’s been a real change in the character of tough guy American fiction. In the immediate post-Second World War period there was still a curious, old school morality to the genre. Yes, there may have been murders, beatings, rape and general mayhem, but there was still a pretty clear binary sense of who was good and who was bad. Mike Hammer may do all types of things to get at his prey, but he is still a good guy and the bad guy (or bad gal, it’s nearly always a ...more
Feb 09, 2017 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, 2017
I got this book recommended based upon my taste for Richard Starks' Parker and Blocks' Keller both tough men that life on the other side of society. the less legal side one could say.

When we meet Quarry he is doing his job and killing a target at an airport, a job of opportunity as Quarry was around and this job needed to be done. Much to Quarry his chagrin he does the job well and makes his objections known to his boss "The broker". He then hget to his job he originally came for which is in ess
According to Max Allan Collins' afterward, This book was the first to be written of the Quarry series. It was re-released a few years later by his publisher with a different title: The Broker, a change he was unaware of, so when the opportunity to bring it out once again came around, he changed the title back to its original.

I like the Quarry series, but you can tell this was an early, unpolished work. Quarry's character is unsettled, and you get the feeling that Collins was struggling a little
Gary Sundell
Early Max Allen Collin's gets a 3.5 star rating. I have some more books in the series on my Nook and will read them sometime soon just to see the improvement in Collin's writing. Having read his run on Batman and Ms Tree I know his writing level from those efforts. Quarry thd character is a hired Killer and as expected in a hard boiled mystery is not a very nice guy.
Jan 08, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: noirboiled
If Max Allan Collins hadn’t written his Nolan novels, then Quarry would probably be known as his last-name-only homage to Richard Stark’s Parker. Collins freely admits that Nolan was a Parker rip-off, but he explains (in his afterword to the recently reissued Quarry) that with his Quarry novels he wanted to “take it up a notch” from the Parker/Nolan novels in two ways: First, Quarry would be a professional killer (rather than a professional thief). Second, Quarry would tell his own story in the ...more
It was great to finally read this, the first of the Quarry books. While I knew the high points of what happened, it was great to finally get all the details. I think this was one of Collins' first books & it's pretty good, but certainly not one of his best. Still, it introduces us to Quarry.

It's important to note that the next two books were published out of order. They are correctly ordered here on GR in the series:
but on Fantastic Fiction, they are o
Oct 28, 2016 ~IreneOust~ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Currently my favorite show on TV!

Can't wait to start this series!!

QUARRY trailer

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Aug 08, 2016 Harold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Right in the beginning I felt that MAC was overdoing the Parker imitation but soon enough the narrative captured me and I continued. All my criticisms were acknowledged by MAC in his afterwords. this was an early book and he was honing his chops.

Nov 09, 2016 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the book. If you're reading it because of the tv series, there's little relationship between the two. :-)
Jan 22, 2017 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Collins for awhile and have read several of his books in the Nate Heller and his Disaster series. This is the first Quarry book I have read and I was not disappointed! I recently saw the TV series on Cinemax based on the Quarry books so I was looking forward to reading this.

This first novel in the Quarry series was first published in 1976 and has now been reissued as part of the Hard Case Crime novels. The book is told from the first person perspective of a hired killer. Qu
Jan 20, 2016 Col rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c, 2016

Cult favorite Quarry, the killer for hire, is back in print with this debut novel and four other early works by author Max Allan Collins. They don't come any harder-boiled than Quarry. After carrying out his assignment in a down-at-heels river town, the gunman finds someone has played him for a sucker. To figure out who, he must solve the murder he committed. This new edition includes a previously unpublished Afterword by the author.
My take.......

The start of another
May 31, 2011 Mohammed rated it liked it
Shelves: noir
I liked reading Quarry first story but you can see it was written by a very young Max Allan Collins. He hasnt mastered the hardcore,nasty qualities of Quarry. The twisted humor isnt there like in the new Hard Case Crime books.

A good novel for being one of his first written but i like Quarry that is more hardcore, more amoral. This story he was almost a good guy which is not what you expect of Quarry.

Still Quarry is rare, interesting for a character like him and is second only to Richard Stark's
Scott Bell
Did not finish, lost interest.
The first Quarry novel published but the second chronologically and also the second one I've read. More Quarry goodness in the form of a likable but morally bankrupt protagonist plus generous helpings of sex, violence, and intrigue. As far as actual plot goes this one was probably the most gripping I’ve read. Most authors would probably have saved this inevitable kind of story for further on in a series but Collins came right out of the gate with this one and I commend him for it.
Ian Mond
Feb 09, 2014 Ian Mond rated it liked it
It’s fun. A bit sexist but fun nonetheless.

Quarry – not his real name – is a killer for hire. His main customer is a bloke called The Broker – also not his real name – who provides Quarry with his hits. The relationship between Quarry and The Broker is strained at the start of the novel. That relationship fractures when a hit goes terribly wrong.

You’ve probably read a book like this before. But given that it was written in 1976 I’m sure the novel was fresh and original at the time it was publish
Dec 23, 2016 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Have you worked the front office of the fertilizer plant for so long you don’t remember it’s shit you’re selling?”

This is me dipping my toe into 70s Noir, something I have never read before. It was ok but not great - my view of the 70s in general. Lots of shallow sex with deep muffs, greasy queers, and sleepless nights. Add in the violence and I can see this fitting in nicely on Cinemax.

I'm going to put this on my Lovable Criminals shelf, though it's a stretch, because I'll only read anoth
Jun 25, 2015 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
PROTAGONIOST: Quarry, hitman
WHY: Quarry is a hitman who normally works for a man he calls Broker. The assignment is in a small town; Quarry can't figure out why the hit is called on a seemingly harmless man named Albert Leroy. He pulls off the job, but then things go south. He ends up staying in the town after the hit to wrap up the loose ends. A few weak points, but overall enjoyable.
I've enjoyed other books by Max Allan Collins, in particular the Disaster Series, so I thought I might enjoy one of his earlier works again available from Amazon for the Kindle. Here he creates an amoral character, like Highsmith's Ripley, but with dialog that reminds me of Elmore Leonard. Very quick and easy read but enjoyable if you don't mind reading about a hired killer that is your lead character.
Dec 20, 2015 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am now a pulp crime fiction fan.
Jan 02, 2016 Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally getting my primal on with this guy. He does shooting, sexing playboy bunnies, plays pool, goes swimming...also, i love that Max Allan Collins was mentored by Richard Yates!
John Treanor
Nov 11, 2015 John Treanor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like the Richard Stark/Parker stuff, you should dig this!
Quarry by Max Allan Collins is the first book in the Quarry series. Quarry is the only name we the readers are given for the main character. The normal speaking language of the book makes this novel easy to slide into. This narrative is like wading through murky waters. Quarry is faced pace and is very much a roller coaster that won't let go. Collins builds a world of true danger and intrigue while not giving the reader more than the absolute bare necessities. The world is a seedy underbelly com ...more
Mar 09, 2017 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
I quite enjoyed this '70s-era crime novel. I'm quite looking forward to reading the next Quarry book (and am loving that Hard Case Crime has brought all the Quarry books together with Robert McGinnis covers).
Liam Green
Jun 12, 2017 Liam Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic pulp

Meat and potatoes hardboiled noir here, to be sure, but excellently done. Quarry is the foundation for so many of the nastier pieces of work throughout modern crime fiction, so anyone practicing that art owes him a tip of the cigarette.
Jun 18, 2017 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I wanted a change from my normal horror fare. This was that change, and there are like sixteen more in the series as well as a cinemax show as well. I will of course have to read the books first if I should decide to watch the tv version.
May 18, 2017 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: project_2017
A wild ride!…definitely guy-lit (and I also enjoy chick-lit occasionally, so ladies, a book for you also)…classic hard-boiled hero phrasing…delightful pass-the-time crime book…read it…
Oct 22, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book about a very bad person. Like all Collins books, it is a good read that you don't want to put down.
Mar 25, 2017 Troy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Quarry but not my last...

I really enjoyed this first appearance of Max Collins character Quarry. I got interested in reading this novel after watching the new Cinemax TV series. Entertaining read enough for me to order the original paperback, The Broker (1976).
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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 14 books)
  • Quarry's List (Quarry, #2)
  • Quarry's Deal (Quarry, #3)
  • Quarry's Cut (Quarry, #4)
  • Primary Target (Quarry #5)
  • Quarry's Greatest Hits (Quarry #6)
  • The Last Quarry (Quarry #7)
  • 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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