The First Quarry (Hard Case Crime Novels)
Max Allan Collins
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BIG MAN ON CAMPUS
Crime fiction readers know Quarry, the ruthless killer-for-hire, from Max Allan Collins’ acclaimed novels – most recently THE LAST QUARRY, which told the story of the assassin’s final assignment (and was the basis for the feature film The Last Lullaby).
But where did Quarry's story start? For first time ever, the best-selling author of ROAD TO PERDITION takes us back to the beginning, revealing the never-before-told story of Quarry’s first job: infiltrating a college campus and eliminating a professor whose affair with one of his beautiful, young students is the least of his sins…
beer back on the end table, then got up and went over to the bed. She took the gun from the pillow and she turned around and the nine millimeter was huge in her orange-nailed hand. Her expression was a little crazy. But crazy enough. She said, “You know I could just kill the son of a bitch.” “Not a good idea. Give me that.” “Or maybe you could. Would you kill him for me?” She seemed a little drunk. Maybe that hadn’t been her first beer. “No. That’s not a toy.” She handed it to me, with a
pulled into a little rest stop right off the Interstate. So did I. The brick building was small, a glorified shed. Through its smoky glass front doors glowed vending machines. A car and two open spaces were between the Eldorado and where I sat in the Maverick. I watched the now hatless Leon rush in, holding his belly. Casually I got out of the Ford and walked into the little rest stop building. I had been able to glimpse a disgusted Charlie sitting at the wheel of the parked Eldorado, beating
the heel of his hand against the steering wheel, possibly in tune to something on his radio. The engine was going. Inside, the vending machines and a bulletin board that was mostly a big map of Illinois were in between the doors marked MEN at left and WOMEN at right. Next to the WOMEN’S door, just past the bulletin board, was another door that said PRIVATE. I tried that door; it was locked. Over in one corner was an abandoned mop and pail, and a yellow plastic sign, an inverted V that said,
the apartment house parking lot, and came up along the rider’s side of the Thunderbird. The heavier-set pock-faced weasel was behind the wheel again, and I startled him a little. I leaned in and grinned at him and made the roll-the-window-down motion, even though I knew the windows were electric, and when the glass was no longer between us, he said, “You scared me for a second, you dumb shit,” and I shot him in the head. The other weasel jumped a little as his partner’s brains splattered him in
second floor of a house with which you’re unfamiliar—what do you do? You stumble in the dark. Perhaps you fall down a flight of stairs to your own death.” “You’re saying this is not about blundering in, pulling a trigger, and blundering out.” “Correct.” “Well, I know that.” I shrugged and poured some more Coke. “I learned this particular skill taking part in missions that were well-thought-out.” “Really? How is that war going?” Well, he had a point. He exhaled smoke. Then he sipped coffee.