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Kings of Midnight (Crissa Stone #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Crissa Stone is a career criminal who has pulled a number of impressive heists by knowing how to keep her mouth shut and her temper in check. Still, as good as she is, she wants to get out of the life. All she needs is one last big score, enough to bribe her lover's way out on parole, set up a safe and stable new life, and get her daughter back. However, things keep going ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Kirkus Best Fiction of 2012
96th out of 100 books — 66 voters
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Money on Cover
15th out of 22 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

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Aug 16, 2015 Kemper rated it really liked it
If the fictional adventures of characters like Parker and Walter White have taught me anything about crime it’s that no matter how smart, capable and disciplined you are the problem is that you still have to deal with criminals who will probably be stupid, lazy, greedy, short-sighted, hot-tempered, untrustworthy and/or murderous. It’s this factor that is causing Crissa Stone no end of headaches.

Since her introduction in the last book Cold Shot to the Heart Crissa has been busy trying to get as m
James Thane
Jan 05, 2015 James Thane rated it really liked it
Crissa Stone returns in another excellent hard-boiled novel from Wallace Stroby. Crissa is a career criminal who reminds many readers of a female version of Richard Stark's Parker. She certainly seems to have the same sort of luck that often bedevils Parker when even the best-laid plans often go awry.

Things have not been going particularly well for Crissa of late, but she has two objectives that continue to propel her forward. She is determined to provide for her daughter, who is now ten. The gi
Cathy DuPont
Feb 11, 2015 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Elmore Leonard Fans
Recommended to Cathy by: Richard Vialet
Will peace ever come to Crissa? Well, I hope not since then she won't be able to entertain me.

Wallace Stroby is a first class writer and I need to find out more about him. Note that the picture in this edition was taken down the street from me at the Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College. And I did find out that he lives in Florida so it's not a stretch that he would visit St. Augustine.

 photo Scan_Pic0055_zpsd44b312f.jpg
Wallace Stroby in Courtyard of Ponce de Leon Hotel (with tape from library book

But back to Crissa...Stro
Richard Vialet
This 2nd novel in the Crissa Stone series picks up shortly after shit hit the fan at the end of Cold Shot To The Heart. Now professional thief Crissa is desperately trying to rebuild her nest egg and get control of her life again. But desperation is a dangerous thing to have in this business. Desperation drives the usually careful and meticulous Crissa to team up with a former OG wiseguy–turned government informant–turned short order cook on the lam, and agree to a risky job tracking down millio ...more
Andrew Smith
Feb 11, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir-hardboiled
With parallels to Donald Westlake's (Richard Stark's) Parker series, this is the second book in featuring the female criminal Crissa Stone. Like its predessesser, it's spare and fast paced and I liked it a lot. Stone is an interesting character, on the face of it she shows little emotion but repeatedly her conscience nags to the extent she finds herself acting in a manner destined to cause her severe difficulty or even lead to her own death. Is this the female in her, as opposed to the detached ...more
Aug 07, 2015 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
PROTAGONIST: Crissa Stone, career criminal, and Benny Roth, former mobster
SERIES: #2 of 2
RATING: 4.25

Crissa Stone is a career criminal who is a skilled thief. At the moment, she needs to launder some money from a heist so that she can use it for bribes to get her lover, Wayne, out of a Texas prison, as well as provide money for her daughter’s care. Against her better judgment, she uses someone unknown to her and ends up getting ripped off. That means she needs to do another job to make up for th
Dec 28, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is my first novel by this author, Wallace Stroby, and it was well done. I want to read more. The plot moved at a fair clip. This kept things interesting and there were also some well thought out turns. I also liked the characters, even the ones that made poor decisions. I would like more depth though, but I think I'm missing some back story since this isn't the first book in the series.
Jun 15, 2012 Ed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hardboiled crime fiction with strong lady protagonist fans
Recommended to Ed by: liked author's previous books
I got a big kick out of reading this one. Crissa Stone is a hardboiled lady criminal who takes no prisoners, but then she displays a compassionate side in her own way, too. The prose is lean and solid. The characterization is on true pitch, especially the geezer Benny.
Joe Valdez
Sep 03, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bandits, buskers, larcenists
Shelves: fiction-crime
Wallace Stroby's base model, nuts and bolts, no frills sequel to Cold Shot to the Heart starts off with a bang shortly after us loyal readers last saw professional thief Crissa Stone, on the run with a new name, a suitcase of cash, a car and a gun, with the body of the first person she's ever killed burning up with her dream house in Connecticut.

Crissa is reintroduced at the controls of a stolen John Deere loader as she rips an ATM out of a bank in South Carolina in the dead of night. She loads
Elizabeth A.
Picking up shortly after the events of Cold Shot to the Heart, author Wallace Stroby’s Kings of Midnight finds professional thief Crissa Stone working an ATM heist gig with two partners as she continues her efforts to build up enough of a nest egg to get out of the life for good. One big, final score should do it. No matter how much you plan though…

When her last ATM heist goes seriously off the rails, Crissa is forced to use an unfamiliar source to quickly launder the cash she does have so she c
Ross Cumming
Oct 01, 2015 Ross Cumming rated it really liked it
Wallace Stroby first came to my attention through the short story "Lovers in the Cold' which was based on a Bruce Springsteen song "Meeting Across the River'. Being a huge Springsteen fan I just had to read it and it didn't disappoint. I have read a couple of other of Stroby's novels which I've also enjoyed, this, however was my first "Crissa Stone' novel. It's the second in the series and ideally I should have read them in sequence but really my enjoyment of this novel wasn't spoiled as a ...more
Edwin Battistella
May 10, 2014 Edwin Battistella rated it it was amazing
A while back, I enjoyed Wallace Stroby’s Barbed-Wire Kiss and Heartbreak Lounge, both of which evoked my native Jersey shore. I drifted away from Stroby for a bit but returned to devour The Kings of Midnight. Crissa Stone is a good bad girl—a tough as nails thief with a code of ethics—who gets caught in the in the search for the Lufthansa loot. She teams up with Benny, an old school mobster who got kicked out of witness protection, to find recover the millions but ends up tangling with a hitters ...more
Daniel Sevitt
Sep 27, 2016 Daniel Sevitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent propulsive noir thriller. Crissa Stone is always moving forwards.

This has a lovely old school feel as she chases down the takings from a late 70s heist.

Stroby is excellent on the criminal code and how it has changed and how it hasn't. I have to track down the last two in the series now.
Bill Breedlove
Mar 19, 2013 Bill Breedlove rated it it was amazing
I am new to Storby's work, this was the first book of his I have read. It was a lot of fun and a very compelling read. It is a somewhat typical crime novel, with lots of reversals, double-crosses, danger and plenty of gunplay. The hook, I suppose, is that the (anti)hero of the book is more correctly the (anti)heroine, Crissa Stone. It would be a better publishing world (and a better world in general) if this were not unusual enough to be notable, and perhaps one day it will be so. Nonetheless, ...more
Dec 03, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I liked Crissa Stone but I did not like this book much. Even though it featured a female lead, it still felt like macho braggadocio and posturing. I suppose it should be refreshing that a woman in such exigent circumstances would continually maintain her cool but somehow that felt like male fantasy rather than a fully realized character.

And then let's talk about the men in this book. The message here is that men are idiots. They are too stupid to live. Except when they have some kernel of goodn
Jun 02, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
This is a well written book, but I just can't empathize with a protagonist who is a criminal. She has many redeeming characteristics, but her life is controlled by a totally different set of values. There is a lot of violence, many parts I just paged through (I don't handle torture scenes too well). The whole thing was depressing, really. To think there are people that actually live like this! Having said all that, I think Stroby is a very good author. I don't read books this quickly unless the ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Jodi rated it it was amazing
I just LOVE the Crissa Stone series. Crissa is a professional thief, and very good at what she does. She is smart and tough and kick ass. Stroby is one of the best writers in crime fiction right now. He tells a compelling story with just the right amount of detail to hook you into the characters and plot without a wasted word. So refreshing in the age of the 400 page novel. These books are page turners you cannot put down. Stroby may be the best kept secret in crime fiction, which is a crime in ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Harvey rated it really liked it
This is a real-deal hard-boiled tale of criminals searching for who-knows-how-many millions stashed 30 years ago after an airport heist.

Stroby, after 5 books, has really nailed the rough and tumble atmosphere and the take no prisoners mentality.

What makes this stand out though are the human qualities of the characters...particularly Crissa, seeking to be reunited with her daughter, who never chooses the easy way.
Sean McCoy
Jan 04, 2016 Sean McCoy rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardboiled
Crissa Stone is back. Nice little homage to the Lufthansa heist (also referenced in Goodfellas). I don't think her books are necessarily the heirs to the Parker throne, but they're solid. Very little bullshit. My only real complaint is that Crissa constantly makes decisions against what she both knows she should do and what she's been trained to do. She's often saved by luck. Head to head, Parker would kill her and move on to the next job.
Jim A
Jun 21, 2012 Jim A rated it really liked it
Crissa, from A Cold Shot To The Heart, is back in action, still trying to get enough money to bribe her boyfriend out of prison in Texas. As the book opens she is involved in using a front loader to steal an ATM. Her two partners kill each other in a fit of anger and the story takes off from there.

Stroby's writing style does not bog down the action. The plot moves along very well, including the back story of the characters introduced to Crissa's quest.

Jun 28, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
Wallace Stroby has written some great crime fiction and I enjoyed the first entry in the Crissa Stone series quite a bit. This, the second, was a pretty good read, but it fell a little flat for me. It has a very fast moving plot centering on our protagonist and a bumbling partner vs remnants of the Mob. Bullets, bodies and duffel bags of cash abound and it all seems a bit formulaic.
Andy Plonka
May 28, 2012 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it
Reminescent of Donald Westlake, Stroy's work is a bit more hard boiled, not so humorous. His main protagonist is a career thief who is considering giving up the life for something more stable. She needs the cash from one more significant heist so is wiling to jion forces with Benny Roth a 62 year old thief with a heart condition that has a deal for her. It doen't go exactly as planned
May 10, 2012 Larry rated it really liked it
Crissa Jones (see "Cold Shot to the Heart") is a tough professional thief. Given what she does, it's not surprising that she falls in with a bad lot both on the job and when laundering money later. It is their misfortune that they underestimate her intelligence, focus, and ferocity of purpose. Stroby has written about strong women before, but the Crissa Jones series has legs.
Aug 11, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Solid, well-told mystery with great characters. Heavy on the rape threats, though; Marta in particular seemed to exist entirely so the bad guys could threaten to rape her. I get that these guys are awful people; an act of sexual violence every fifth page isn't necessary to illustrate the point.
Dec 13, 2014 Alecia rated it really liked it
I love Wallace Stroby's writing, and have read several of his books. This one doesn't disappoint, and the main character, Crissa Stone, has shades of Richard Stark's Parker in her makeup. The plotting, pace and dialogue were all terrific, making this a very good noir read.
Craig Buck
Dec 27, 2013 Craig Buck rated it liked it
Having just read the first in the series, Cold Shot to the Heart, I was a little disappointed in Kings of Midnight. It's still a great read, but I was hoping for a step up, not sideways. If I could give it a three and a half I would.
Brandon Nagel
Apr 13, 2013 Brandon Nagel rated it it was amazing
Excellent follow up to COLD SHOT TO THE HEART. Stroby is quickly becoming one of my favorite Authors. I really hope that there is another book in the works. Recommended to all lovers of Noir/Crime fiction. Really loving this series...HIGHLY recommended.
Dec 28, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, kindle, crime
Crissa Stone is the female answer to Westlake's Parker, a master of the heist who gets things done, if a little less violently ( when possible) than Parker.
Mike Gabor
May 01, 2012 Mike Gabor rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
It wasn't a bad read but I felt it didn't measure up to the first in the series A Cold Shot To The Heart.
Jul 25, 2012 Jeff rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Good characters and the plot moved along quickly. While somewhat predictable, I found that there was a lot of tension. The female lead chararacter was interesting. Well written and easy to read.
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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 about Wallace Stroby...

Other Books in the Series

Crissa Stone (4 books)
  • Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone, #1)
  • Shoot the Woman First (Crissa Stone, #3)
  • The Devil's Share (Crissa Stone, #4)

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