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Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone Novels) Paperback – November 22, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Crissa Stone Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stroby (The Barbed-Wire Kiss) pits a resourceful crook against a ruthless killer in this well-crafted crime novel. Crissa Stone carefully weighs risks and rewards and her criminal associates' skills before undertaking a caper. Ex-con Eddie Santiago (aka Eddie the Saint) will kill on principle or for a buck. After one of Stone's men kills Lou Letteri, whom they intended only to rob in a high-stakes Fort Lauderdale, Fla., card game, things go sour in a hurry. Lou was the son-in-law of a Jersey mobster, who hires Santiago to avenge the dead man. When Santiago finds a weak link and starts rolling up the chain leading to Stone, running may not be an option for her as the action builds to the inevitable and exciting showdown. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This is a raw, hard-edged, noirish novel, dark and violent. It’s good, too, with a plot easy enough to follow without too much back-paging and a heroine who listens to Bach between gun battles and turns out to be surprisingly likable. Crissa Stone is a robber for hire, now employed by a mobster who wants her and two cronies to break into a Fort Lauderdale hotel and bust up a card game that has a million bucks on the table. The three miscreants decide to rappel down the side of the building. The scenes of preparation and execution are chilling. But the heist goes wrong. A man is killed because, we’re told, one of the gunmen spooked. But maybe not. Could the caper be disguised murder for hire? Why else does Crissa suddenly find herself pursued by a reptile called Eddie the Saint? Their clashes are cinematic: hurtling cars and bloodstained snow. Stroby has been called a nascent Crumley or Pelecanos. He shares their sense that cynicism is the last pose left to a romantic. --Don Crinklaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Crissa Stone Novels (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312552726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312552725
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wallace Stroby is an award-winning journalist and the author of the novels THE DEVIL'S SHARE, SHOOT THE WOMAN FIRST, KINGS OF MIDNIGHT, COLD SHOT TO THE HEART, GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER, THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE and THE BARBED-WIRE KISS, which was a finalist for the 2004 Barry Award for Best First Novel. A New Jersey native, he's a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore. For 13 years, he was an editor at The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Tony Soprano's hometown newspaper. Visit him at www.wallacestroby.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Stroby writes crime fiction old school, like a bullet to the brain in a dark alley, no social nuances, no psycho-babble about hard-luck childhoods or drunken dads. His characters have survived the harsh crucible of youth, now a fully-functioning strata of criminal enterprise employing a network of contacts, kicking back percentages to those who facilitate jobs. Crissa Stone is part of this network, in a bind for cash to ensure the parole of her man, Wayne Boudreaux, doing time in Texas. A small daughter, Crissa's lone concession to what might have been, is being raised by a cousin. Right or wrong, Stone accepts a new job with a small crew sooner than she normally would, a heist of a small stakes poker game, easy in, easy out. She doesn't anticipate the aggression of one of her crew as a simple robbery becomes a homicide.

A simple job gone wrong turns bad quickly, from Stone's gone-to-ground response to the thug sent to exact restitution for the dead man- mob connected- each step a minefield of penny ante warriors who live off the grid and have their own code of ethics. Indeed, Stone may have met her match in Eddie the Saint, who tracks Crissa with unsettling precision, his goal to recover money and leave no witnesses. There's no honor among thieves, yet there is a certain loyalty bred of time and experience, the random brutality of modern criminals a far cry from this noir landscape, where every move mimics a deadly game of chess. Stroby does it clean, simple and satisfying, death the price of doing business, survival measured by a split-second decision or a black cat crossing a street. Luan Gaines/2011.
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Format: Hardcover
Wallace Stroby should be a household name. He already is in mine. I read his new book and passed it on to my sons, who told their friends to buy their own copies. My younger son, in his late 20s, described Stroby's latest as "maybe one of the best books I've ever read." Out of the mouths of babes.

COLD SHOT TO THE HEART is only Stroby's fourth book, so you have plenty of time to catch up on what he has been doing. It's his second stand-alone, so don't worry about having to figure out characters, situations, etc. Just start reading and leave time to 1) devour it all in one sitting, while 2) calling friends to read passages to them verbatim. One thing: you won't stop for ANYTHING during the last 50 pages or so. You'd have better luck stopping your fall off of a cliff in mid-tumble. It has a mesmerizing plot with unforgettable characters, the greatest of which links all of Stroby's books: north and central New Jersey, a dark and dangerous woman she is, seductive and deadly and irresistible. And no one writes about New Jersey, its environs and characters, like Stroby.

Besides the Garden State, COLD SHOT TO THE HEART is shared by two characters who slowly move toward cross-purposes with each other --- one directly, the other warily. Eddie Santino, known as Eddie the Saint, has just been released from a five-year prison stint. He's on the wrong side of what the government actuaries refer to as advanced age, a tough guy honed to a rougher edge by incarceration. Having taken a fall for his boss, he figures he is owed, and then some. He is not surprised that the curve of gratitude that he encounters is quite shallow, but is not inclined to take being shortchanged with grace, either.
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Format: MP3 CD
This is a really interesting read. All of the characters are bad guys, some are just worse than others. This is a tough gritty story with a crime underworld feel. This is a straight-up thriller with no romance to speak of, sure she had a lover but he is in prison. So, no nookie here!

Crissa might be a thief but she has redeeming qualities. She is one of the few characters in the book worth rooting for, even though she is technically a bad guy. Her crew of Chance and Wayne are career criminals as well, hard to want them to win. In the end ya gotta go with the less objectionable criminal.

Eddie, The Saint, is a tough fella, he has moments of likability in the beginning, but that quickly disappears as his true nature rises to the surface. You really want to see him get his in the end.

The story is a mixed narrative switching between Crissa and Eddies POV. This is a great device for helping bring understanding to these two characters. While it makes you really dislike Eddie, it soften Crissa up quite a bit. I will admit I was a touch confused at the beginning not knowing how these two separate stories related to each other. About halfway through they converge into the same plot. Really interesting choice for the storytelling.

The end of the book is a real nailbitter! Wow, it is a real battle of wills and luck is a huge factor for the outcome. You will be on the edge of your seat when these two meet. Fast paced and action packed for sure.

I listened to the audiobook read by Coleen Marlo. She does a great job keeping the pace of the story steady. I enjoyed her voices and thought they were distinct. She has a genuine tone that helps make Crissa more sympathetic. Overall. a nice solid narration.
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