Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Quarry Redux

I don’t know what’s more fun – a brand new Quarry novel by Max Allan Collins or another chance for artist Robert McGinnis to create a tastefully erotic cover painting of a young woman in her underwear. Luckily, you can get both in the latest literary madeline (read your Proust, tough guys and dolls) from Hard Case Crime.

The last time we saw the world class hitman known as Quarry, 20 years ago, he had decided to retire from the murder-for-hire racket. Collins – who has ideas the way other writers have coffee – went on to write another series (about detective Nate Heller, who always seem to be on hand when history happens), graphic novels (like Road to Perdition) which became good movies, and was the wordsmith in charge of the Dick Tracy comic strip.

Still, Quarry seems to have been lurking somewhere in Collins' artistic attic. The Last Quarry, which began as a short film script and is now a full-length one, returns to his old ways for a large fee to cancel a lovely young librarian’s account – with exciting and revealing results…