Review by Booklist Review
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 2006 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved