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The Wrong Quarry (Hard Case Crime) Paperback – January 7, 2014

46 customer reviews
Book 11 of 11 in the Quarry Series

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Editorial Reviews


"The book delivers a solid and satisfying plot that will appeal to readers who like their crime especially hardboiled."- The Mystery 

"Fans of hardboiled suspense will enjoy Collins’ latest thriller, as it delivers up enough sex, violence, and grim humor to satisfy the most demanding pulp reader." - Mystery Scene

"Collins’ forte is in writing crime novels set in period, and The Wrong Quarry captures the early eighties scene beautifully." - Blogcritics

“Highest possible recommendation!” I Love a Mystery

"Very tough and cool and with a pleasantly nasty sense of humor." - Comic Book Resources

"Quarry is a classic hardboiled character: tough, smart, and dangerous. The plot was lean and hard and the character wry and charming. Collins is a worthy successor to Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane, and Quarry may be his best character. I enjoyed this book enough that I plan on tracking down the other Quarry novels, so obviously this is highly recommended." - Fandom Post 

"The perfect jumping point for all newcomers and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for some intelligent hard boiled detective fun." -

"Pulp fiction fans won’t be able to put their hands down on this new Quarry novel as it revolves around gritty action, hard-boiled violence and hot sex." - Retrenders

"Fast-paced and full of sex and murder. Think Twin Peaks without the supernatural." - Super Punch

"This book has a little bit of everything including mystery, suspense and sex." - Examiner

"If you are a fan of gritty, hard boiled storytelling that shows a bit of heart……and every other organ in the human body, you might want to give The Wrong Quarry a try." - Geek Hard

"Written very well." - Project Fandom

"Kept me reading from page one straight till the end...a fun and twisty journey, full of great sights and meticulous detail." - Nerd Span

"Quarry is an excellent addition to the catalog of hard-boiled (anti-)heroes. His exploits are different enough to bring a refreshing uniqueness to the genre without upending it entirely, and are written in such a way as to pack maximum entertainment into a fast-paced page-turner of a read." - Criminal Element

"The Wrong Quarry is a great blend of suspense, sex, and sensation that will keep you engaged and intrigued until it’s surprising conclusion." - Geek Nutz

"Hard-edged storytelling at its best" - Awkward Geeks

"The dry wit and action throughout makes for an entertaining read and leaves you wanting more." - The Celebrity Cafe

"Pure entertainment for fans of old-school, hard-boiled prose." - Booklist

About the Author

MAX ALLAN COLLINS is the best-selling, award-winning author of Road to Perdition, the graphic novel that inspired the Oscar-winning movie starring Paul Newman and Tom Hanks, and of the acclaimed Nathan Heller series of historical hardboiled mysteries.  He also wrote the Dick Tracy newspaper comic strip for years, as well as novels based on numerous major movies and TV series ranging from Saving Private Ryan, Air Force One, and American Gangster to CSI, Bones and NYPD Blue.  Also a filmmaker himself, Collins’ films include "Shades of Noir," "Real Time," and the documentary "Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane."

Product Details

  • Series: Hard Case Crime
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Case Crime; Advanced Readers Copy edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781162662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781162668
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Max Allan Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of original mysteries, a Shamus award winner and an experienced author of movie adaptions and tie-in novels. His graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION was made into a major motion picture by Tom Hanks's production company, Playtone.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dennis P. Donohoe on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you haven't read any of Max Allan Collins' Quarry books, this is the right Quarry (sorry) to start with. The opening sentence grabs your attention and the book is a page turner right up until the surprise ending. Collins gets you involved with and caring about Quarry, even though he is pretty much amoral (Quarry, not Collins). I like all the books in the Quarry series, but this is the best. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Field on January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
I sure would hate to come up with plots for the Quarry novels. The books are formulaic (in the very best sense) like Richard Stark's Parker books - a heist needs to be carried out, a person needs to be rubbed out. What makes the books sing are the theme and variations, the twists and obstacles that Quarry encounters in trying to complete a job (or to keep another assassin from doing his job). The author needs to strike a balance between the familiar outlines of the series and a plausible problem to propel the novel.

In "The Wrong Quarry" Max Allan Collins deepens Quarry's character and has him show concern for others without making him soft and squishy, an idea that in the hands of a lesser writer could deflate like a ruined souffle. MAC deftly juggles the suspense and the human interest, making this Quarry outing especially memorable. Reviewing a Quarry novel is tough, since too much plot description acts as a spoiler to would-be readers. I guess it's enough to say that MAC provides another hard-edged, darkly funny, and twisted (and twisty) novel that will satisfy readers of hardboiled crime fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randy Johnson VINE VOICE on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Max Allan Collins ever since I discovered the Nathan Heller books during a low period in my life when I haunted the local library for a couple of years when the money got tight. Gradually I've filled in as many of the old titles as I could while keeping up with the new ones as they emerged.

The Quarry books are a particular favorite, the hitman turned-well not exactly an angel-but a man with his own system of honor.

Nowadays, armed with the Broker's old list of hitmen, which he was once a part of, he makes his living finding them, watching for a target, and offering these folks protection. For a fee of course. He'll get rid of the killers and find out who hired them. For another fee naturally.

Now in the small town of Stockwell, he finds himself involved in something more. And he goes about learning the truth in his usual methodical manner, all the while with an eye on his back.

Mr. Collins does his usual superb job of building his story and surprising the reader more than once along the way.

Most excellent.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Almost a dozen books strong, the "Quarry" series is good, gritty fun, this latest entry included. Our man, code name "Quarry" (you guessed that, right?) is a former hitman who now makes a living offering protection to the targets of other hitmen. How Quarry knows what hitmen are out there and who their targets are is once again quickly explained so we can get to the story at hand. This time out, Quarry offers his services to a pretty inoffensive small-town dance instructor who has apparently gained the enmity of someone... to the point where that someone wants the dance instructor not only dead, but tortured for hours beforehand. Pretty weird, huh? Quarry certainly thinks so, and is genuinely curious about what's going on.

The Quarry books jump around in time and can be read in any order; this one is set in the early 80's so there's a lot of entertaining detail (both from Quarry in particular and author Collins generally) about the culture of the time. But, as in past adventures, that observational detail (much of it humorous) definitely serves the book's primary purpose of telling a bang-up story heavy on mystery, danger, and sex.

I also had to smile a little this time. The world of antiques (antiques stores, antiques shows, etc.) often shows up as a plot point in Max Allan Collins' works, and he even has a series (co-written with his wife) that regularly sets mysteries in that world. The funny thing is, the business of antiques is usually treated affectionately by the author. Here, the advance hitman Quarry is observing during the course of the dance instructor case kills time while off duty by cruising antiques stores and making purchases for his own antiques business, which in itself is funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Hillman on January 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
Quarry is a professional killer, but not a murderer . . . there is a difference. Over the course of several novels, Quarry remains a "matter-of-fact" existential. Yes, we have a gritty mystery here, complete with blood and gore, sex and perversion, yet we also see a self-employed, hard working professional. Max Allan Collin's anti-hero tells the story in first person, so the reader experiences the unconventional plot as it unfolds. It isn't every day that you can sink your teeth into the mind of a capitalistic killer.

Of note, the characters come alive in this novel. From Jenny's gift at the bar, freely given, to sexy Mustang Sally, an eye-popping beauty, and the stakeout antique dealer with a nose resembling "a potato with nostrlls and zits", I truly pictured both the people and places depicted in this novel. I felt like I was there . . . right along with Mr. Quarry.

I recommend this book without reservation. The twists and turns related through the narrative will keep you entertained and guessing. If you have not followed Collin's work, this novel will have you seeking out the author's whole Quarry back catalog. But rest assured, after reading all Collin's Quarry work, and I hear another Quarry tale is in the works, you will feel compelled to read everything he has written, including his Mallory, Heller, Nolan, and other masterpieces.

You don't need to consume the Quarry books in any particular order. To say I enjoyed this latest entry in the exploits of Quarry would be an understatement.
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