Quarry's Ex is an excellent entry in the Quarry series by Max Allan Collins. The series is about an anti-hero murder-for-hire hit man. As with all the novels in the series, the first-person narration is conversational, humorous, and compelling.
There are two kinds of Quarry novels: The first type is where Quarry is hired to kill someone, the second is where Quarry is hired to stop another hitman from killing someone. Both types are equally great. In Quarry's Ex, our hero follows a hitman to the on-location filming of a movie to determine who is about to be killed and prevent the murder from happening. Along the way, he gets entangled with a woman from his past, several Hollywood bozos, and a mobster B-movie financier. There’s plenty of sex and violence along with an actual mystery to be solved.
The books were written in both the 1970s and the 2000s with a large publication gap in the middle of the series. The publication order is not the series order. The series begins and ends respectively, with The First Quarry and The Last Quarry. Beyond that, reading order doesn’t really matter. There is no discernible difference in quality between the 1970s installments and the 2000s. All of them take place in the post-Vietnam 1970s and early 1980’s.
I’ve never read a bad Quarry novel, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Highly recommended for hard-boiled genre fans.
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