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Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  377 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
"Just when you think that you can't be surprised anymore, a writer like Wallace Stroby ups the ante."
---Laura Lippman, author of I'd Know You Anywhere

Crissa Stone is a career criminal. A complete pro, she never works too close to her New York City home, rarely signs on with the same crew, and never rushes a job. These are the rules that have kept her from getting caught, f
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ebook, 304 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published January 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
Crissa Stone is the kind of woman who can steal your heart. She’ll probably also get any other valuables you have because she’s a professional thief.

Her mentor/partner/lover Wayne is locked up in a Texas prison, and Crissa needs cash in a hurry to help grease the wheels for his parole. A high stakes poker game in Florida seems like a good score so she joins up with a couple of other pros to hit it, but complications arise during the robbery. Crissa returns to New York where she lives under a fal
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Dan Schwent
Jan 27, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
When a high stakes poker game holdup goes south and a man ends up dead, career criminal Crissa Stone and her partners find themselves in deep trouble. Turns out the dead man was the son in law of a gangster and fresh out of jail Eddie Saint is hired to find his killer. Unfortunately, Eddie doesn't live up to his name and decides the job isn't enough; he wants the money from the poker heist too...

George Pelecanos was raving about the latest book in this serious on the Twitter so I figured I shoul
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Amanda
Jan 24, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the exception of Elmore Leonard, I'm generally not that interested in crime novels. I read Leonard for the sharply drawn characters and the wit, not the crime. So I picked up Cold Shot to the Heart with some trepidation, but the promise of a female protagonist intrigued me. It wasn't long before Wallace Stroby had me hooked and I found myself for the first time in a long time thinking, "Just one more chapter and then I'll stop." This went on for a few hours and I pretty much read the whole ...more
James Thane
If the late Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) and Christa Faust had ever collaborated on a novel, it probably would have sounded a lot like A Cold Shot to the Heart, which also means that it doubtless would have been a damn fine book.

It's also a very hard book to review. This is one of those novels where you don't want to spoil anything. You want every other reader to discover each delicious twist and turn for himself or herself. So, bare bones: Crissa Stone is a criminal. A middle man hooks her u
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Karl
Nov 04, 2016 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
N.J. Native, Wallace Stroby, interviewed Donald E. Westlake for The Asbury Park Press back in July 1986. Much of this interview can be found out there in the interweb. Mr. Stroby talks a bit about the Parker series that Westlake wrote under the “Richard Stark” name in this interview.

I mention this as the flavor of this first Christa Stone novel titled “Cold Shot to the Heart” is heavily influenced by the “Stark” books, with Mr. Stroby’s take on events featuring a female lead character. If you mi
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Richard Vialet
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, The Devil's Share, comes out next year), one that is a breath o ...more
Cathy DuPont
Oct 18, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathy by: Richard Vialet
It's been a long time since I've read a new author I enjoy reading as much as I've enjoyed the reading (and writing) of Wallace Stroby.

Just because I am who I am, I get a butterflies in my stomach when I think of reading a new author. I love reading the 'tried and true' authors who I know (relatively certain anyhow) that I'll enjoy. And unfortunately I've found it to be true that the majority of writers I read who are new to me are not to my liking. Recommendations from GR friends are the excep
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Joe Valdez
Apr 28, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bandits, buskers, larcenists
Shelves: fiction-crime
The best review I can give Wallace Stroby's Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone #1) is that Kings of Midnight (Crissa Stone #2) went on my reading list two minutes after I finished reading this one. It's a breathlessly lethal crime novel that made off with my wallet after I discovered that Stroby has several novels available, including two more with this character.

Crissa Stone is a professional thief. As the novel begins, she storms a bank in Pittsburgh, disarming the manager and two security g
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Tfitoby
Mar 18, 2014 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Cold Shot to the Heart is a solidly entertaining start to Wallace Stroby's series about Crissa Stone, Professional Thief. Crissa is one tough cookie, taking no shit from men or women, with her eyes firmly on the prize, whether that be a $500,000 poker heist, a revenge killing or her dream house in the country. A female Parker with her own set of strengths and weaknesses, and happily being a woman in a man's world is not one of her weaknesses.

Beyond the very interesting morally grey protagonist S
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Ed
Oct 20, 2011 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: caper/noir fans
This adrenaline-fueled caper pits a hardboiled lady thief named Crissa Stone against a psycho ex-con named Eddie the Saint. The suspense builds as the body count rises, all in the pursuit of the Almighty Buck. The thrill that kept me reading was to see just who ends up with the boodle after all the shooting ends, and the smoke clears away. Crisp prose adds to the crime novel's considerable appeal. Great noirish stuff, it reminds me of Stark's Parker but with a lot more tension built in.
John
Jun 06, 2017 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crissa Stone is a professional thief. When she's recruited into a three-person crew to rob a high-stakes card game in Florida, she's wary, but financial pressures -- a kid in school, a lover in jail -- overcome her reservations. What she doesn't know is that the heist is just a cover for some nasty mob machinations, and that her life will soon be on the line.

Eddie Santiago -- Eddie the Saint -- is fresh out of prison. A hitman who doubles as a psycho, he takes on an assignment for small-time mob
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Christopher
Apparently I have a _need-to-rate-review shelf from like 8 months ago that, like many of these books, I forgot existed. So we're going to blast through them Mad Max style, in no way giving them the attention I am sure they deserve.

What I remember about this audiobook is that I didn't know how to review it at the time. Obviously, that hasn't changed since I had to read Kemper's review to remember what this book even was. Which isn't the slight it might sound like. I frequently don't recall the pl
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Lance Charnes
It's not exactly unprecedented for a crime novel to have a thief as a protagonist. We've seen gentleman thieves (Bernie Rhodenbarr), sociopathic thieves (Parker) and romantic thieves (Jack Foley). This ground's pretty well plowed. Since novelty isn't an issue anymore, it's all about execution. Wallace Stroby executes this story pretty well, with a couple caveats.

Chrissa Stone is a professional thief who needs a quick score to help get her partner/lover out of a Texas prison. She signs on to raid
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Leigh
May 02, 2012 Leigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
My favorite genre is mystery, and I especially enjoy mysteries that revolve around a female protagonist. Karin Slaughter, Linda Castillo, and Lori Armstrong write great mysteries that involve strong female protagonist who often find themselves searching for the person who is up to no good. Enter, Mr. Wallace Stroby who has written three other novels with his latest novel, Cold Shot to the Heart published by Minotaur.

I think this name turned up on the Barnes and Noble Book Club mystery/crime fict
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Susan
There is very little better than discovering a new (to me) author who has a series with a very interesting lead character. But one thing that is better is to make the discovery and then find out that there are already numbers 2 and 3 published and ready for me to read!! Crissa is a single professional making her own way in life. Her profession is theft and she handles it like any other profession. Things can go wrong and you deal. And she does. And I can't wait to get to the second in the series ...more
Andrew Smith
Dec 21, 2011 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir-hardboiled
Brilliant crime thriller from an author new to me. This is hard boiled, noir fiction at its best. Dark, cruel and unsentimental in its telling, the story races along at a furious pace and I defy anybody to put this book down once you hit the lat 50 pages.
Melissa
Not bad! I didn't think I was going to finish this because I immediately loathed Eddie with a hot, white heat, but that's where Stroby caught me; I had to keep on til the end so I could see the guy get his comeuppance. And I'm happy to report that I found the whole thing pretty darn satisfying.
Maddy
Jan 26, 2011 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tops, 2011-reads
PROTAGONIST: Crissa Stone, robber
SETTING: New York, Florida, Connecticut
RATING: 4.5

Things aren’t going very well for Crissa Stone, a clever robber whose mentor, Wayne, is stuck in a prison in Texas. Normally, she hears of a possible assignment through her intermediary, Hector, and works on a team with similarly procured individuals. She’s damn good at her job—she’s always kept her cool and never had things go wrong. Working with two colleagues, she plans a heist that resulted in only one-third o
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Paul Pessolano
Mar 11, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crissa Stone is a very unusual criminal. She may be considered the ultimate robber. Her robberies are committed away from her New York apartment, they are well thought out and researched. She never uses the same accomplices more than once, and she has never had to fire her gun.

Crissa pulls a job in Pennsylvania that borders on perfection, except that the take is far less than what she expected. Needing more money to try and get her husband out of prison, Crissa breaks several of her cardinal rul
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Eric_W
Apr 03, 2011 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very reminiscent of the Parker novels. List of characters:

Crissa: A woman with a child who does not know her who she had to leave with a family in Texas. She works as a thief, much like Parker, getting jobs through an intermediary , Hector, sometimes with unknown partners, but she always screens them carefully.

Stimmer: Sets up a job for Crissa and Chance that involves half-a-million at a card game in Florida. Just as everything seems to be going perfectly, he does something stupid. Then he does
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Aaron
Aug 18, 2015 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Richard Stark's Parker
Crissa Stone is a modern day thief, pulling jobs across the country with partners her contact sets her up with. A supposedly easy job in Florida that involves taking down a high stakes card game goes off the rails thanks to one of those less predictable partners. That kicks off a sequence of events that threatens not only the fragile future Crissa has begun to put together but the lives of herself and everyone she knows.

From prose to plot, everything is economical and tight, but Stroby still wri
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Ross Cumming
Mar 30, 2017 Ross Cumming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in the Crissa Stone series of novels but its the third I've read and reading them out of sequence certainly hasn't spoiled my enjoyment of the series at all.
In this novel Crissa carries out a successful heist with a team of other independent criminals but unfortunately the 'take' is much smaller than they anticipated and Crissa needs cash desperately to grease the palms of the solicitor who is trying to get her partner Wayne an early parole hearing. She also needs to pay her si
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Edwin Battistella
May 10, 2014 Edwin Battistella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cold Shot introduces Crissa Stone, a professional criminal whose lover is in prison and whose daughter is being raised by a cousin. Crissa and her partners get caught up and nearly set up in complicated mob hit carried out by Eddie the Saint. What I especially like about Stroby’s work is fast pace storytelling but also the way in which career criminals have ordinary desires and life problems,, which are made both more poignant and complicated by their lives of crime. I liked the second Crissa St ...more
Jessica
While this one hits all of the elements that I normally love in my noir (strong protagonist, heists, intra-crew banter), the ending soured me a bit because I just wanted Crissa to be more.... in it. It's clear from the setup of things that she's living in the past somewhat and perhaps further installments bring her out of that, but overall she comes off so disconnected from her circumstances that I had a difficult time connecting to her. I'll give the next one a go just to see how things shake o ...more
Tom
Jan 18, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great hard-boiled crime novel. Had never heard of this author before, but upon recommendation, gave it a try. And it was great. Sparse and bare bones, yet moving at times. Hard core but not gratuitous re violence. The only thing that bugged was that Eddie the Saint, major bad a**, seemed to kill every single character in the book, especially towards the end. Sometimes less is more. Otherwise, pitch perfect.
Minty McBunny
Jun 01, 2014 Minty McBunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, june-2014
Well this was a pretty good little crime novel, and a very quick read. I like Crissa Stone, she's refreshingly normal for a criminal and and certainly a great lead to hang a series on. I'll be back for more.
David Putnam
Jan 02, 2014 David Putnam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book
This character and story reminded me of Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake. Great style and voice in the writing. This is a heist that goes wrong similar to the Parker stories. Well worth the read.
Michael
Dec 16, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Crissa Stone novel and not my last. I was kept enthralled from the first. Stone is a villain you can't help but love. You're drawn into her circle of friends and acquaintances, her "co-workers" if you will. The violence is palpable. No one gets out unscathed.
Geoff.
Jun 15, 2017 Geoff. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent novel and an excellent series. The writing is reminiscent of the golden age. Highly recommended.
Robin
Mar 08, 2017 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Wallace Stroby book I have read but it won't be the last. It has everything - well-paced story, great characters - a couple in particular very chilling - emotion where it's needed but not overdone. The protagonist, career criminal Carissa Stone is especially well drawn- fearless and ruthless, yet with her flaws and vulnerabilities.

Thoroughly recommended for those who like their crime with a noir flavour.
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Wallace Stroby is an award-winning journalist and the author of the novels
Cold Shot to the Heart, Gone 'Til November, The Heartbreak Lounge and The Barbed-Wire Kiss..

A Long Branch, N.J., native, he's a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore. "The Barbed-Wire Kiss," which The Washington Post called "a scorching first novel ...full of attention to character and memory and, even more, to the neighborh
...more
More about Wallace Stroby...

Other Books in the Series

Crissa Stone (4 books)
  • Kings of Midnight (Crissa Stone, #2)
  • Shoot the Woman First (Crissa Stone, #3)
  • The Devil's Share (Crissa Stone, #4)

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