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Quarry is a paid killer, not some moping hit man with a conscience. Just a careful, efficient guy who believes in a day's work for a day's pay. Collins, author of the Nate Heller series, among dozens of other novels and short stories, worked Quarry into his oeuvre in the 1970s and '80s. This anthology brings together three Quarry short stories and one novel. The latter, Primary Target, written in 1987 and generally overlooked, finds Quarry retired and living a quiet life on his Wisconsin vacation resort. He's married with a child on the way. Then he's asked to kill a presidential candidate. He declines. The folks who made the offer can't afford to have anyone alive know their plan. They try for Quarry but get his family. Bad mistake. The three stories included here reflect Collins' sardonic humor and his extraordinary ability to take his plots on an unexpected detour or two. Odds are that, after sampling this fine collection, Collins' enthusiastic fans will demand the return of Quarry. Wes Lukowsky
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