51AR0yDHLiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Cold Shot To The Heart by Wallace Stroby

Minotaur, $24.99. 289 pages, ISBN 978-0-312-56025-6

I’d like to suggest author Wallace Stroby’s newest, Cold Shot To The Heart, the fourth in a series of blue-collar, tough-guy noir crime fiction novels featuring career criminal Crissa Stone.  (Can you say it fast, three times?  Nah, me either.)

The novel begins in New York City, where Crissa is recruited for an armed robbery in Florida with two accomplices she has worked with previously in other heists.  The target: a high-stakes poker game.  The payoff: an expected one million dollars.  The problem: one of her partners in crime shoots and kills one of the players.  The result: the murdered man is connected to organized crime in New Jersey.  Very connected as it turns out, and a contract is put out for the shooter.  The hit man, just out of Rahway State prison, is Eddie Santiago, “Eddie the Saint.”  Mayhem and murder abound as the story unfolds without interference, or any other sign of law enforcement.  It’s a novel which leaves the reader unsure whether or not to have empathy for the protagonist; or if anyone will still be alive at its conclusion.  Stroby’s dialogue trips along like the stutter of a Thompson submachine gun, evoking one of the best crime writers in the business, Elmore Leonard.  I liked it.


John Dwaine McKenna