Review by Booklist Review
Chronology is always a little tricky in Collins' Quarry series. Take this one. It's a new entry, but the story is set in the 1970s, when the first Quarry thrillers were written. The hit man with a heart of steel (and a skewed sense of, well, just deserts) is working for the Broker, a murder middleman who farms out hired kills to his operatives. This time it's more complicated than usual: Quarry and his partner, Boyd, must first dispatch the hitters sent to eliminate the publisher of the Memphis-based porn mag, Climax; then determine who hired the hitters; and, finally, get rid of them, too. All in a few days' work for the resourceful Quarry, of course, who developed his killing chops as a Vietnam sniper, but along the way Collins treats us to a wonderfully vivid look at the pornography industry in its heyday. From publishers to centerfolds to strippers to feminist protesters, he cuts through the stereotypes with quick bits of subtle characterization (but, please, don't say you're reading a book with Climax in the title only for the characters).--Ott, Bill Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Set in 1975, MWA Grand Master Collins's taut 14th Quarry novel (after 2016's Quarry in the Black) presents a peculiar challenge for the professional hit man. Instead of simply killing his target, Quarry is tasked by his employer, the Broker, with protecting Max Climer, the Memphis-based publisher of a raunchy skin magazine called Climax, from a hit that has been assigned to parties unknown-and then eliminating the rival hit men. Quarry travels from his home in Paradise Lake, Wis., to Memphis, where he joins forces with his longtime partner, Boyd, a proficient assassin, and the two plunge into the city's underworld in search of those out to get Climer. One of the book's pleasures is watching the cold-blooded Quarry make tactical decisions with utter logic. Fun, too, is Quarry's raffish way with the women he meets at every turn, leading to several colorful (and explicit) assignations. Numerous '70s pop culture references leaven the criminal proceedings in this deft exercise in the business of violence. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A 1970s hit man who starred in last year's Cinemax series gets his strangest assignment to date: to prevent an unknown rival contractor from killing his target.Jack Quarrynot his real namecan hardly believe his ears when the Broker, who sends a good deal of work his way, tells him that he not only turned down a contract to have Memphis porn king Max Climer killed, but that he wants to make sure that whoever got the contract fails. Climer, whose operations have grown from the Climax Club to Climax, the magazine that's giving Playboy and Hustler runs for their money, is just too big a money-spinner for the Broker to lose. That means somebody else has to lose: first whoever's been hired to kill Max, then whoever did the hiring. Who might want Max dead? Pretty much everybody, says the Broker. But Quarry (Quarry in the Black, 2016, etc.) meets precious few candidates for the honor, because this isn't that kind of story. Arriving in Memphis with his gay partner, Boyd, whose partnership, he insists, is purely professional, Quarry instantly makes his way to Max's office in order to show him how lax his security is. Max, hearing his story, hires him ostensibly as a security consultant, leaving Quarry free to prowl around the Climax Club, meeting Vernon, Max's cousin and sidekick; Vernon's daughter, Cordelia Colman, who demonstrates her rebellious streak by joining local protests against Climax Enterprises, which sounds absolutely worthy of them; and coupling with every stripper and publisher's niece he can find, till he protests, "How much sex did these people think I could stand?" Plenty of fatalities, but you won't mourn them, since they're all a lot more forgettable than the vintage '70s soundtrack that seems to be pounding away in every room in Memphis. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.