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Delete Post Manage Blog Sometimes in the rush to share newly-discovered authors I forget to even mention some old favorites. For example, I’ve been a fan of Max Allen Collins for a lot of years. In the 21st century, Collins practically defines hard boiled crime fiction. Before he wrote Road to Perdition, before was collaborating with Mickey Spillane, before he was raising the level of comic book writing on Batman, he was reinventing Dick Tracy after Chester Gould stopped writing the strip. He also wrote a series starring my favorite fictional hit man, Quarry. I thought he had closed out the series, but he had one more gift in store for us.

The First Quarry” is, as you might suspect, a prequel revealing Quarry’s first murder for hire. The job is simple - kill a college professor and destroy a manuscript he’s writing. The fact that the manuscript is filled with information about a mafia family does complicate things, especially since the head of a notorious crime family send Quarry to do the job. It is great fun to see the pro I know working as a newbie, with a newbie’s judgment. If you’re not already a diehard Max Allen Collins fan, you can cure that weakness quickly by reading this great book.

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