Cold Shot to the Heart

Cold Shot to the Heart - Wallace Stroby I recently read Wallace Stroby's standalone novel Gone 'Til November, and was disappointed in it, mostly because of the inefficiency of the lead female character, who proved to be non-essential to the story and seemed terrible at being a police officer once the action started popping off. So I was a little hesitant going into this book. But, my worries were in vain! Stroby creates one badass series character in Crissa Stone (book 4, [b:The Devil's Share|23014743|The Devil's Share (Crissa Stone, #4)|Wallace Stroby||42580863], comes out next year), one that is a breath of fresh air in crime fiction. There are a bunch of female protagonists in crime today, but mostly of the do-gooder detective type, like Kinsey Millhone or Tess Monaghan, but I don't know of any straight rumble-tumble, female criminal antiheroes similar to Richard Stark's Parker. Until now. Or maybe not now, but in 2011, when this book came out...

Crissa Stone is an efficient thief, who's all business, always has a plan, never works near her home in NYC, has never needed to fire her gun on a job, and is careful about the people she works with. But it all goes to hell once pricey payoffs to the sleazy Texas lawyer dealing with the case of her imprisoned mentor, partner, and lover pressure her to take a job ripping off a high stakes poker game in South Florida. Things go south bad. And now Crissa is targeted by a psycho Mob hitter named Eddie The Saint.

I loved reading about Crissa going about her business and setting up heists. I always love reading about people being good at their jobs, and especially about women who can throw down on their own in a fight. But Crissa is not just an emotionless criminal. She's trying to make money to provide a nice life for her estranged daughter, who is being raised by Crissa's cousin and doesn't know Crissa at all. And she finally wants to have something of her own and set roots by finally buying her dream house in Connecticut. That's why she decides not to run. She needs to protect what's hers. So she decides to face off with Eddie The Saint. And stand tall while doing it.