Fans of Collins (Road to Perdition) will be delighted to find him resurrecting Quarry, the ruthless hit-man he put to rest years ago, after six Quarry novels and a small handful of short stories. Now living and relaxing in the Minnesota woods, Quarry is lured out of retirement by a Chicago media magnate who wants a seemingly harmless young librarian dead. But when he winds up falling for his target, one Janet Wright, Quarry begins second-guessing his assignment and experiences an uncharacteristic change of heart that almost gets him killed. Stemming from Collins's screenplay for the award-winning short film A Matter of Principal, this novel covers a lot of ground in a small space—a credit to the distinct, wry voice Collins has given Quarry, who doesn't waste anything, least of all words: "Louis cracked open the door and peered out and said, 'What is it?' and I shot him in the eye." Compact enough to be read in a couple of sittings but bristling with suspense and sexuality, this book is a welcome addition to the Hard Crime Case library and, if there's any justice, will spark sales of Collins's back-catalogue titles. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
This novel's provenance is as interesting as its plot. It started as a much-anthologized short story, "A Matter of Principle," which is also the basis of a soon-to-be released feature film called Shades of Noir. Now, in expanded form, it's become a novel, the first appearance of Collins' hit-man hero, Quarry, in 30 years. Fans of classic pulp fiction will be spellbound by the no-nonsense Quarry, an antihero who mixes irony, violence, and a lingering touch of humanity in just the right proportions. It begins with a conundrum: Why would a gay Mafia thug be buying Tampax at a remote Minnesota convenience store in the middle of the night? Curiosity drives Quarry to find out, and soon enough he has accepted one last assignment from a Chicago millionaire. When he finds himself falling in love with his intended victim, the initial conundrum becomes a hit man's nightmare. Collins never misses a beat, as Quarry finds himself vulnerable to a potentially lethal strain of emotional ambiguity. All the stand-up pleasures of dime-store pulp with a beguiling level of complexity. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.