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Quarry's List - Max Allan Collins After a botched hit at his lakehouse, Quarry goes looking for a hitman named Ash who has supposedly stepped into the void left by the Broker's unfortunate demise. Quarry quickly finds out things go a lot deeper than that. But what do Ash and his cronies have to do with the mysterious woman Quarry meets at the hotel?

I can't say much more about the plot without giving too much away although the ending leads nicely into the later books. Quarry's List has all the hallmarks of a Quarry story: violence, sex, and scheming, leading to a violent showdown. While it's not as good as the Quarry books published by Hard Case Crime, it's easy to see the potential is there. One of the things I'm enjoying about these early Quarry books is watching Collins develop as a writer.

So why only a 3? The Quarry series is one I enjoyed the hell out until I had a run-in with the author on my blog. Now, the little flaws that would have been like molehills resemble meteor craters. Once again, Quarry is in the Quad cities of Iowa and once again, the law is never around. The Broker's wife is pretty much just someone for Quarry to nail in between gunfights. One thing that bothered me that probably wouldn't have on another day is that Quarry was on stakeout leaning against a tree while reading the newspaper. I just happened to have read The Judas Goat by Robert Parker and that's one of the big no-no's of a stakeout, according to Spenser.

Quarry's List was a pretty entertaining read for what it was but the Quarry books put out by Hard Case were better.