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Download Quarry in the Middle (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)) epub

by Max Allan Collins

Download Quarry in the Middle (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)) epub
ISBN: 0843961244
ISBN13: 978-0843961249
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: Max Allan Collins
Language: English
Publisher: Hard Case Crime (October 27, 2009)
Pages: 206 pages
ePUB size: 1292 kb
FB2 size: 1282 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 481
Other Formats: txt lit docx lrf

I've given this Quarry novel three stars because it reads like a script for one of those Hollywood TV action soaps (e.g. NCIS) which are manufactured by the mile and cut off each week for consumption by the yard. You may like the series as a whole, but individual episodes follow a set formula with similar characters, tropes, snarkers, and sight gags. There're enjoyable empty calories aplenty but no development or depth. These shortcomings are particularly noticeable whenever the author resorts to silly Ian Flemingisms where the hero "gets lucky" at the drop of a hat: a cute stripper "just happens" to ask him a favor...and she "just happens" to be around to save him and his enemies "just happen" to meet in a diner where Quarry "just happens" to be eating lunch and they "just happen" to discuss key details of their dastardly plot. And so on. Such is QitM.

Its TV script style feel is carried over into the work's odd length - too long for a novella and too short for a proper novel. Like it had to fit into 60 minutes of screening time on the Wednesday 20:30h time slot. For example, a lady who has a mission to collect him 40 miles out of town only discusses the situation when they get back to his motel room! What! You drove 40 miles and didn't speak??? And there are other examples of strangenesses too - like extended and redundant descriptions of a room's furnishings and a pointless poker game (channeling James Bond vs. Hugo Drax methinks).

That said, the story is entertaining within its limits and you can blitz though it relatively quickly for its action never slows. But honestly, only MAC's reputation and writing talent lifts this above the lackluster.

Yes, having come straight from the superb Quarry's Choices you can color me disappointed with Quarry in the Middle.
Collins is one of the most prolific authors of the last several decades. He has written dozens of books, including his Nathan Heller series, his Mallory series, and his Quarry series. He is also well-known for taking over writing the Dick Tracy comic strip, his Road to Perdition series which resulted in a well-received movie starring Paul Newman, and for completing a number of Mickey Spillane's books, including several great Mike Hammer books.

Quarry in the Middle is Collins' ninth book in the Quarry series which began with Quarry in 1976, and includes Quarry's List, Quarry's Deal, Quarry's Cut, Quarry's Vote, Quarry's Greatest Hits, The Last Quarry, The First Quarry, Quarry's Ex, and Wrong Quarry. As detailed in the First Quarry, Quarry is a former Vietnam veteran whose real name is never disclosed to the reader. He comes back, finds his fiancé in bed with another guy, finds that guy working under his car and kicks the jack out, survives a murder trial, and is then recruited by a mysterious figure named the Broker to carry out hits and we don't mean hits in baseball.

In Quarry in the Middle, Quarry no longer works for the Broker, who is no longer among the living. Rather, Quarry has obtained the Broker's lists of contacts and he follows the hired assassins, staking them out and figuring out who their prey is. Once he is confident in that information, he offers a deal to the targets, he will, for a price, take out their hitmen and find whoever is the responsible party. I guess everyone needs a career doing something.

Quarry in the Middle is firmly set in small-town (Haydee's Port) Midwest in the mid-1980's. Collins reinforces that setting in time and place by his descriptions of the cars used at the time, the music playing on the radio, the posters on the walls in the decrepit bars, and the hair and outfits worn by the folks peopling this small waste of a town. The women, for instance, often have frizzed hair and pink tube tops.

Quarry follows a man he knows is a mob hitman to a small town with one wreck of a hotel, a run-down main street filled with bars and dives, and a run-down casino by the river. Both the casino and one of the bars on main street are run by guys who are rival and who both have heavy Chicago connections. Quarry is not a secretive a he would like to be as both of the mobbed-up rivals in this town clue into the fact he is not the vetinary drug salesman he pretends to be.
Quarry checks into the same motel as the hitman he is following which leads to some amusing scenes as Quarry comes out of the motel pool after doing laps and sees the hitman sitting next to where Quarry left his rolled-up towel with a nine-millimeter wrapped in it.

This Quarry book is non-stop action as Quarry rolls into one fight after another and into one bed after another. In this book, Quarry is definitely single and definitely on the make.
Collins never lets the reader forget however that all the action is taking place in this small town waste of a town in the 1980's Midwest and that most of the people in this town have nothing but a bleak future ahead of them. His descriptions of the casinos and clubs and the denizens in them are just right on. Collins also takes the reader step by step through a high-stakes poker game.

All in all, although this book may be nothing more than another chapter in the Quarry series, it is a fun, worthwhile read, firmly in the hard case crime tradition. Expect to finish the book the same day you start it.
I never leave a Max Allen Collins book thinking I got robbed, I'm beginning to think this guy can't write a bad book. I love his style, it's strictly Hard-Boiled stuff, the mode some may refer to as "pulp" and turn up their nose. For those so inclined to dismiss, you have my profound sympathy. Call his books and style what you will, Max Allen Collins never fails to deliver entertainment with a captial E. If you haven't read his Heller series you have a treat in store. Most of these books can be purchased for pennies and you will find it difficult if not impossible to put them down. I've only just begun his Quarry series and here again, I find myself turning electronic page after page long after I should have gone to sleep. Max has apparently had a long career as a successful novelist, screenwriter and playwright. I'm not sure if he's still writing, but I would hope so for fiction's sake. For those who would like to hunker down with a good read that does what fiction should do, and that's entertain first and foremost, with no sermonizing either philosophically, religiously or politically Max Allen Collins is your guy. J B Bergstad - Kindle Author writing as Matt James. [ASIN:B002TSB0UA Screwing the Pooch - New Revised Edition] [ASIN:B00CDAQ4PU Hyde's Corner - Book I - No Man's Land (Hyde's Corner Trilogy)
Quarry books are fun pulp fiction. The fact that the protagonist is actually a killer, frees him from the rules which would encumber a law enforment officer. However, these books do follow a fomula, so once you've read a couple, they get repetitive.
Collins never disappoints me. Quarry is one of the most confusing characters, you want to think he is a good guy then he becomes ruthless with no conscience. Collins is always a great read, very entertaining.