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Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  355 Ratings  ·  77 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published January 7th 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 16, 2015 Kemper rated it really liked it
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
Dan Schwent
Feb 05, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
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
Jul 07, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 30, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it
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
Joe Valdez
Sep 03, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2016 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
Oct 21, 2011 Ed rated it it was amazing
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.
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
May 07, 2012 Leigh rated it it was amazing
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
Andrew Smith
Feb 11, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 06, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
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.
Dec 13, 2015 Maddy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops, 2011-reads
PROTAGONIST: Crissa Stone, robber
SETTING: New York, Florida, Connecticut

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
Paul Pessolano
Mar 11, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
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
Apr 03, 2011 Eric_W rated it really liked it
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
Dec 11, 2015 Aaron rated it really liked it
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
Edwin Battistella
May 31, 2014 Edwin Battistella rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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.
Dec 16, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 11, 2016 Naomi rated it liked it
This was an okay thriller, not terribly exciting but an easy read.
Oct 04, 2016 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir
Dark as night/the way I like it. Thank you Ann at Mainely Murders, Kennebunk, ME.
Check out my other listens at Eargasms Audiobook Reviews

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 gu
Dec 18, 2013 Jeanne rated it liked it
From the book jacket: 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, from doing time. They’re the rules her mentor and lover taught her, rules he didn’t follow as closely as he should’ve. Now he’s up for parole, and Crissa needs to come up with some real money real fast to help grease the wheels.

Word is that there’s an il
Jul 07, 2013 Jodi rated it it was amazing
This book was simply outstanding. Crissa Stone is a high level professional thief. She occasionally hooks up with other thieves to pull a heist. She is very careful about who she works with and which jobs she takes. This time she is a little desperate for cash. She needs cash to get her mentor and lover out on parole. Crissa perhaps isn't as careful as she should have been in checking out this job. Things go wrong. Badly wrong. The writing is perfect. Not a wasted word or sentence. The reader is ...more
Tom V
Jun 15, 2012 Tom V rated it really liked it
Liked this one a lot! Crissa brings to mind Jane Whitefield from the Thomas Perry series, but without the mysticism and with a more than a smidge of self-doubt. She's a confident character, but inside, she is not that Amazon destroyer...she's just too human, and not so much comic book heroine.

The storyline sets up pretty traditionally,with the usual twists and turns (schemes gone bad, revenge, greed) and the jazzed-up villain, Eddie the Saint, and our protagonist(s) have a hard row to hoe in ord
Jan 23, 2011 Harvey rated it really liked it
This is an excellent "caper that goes awry" novel (reminiscent of Richard Stark)with a very interesting main character. Crissa is a female in a man's world of robbery. Her man is in prison and she is motivated to raise money to "influence" his parole hearing so her usual good judgement may not apply in her decision to take on this particular job.

The bad guys (not police) are in pursuit and they don't play nice.

Stroby tells a taut tale. Not five-stars as I found the end a bit predictable...but de
PennsyLady (Bev)
Jan 14, 2016 PennsyLady (Bev) rated it really liked it
I haven't thought of a female career criminal since Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell.
Perhaps there is no real comparison, since Gretchen is a serial killer.
But it was interesting to see a strong character like Crissa Stone.
There are many graphic, action packed moments.
I like a simple plot I can follow without introducing multiple side plots.
I found it here.
This book was readable and very intense.

" Crissa Stone carefully weighs risks and rewards and her criminal associates' skills before und
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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)
  • Kings of Midnight (Crissa Stone, #2)
  • Shoot the Woman First (Crissa Stone, #3)
  • The Devil's Share (Crissa Stone, #4)

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