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Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone, #1)
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Cold Shot to the Heart (Crissa Stone #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  54 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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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
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
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
Cathy DuPont
Nov 30, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Joe Valdez
Sep 03, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Oct 21, 2011 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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
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.
Paul Pessolano
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
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
PROTAGONIST: Crissa Stone, robber
SETTING: New York, Florida, Connecticut
WHY: A recent robbery hasn't paid off as expected, so Crissa Stone reluctantly accepts an assignment to work on a team that will rob a high-stakes poker game. She needs the money to get her mentor out of a jail in Texas. The robbery is going well, until one of the robbers shoots a game player. Unfortunately, he is the son-in-law of a New Jersey mobster, who hires a notorious hit man, Eddie the Saint, to exact reve
Edwin Battistella
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
Minty McBunny
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.
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
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
I liked this. It surprised me how quick it was to read. There were a lot of bad people doing bad things, which had me wondering at first how the author was going to make any of them sympathetic. But he did, and I found myself rooting for the lesser of the bad people.
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
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
Tom V
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
Wallace Stroby is the real deal. The characters in this book are all "bad guys" some are good bad guys but the real bad guy is truly evil. The plot is great and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I can't wait to read the sequel.
This is a gem of a crime fiction novel, at least a 4/5. Clean, spare writing, good plot, interesting characters added up to a great reading experience. I remember enjoying a couple of books by this author 9 or 10 years ago, it's a pleasant surprise to find that he has written several more since then. This book is the first one in a series of (so far) 3 featuring the main character, Crissa Stone; I'll be back for more.
Sean McCoy
Crissa Stone is a badass. Not as methodical as Parker, or as violent as Jack Reacher, but with something more to live for than both of them.
May 01, 2012 Stven rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stven by: library
This is a tense, fast-paced book about modern American criminals who are constantly engaged in theft and duress. Stroby does make some of his characters more sympathetic than others, and it's not long before the reader is rooting for one awful person you'd hope never to meet on the street to win the confrontation with another awful person you'd hope never to meet on the street. It's tautly written, convincing at the detail level, and for a little while after the halfway point I felt that sense o ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Larry rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
Crisp storyline.
Good easy read:)
An excellent noir novel, featuring a female heist artist, whose gets into some trouble.

A beautify opening sentence sets the tone: "Three minutes after she walked in the front door, Crissa had the manager and two clerks facedown on the floor, their hands bound behind them with plastic cuffs."

And the ending tells you all you need to know: "Nothing behind her now. Nothing but night ahead. But she had a name, a suitcase full of cash, a car, and a gun. It was a start."
Michael Kelberer
A worthwhile read for several reasons:
1. Very interesting look at likeable criminals who act professionally (i.e. don't make stupid mistakes)
2. Very good suspense.
3. The protagonist and antagonist are well-matched adversaries
Why I only rated it a three:
1. The final battle is decided more on chance than skill -
2. The ending is ... well, it just kind of ends. Granted the story is over, but there's no real payoff for anyone...
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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...
Gone 'til November Kings of Midnight (Crissa Stone, #2) Shoot the Woman First (Crissa Stone, #3) The Barbed-Wire Kiss (Harry Rane, #1) The Heartbreak Lounge

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