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Choke Hold (Angel Dare #2)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  767 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews

Angel Dare went into Witness Protection to escape her past—not as a porn star, but as a killer who took down the sex slavery ring that destroyed her life. But sometimes the past just won’t stay buried. When a former co-star is murdered, it’s up to Angel to get his son, a hotheaded MMA fighter, safely through the unforgivi
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 2011 by Hard Case Crime (first published January 1st 2011)
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Yet another 2011 Bouchercon story about how Kemper-Met-An-Author….

Christa Faust was one of the speakers at a panel on sex and violence that was being held later than any other discussions, but there’d been some kind of snafu and the room wasn’t set up ahead of time. It was Miss Faust who took charge, ascertained that somebody had screwed the pooch, led the effort to commandeer another room, and essentially had moved everyone down the hall and got the whole thing going within about ten minutes. A
Dan Schwent
Feb 04, 2011 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Working in a diner, Angel Dare thought she left her past behind her, both her former career as a porn star and as a vigilante taking down the men that left her for dead. All that changed when a former co-worker, Thick Vic Ventura, walked into her diner to meet his son, an up and coming MMA fighter, for the first time. Seconds later, Vic is mortally wounded by gunmen and asks Angel to take care of his son. Can Angel protect Cody and keep one step ahead of the men that want both of them dead?

Richard Vialet
Angel Dare has been trying to keep her head down after her Witness Protection has been compromised. The former porn-star turned vigilante has been working at a small Arizona diner when her ex-boyfriend and scene partner Slick Vic Ventura shows up, bringing her past right back to her doorstep. Angel promises Vic that she'll look after his estranged son, an aspiring MMA fighter, and they both end up on the run across the Southwest. And so begins a new memorable, action-packed novel by the talented ...more
I've admired and shelved them since they first debuted, but only now have I popped my Hard Case Crime cherry. I'd held off for so long, one reason because I thought that the covers would be better than the story, and because they are numbered and it's possible once I started to read them I'd feel obligated to read them all. I don't know why the latter would be the case, I read New Directions books and don't feel the need to read each one, even though they are numbered, but maybe it's because the ...more
The Shayne-Train
Dec 24, 2014 The Shayne-Train rated it really liked it
Man oh man oh man oh MAN! There needs to be MORE ANGEL DARE BOOKS!

This one picks up a few months after the previous story, Money Shot, ends. And if you thought the FIRST one had lots of gratuitous violence and sex, then you'll be pleased as punch to see the amount increased!

As in the first one, this is classic noir beefed-up with a modern twist, all painfully well-written. Instead of the seedy SoCal porn industry, this novel is set in the world of MMA fighting along the American-Mexican border.
James Thane
Oct 24, 2011 James Thane rated it really liked it
Angel Dare, the protagonist of Christa Faust's first novel Money Shot, returns in her second outing. As the book opens, Angel is on the run from some very bad characters after she helped authorities break up a sex slavery ring. She's working under an assumed name at a diner in the middle of nowhere, when she's discovered by a former co-star from her days as a major porn star.

Angel hardly has a chance to say hello before a couple of thugs show up and kill her old friend. Just before the guy dies
Tim Mayer
Jan 31, 2012 Tim Mayer rated it it was amazing
Angel Dare returns in this sequel to Christa Faust's Money Shot. The previous book was a hell-ride. The new one takes the reader on another burning episode in the life of Angel Dare, former adult movie star and now in the federal witness protection plan. At the conclusion of Money Shot, Angel had just unleashed a pack of Eastern European girls on the international gangster who'd sold them into sexual slavery. It was a bleak end after she'd taken out revenge on the punks who left her for dead. Ch ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To say I devoured this novel might be a bit of understatement. To say I enjoyed it might be a bit of an understatement as well. Needless to say, Angel Dare is the shit, and I can't seem to get enough of her. Literally. For me it's all about the characters, and CHOKE HOLD has more than its share of interesting individuals. Angel and her posse practically pop off the page, and along the way, she more than delivered on a few surprises.

Christa Faust certainly seems to have a friend or two in the por
Oct 08, 2011 Bracken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Christa Faust did the thing that I LOVE to see the most in serial story-telling: she gave real lasting consequences to the violence from the first Angel Dare story. Where in Money Shot, she's a self-assured well-composed person (for most of the story), in this book, she's still coping with the violence that was done to her and that was done by her. She's not quite completely broken, but her world is definitely cracked and she's not as in control as she used to be (in or out of ...more
Jun 10, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it
In a world where a clenched fist is the only good currency and violent action speaks volume, an unassuming former porn star/quasi PI fights to save her life and that of her former lover's son, Cody - an aspiring MMA fighter caught up in a scheme which threatens to ruin all he has worked for. After watching 'Thick Vic' gunned down whilst attempting to reconnect with his begotten son Cody, Angel Dare's life is once again thrown into chaos, armed with little more than wit and sexual prowess she tak ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Christa Faust jumps right into the action on this one. Angel Dare is working as a waitress in a small diner when on old boyfriend, and co-star from her porn star days, walks in, recognizing her. Thick Vic Ventura reveals he's there to meet his son, who he's never seen, It turns out to be the tattooed eighteen year old boy sitting in the corner. Vic is suddenly shy and Angel encourages him to talk to the kid.

Three Mexican gangbangers walk in as he's headed to the boy's booth, turning as he
Oct 20, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
Christa Faust's newest opus illustrates the old hard-boiled/noir dictum that things will go to hell in a hurry, and then go downhill from there.

Former porn star Angel Dare is lying low (so to speak) in the Witness Protection program after testifying against human traffickers when "Thick Vic," one of her old co-stars, is gunned down right in front of her. Angel agrees to take care of the dying man's son, who hopes to land a gig in fighting after being promised an audition in Las Vegas. Unfortuna
Ben Winch
Jun 17, 2015 Ben Winch added it
Shelves: american, pulp
Not half bad, for a crazy trashy cartoon piece of pulp. Crusading-pornstar-on-the-run Angel Dare is a great protagonist, and the book as a whole (from punchdrunk cage fighters to Mexican drug kingpins to hardcore gym culture to some tacky porn expo near the climax) is timely without seeming trendy and at the same time deeply classic, in its reverence for the tropes and, more importantly, the tone of old-time pulp. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I picked it up at the library, but this ...more
Feb 11, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: ladies-writin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2012 Gef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
After I was thoroughly entertained last year by Christa Faust's novel, Money Shot, I made it a point to put its followup on my to-be-read pile. Choke Hold definitely carries on with the indomitable porn star, Angel Dare, but she is--for lack of a better term--damaged goods. And where the mixture of fear and defiance played out to great effect in Money Shot, this novel shows that there were dire consequences to her actions and she's a long way off from what she once thought of as a normal life.

Tim Niland
Nov 19, 2011 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Former adult film star turned vigilante Angel Dare is hiding out working in a small greasy spoon diner in Yuma, Arizona, after being busted out of the witness protection program by the very gangsters she tried to put away in the previous novel, Money Shot. When she has a chance encounter with a former lover and his estranged son, in the diner. Before they have a chance to get properly reacquainted, killers burst into the room with a hail of gunfire. Angel’s ex-beau takes a mortal hit and makes a ...more
Tim Pendry
This contemporary noir is unusual for taking the traditional form (think Mickey Spillane) from the perspective of a hard-boiled female - a sex worker uncomfortable with intimacy but as tough as they come and capable of looking after herself.

Faust writes well and there is an underlying authenticity to her work but, ultimately, not much happens and what happens is a little predictable.

There is a villain who reminds one of a counterpart in 'No Country for Old Men' and a scene of sadism near the end
K.A. Laity
Aug 30, 2013 K.A. Laity rated it it was amazing
Choke Hold picks up not long after Money Shot ends, timewise it's maybe less than a year. It's not been easy time, though. Angel Dare has been in and out of the Witness Protection program. While there are some flashbacks to fill in what's happened in the meantime, the one thing you'll notice about this book is the pace. You know how people say things like "thrill ride" and "rollercoaster" and usually you just yawn? If Money Shot was a wild race, Choke Hold is desperate dash through a war torn bo ...more
Jun 30, 2013 J.D. rated it it was amazing
Former adult-film star Angel Dare is one of the most original and compelling characters in modern noir fiction. She's tough and vulnerable, scared and courageous, cynical and sentimental. She's taken some damage (and she'll take quite a bit more in this book), but she's as capable of dishing out her own brand of damage in heaping helpings. And she'll use anything, from a gun to a shovel to her, shall we say, professional talents to survive and to defend the people she's promised to protect.

Nov 16, 2011 Nick rated it liked it
Maybe I'm a bit tough in my rating. I really enjoyed the book, it was fast moving, a good plot, a good story, violent with a brutal ending. But at the end of the day it was a story about an ex-porn star, on witness protection, getting mixed up with mixed marshal arts (MMA) fighters. Probably a journey too far into the cartoonish for me, and not as good as the first Angel Dare book. I think I saw someone describe this book as B-Noir, in my mind a perfect description --- but don't let this review ...more
Judd Karlman
I really enjoyed Money Shot (and every other Christa Faust book I have ever picked up), so I was surprised that the sequel with its splotlight on the world of MMA left me so lukewarm. The last fifty pages just felt like a grind and I found myself just wanting the book to be over so that the pain would end.

Its a fine line to walk with a noir/crime book. A happy ending would have seemed cheap but this ending seemed particularly merciless.

All in all, I was disappointed but wouldn't hesitate to pick
Wayne Simmons
Mar 09, 2012 Wayne Simmons rated it really liked it
The blurb:

Angel Dare went into Witness Protection to escape her past—not as a porn star, but as a killer who took down the sex slavery ring that destroyed her life. But sometimes the past just won’t stay buried. When a former co-star is murdered, it’s up to Angel to get his son, a hotheaded MMA fighter, safely through the unforgiving Arizona desert, shady Mexican bordertowns, and the seductive neon mirage of Las Vegas...

So, was it any good?

Hell yeah. But that comes as no surprise to regulars at
Jonathan Dunsky
Sep 12, 2015 Jonathan Dunsky rated it it was amazing
The second book in the Angel Dare series (and likely not the last by how this one ended) is a great addition to the Hard Case Crime noir/hard-boiled list of novels, both new and old.

This book sees Angel Dare, the former pornstar turned vigilante, on the run from some of the bad characters she unwisely allowed to live at the end of Money Shot, the first book to feature her. After her Witness Protection cover was blown, Angel went running all the way to a small diner in Arizona, where Thick Vic, a
Morgan M. Page
Jul 25, 2014 Morgan M. Page rated it really liked it
The second Angel Dare novel by Christa Faust is another break-neck thrillride starring everyone's favourite porn star-turned-vigilante. After a failed attempt at living the witness protection lifestyle, the past Angel's trying to avoid walks right into the desert diner she's currently hiding out in. In seconds, three young teen gunmen walk in and suddenly Angel Dare has to find a way to survive, not only for herself, but for the child of her lover from twenty years ago. The two of them, along wi ...more
Mark Robison
May 10, 2014 Mark Robison rated it liked it
I needed a quick, fun action book and this fit the bill. It’s pure pulp fiction. Former porn star Angel Dare is waitressing under a fake name in a nowhere diner after confronting a sex-trafficking ring in the series’ first book (“Money Shot”) — when in walks an old boyfriend who promptly gets shot and, as he lays dying, asks her to protect his son. The kid is an up-and-coming MMA competitor involved with bad people. It’s like a B-movie film noir, only sex positive. That said, there’s a creepy se ...more
Samuel Bigglesworth
Dec 31, 2016 Samuel Bigglesworth rated it really liked it
Loved, loved, loved this.

In terms of of sleazy, trashy, pulp fiction, this has to be one of the best examples in it's genre.

It is all pace and no sag, with a female protagonist that you can't help but root for.

If you are looking for something a bit original, but written in a very classic trashy, easily readable noir style then I recommend this for you.

It is narrated by the main character, Angel Dare, who is scared of true emotional intimacy, and weighed down and running away from her violent pas
Christa Van
Feb 12, 2017 Christa Van rated it liked it
Former porn star Angel Dare is back in this sequel to "Money Shot." Now in the witness protection program, she runs into a former flame while waitress just to witness his murder as he is meeting his teenage son for the first time. Vic''s dying breath is used to make Angel promise to take care of his kid, Cody. Cody is eighteen and a mixed marshal arts fighter. He has a mentor Hank who is suffering from memory loss after years in the ring. Hank, Cody and Angel each have someone on their tails and ...more
Bruce Nieminski
Feb 08, 2017 Bruce Nieminski rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-case-crime
256 pages

Hard Case crime novel about a former leading lady on the run from a group of thugs hellbent on revenge. She comes in contact with the son of a former co-star which further entangles her into a web of intrigue. Set amidst the backdrop of the southwestern desert of the United States and a culture of mixed martial arts, Faust's novel works.
Brad Thomson
Feb 14, 2017 Brad Thomson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 06, 2012 Dave rated it it was amazing
The desire for revenge can be a powerful one. Especially if those that wronged you take almost everything away from you. In Christa Faust’s 2008 novel “Money Shot” readers got to see an ex-porn star named Angel Dare get her revenge on a group of criminals that beat her, raped her and left her for dead. It was a very powerful and captivating novel. I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but in the end Angel got her revenge and on a visceral level it was pretty exciting to read about. What happens ...more
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Christa Faust is an American author who writes original novels, as well as novelizations and media tie-ins.
More about Christa Faust...

Other Books in the Series

Angel Dare (2 books)
  • Money Shot (Hard Case Crime #40)

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