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Quarry (Quarry #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  239 ratings  ·  21 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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Dan 1.0
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
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
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
Ian Mond
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
Quarry was suddenly losing trust in his longtime associates. First Boyd, his back-up for a number of years, had almost gotten him killed. A gay man, he seemed to be letting relationship problems get in the way of business.

Then the Broker had sent him into a small town for a hit, then bumped him off, at first, onto an assignment that had never been part of his "job." He had to play leg-stomper with a man who had stolen something and was flying out of the area. The man denied and had to be persua
Claire Davis
One of those you take a chance on and then can't put down.

One of those you take a chance on and then can't put down.

Fast action and highly entertaining. Quarry is the anti hero and very refreshing reading after all the good cop detective novels I usually enjoy. I will definitely read more of this author.

This first book in the quarry series introduces the nihilistic hitman as a Vietnam vet who acted as a hitman.

When a job is botched, and his partner killed, Quarry tires to find out what happened. Who hired a hit on a small town nobody? His boss, The Broker, doesn't like this at all.

Great 70s sleaze.
Barbara Baker
More fun pulp reading, nice to get more into the character of Quarry. Does make me want to read more from the series.
#1 in the Quarry series. A fabulous start to the series; but at the end, you would be hard pressed to predict that there would be a sequel, let alone that 34 years later there would be 10 entries in the series.

Quarry has been set up in business as a hitman by The Broker. A job in Port City goes bad; the hit goes almost too smoothly, but Quarry's lookout, Boyd, is killed and their fee stolen. Against The Broker's orders, Quarry stays in town to uncover their client and recover the stolen money.
un ottimo inizio, un ottimo hard-boiled. peccato per il finale lievemente (ma solo lievemente) consolatorio, per il senso di quasi redenzione. per fortuna c'è dell'altro, con cui continuare. c'è la promessa di un inizio (the first Quarry) e di una fine (the last Quarry), più tutto quel che c'è nel mezzo. c'è un autore per me nuovo che conosce i meccanismi della narrazione, e ci gioca come si deve.
Dave Story
Though a homage to the Parker series, Quarry is a pretty straightforward gun-for-hire with a head on his shoulders. The writing doesn't have the same smoothness or as interesting a protagonist as the Parker books, but there's enough action and intrigue going on to mostly make up for it. Hopefully Quarry fleshes out in later books.

Ed [Redacted]
A pretty good book. I liked the newer Quarry books better (the Hard Case Crime ones), but this one was just fine. Boy Quarry is a serious asshole in this one. That along with a little 70's issue misogyny knocked this one down a star or so. It is still a worthwhile read, especially for fans of Quarry.
Chris Leach
Quarry is one of my favourite characters in fiction. It's not for his charm or humour, his views or quirks. I like Quarry because he's a psychopath and is unrepentant.
A lean, mean crime novel, almost tame by today's standards, slightly dated by 40-year-old attitudes toward the few gay characters (which were appropriate for the time), but surprisingly timeless otherwise.
An early one from Max Allan Collins. Quarry is a hitman who gets a case in a tiny Midwestern town. When all hell breaks lose, he finds himself trying to solve a mystery and save his own life.
Mark Stratton
Workmanlike, predictable, yet there were interesting aspects to both the character and the plot. Much was telegraphed, but still...I wanted to read another book in the series if that says anything.
A well written, fast-paced story. While the story has a good deal of violence, its not gratuitous.
James Elkins
While I enjoyed the story I felt the format was too large.
Peter Ackerman
Good (and the first) but not the best in the series
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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 12 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)
  • 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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