"Crime fiction's best bad girl ever," * is back in Wallace Stroby's new thriller, SHOOT THE WOMAN FIRST.
A half million dollars in drug proceeds, guarded by three men with automatic weapons. For professional thief Crissa Stone and her team, stealing it was the easy part. But when the split goes awry in a blaze of gunfire, Crissa finds herself on the run with a duffel bag of stolen cash, bound by a promise to deliver part of the take to the needy family of one of her slain partners.
After all, a debt is a debt ... even if it has to be paid in blood.
* Kirkus Reviews
READ THE FIRST CHAPTER HERE.
Praise for "Shoot the Woman First"
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"One of the more compelling female criminals in mystery fiction. In her third outing, Crissa once again displays bravery, cunning, loyalty, and a big heart matched by a willingness to embrace the violence her lifestyle necessitates. ... Stroby nails this taut, gripping contest between well-matched opponents."
"Crissa's third is another superior thriller - fast, tough and nasty - without a single extra sentence."
"A top-shelf novel in the Richard Stark tradition. Kick-ass crime fiction."
"Lean, poetic prose ... and smart dialogue reminiscent of Robert B. Parker or Elmore Leonard. For fans of noir, this is among the best of the current breed."
"The book is violent and often dark, and at times extremely touching ... The reader is sitting on pins and needles as the book hurtles toward its inevitable climax."
"Vivid, original characters; bold, unpredictable plotting; lean, razor-sharp dialogue, and white-knuckle action... Crissa Stone is crime fiction's greatest leading woman since Clarice Starling."
- TED TALLY, OSCAR-WINNING SCREENWRITER OF "SILENCE OF THE LAMBS"
"Wallace Stroby knows how to move a story. Fast. At no point in the novel does Stroby give the reader a chance to wander off and wonder. You just keep turning pages."
"As the finale approaches, the writing style burns down to its hard essence ... The shootouts have been staged in many a gangster - and western - tale. But when they're done as skillfully as this, who cares?"
"Wallace Stroby is the new Donald Westlake. This is a terrific, exceptional novel."
"You will want to read SHOOT THE WOMAN FIRST at least three times: once quickly (you won't be able to help doing so); once slowly, to savor it; and once simply to admire, line by line, how Stroby demonstrates how the job of writing noir crime fiction is fittingly and properly done."
"One of my favorite series in recent years ...The characters and their complexities make the book stand out. SHOOT THE WOMAN FIRST is a heist novel that breathes."
"Stroby skillfully ratchets up the tension... Like Elmore Leonard, he knows a thing or two about tight plotting, vividly drawn characters and seamless dialogue. Like Leonard, he shows us how fragile the connection is between machismo and angst, bravado and dread."
"One of the most intriguing characters in today's crime fiction ... Stroby's superb writing, scene-setting and characters (will take you) into another world."
"Violence permeates the action-filled pages replete with fascinating characters in this excellent novel."
"As taut and tension-filled as an aerial artist's tightrope ... will leave the reader flipping pages as if they were about to catch fire."
"As in his other Crissa Stone novels, Stroby writes with a sure hand, creating a believable and sympathetic character."
"I consider Stroby to be one of the heirs to the great Elmore Leonard in style, substance and sheer entertainment. This is his second slick hard-boiled featuring flawed heroine, Crissa Stone. ...I want to have a drink with this girl."
"Perhaps the most believeable female protagonist in modern crime fiction."
"A top notch, hardboiled thriller, and a runaway success."
"I'm not sure how Wallace Stroby does it, but he's done it again. ... A terrific addition to this hard-boiled series, and I hope the novels keep on coming."
"If you haven't found this series yet, don't miss it."
"This is why genre fiction can be good. This book feels real."
Praise for "Kings of Midnight"
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"Stroby is a master of mood ... Like the best characters in literature, Crissa Stone is deeply flawed. Like the most lively characters in pulp fiction, she's attractive, intimidating and unpredictable."
"It's a winner from first word to last... If Bruce Springsteen's music is Jersey's soundtrack, then KINGS OF MIDNIGHT and its predecessors are its ongoing screenplay. I can't give a book any higher praise than that."
"Stroby's latest is a dark delight... Action abounds, suspense is ceaseless, and the villains vicious to the core. Better, the author provokes a compassion for his cold-blooded heroine that's tough to explain."
"I love Stroby's writing - lean yet suspenseful with a nicely developed plot... Crissa is a great creation."
"Even with its inventive set pieces and sharp action, it's Stroby's gift of character and realistic tone that make the book stand out from other heist yarns... His criminals are working class guys who speak in a dialogue reminiscent of Elmore Leonard and George V. Higgins."
"I literally flew through the 266 pages in one afternoon and evening... I even missed the evening TV news. Probably wasn't anything on the news as exciting as this book."
"Stroby's taut tale collars the reader and never loosens its grip. ... He has a gift for putting the reader on the side of (his) characters in the manner of Depression-strapped audiences rooting for movie gangsters portrayed by James Cagney."
"This new Stroby novel proves that it is time for him to break out into a broader readership. His crime novels are among the best."
"A great tale ... Loaded with action, but driven by character. Fans will appreciate this taut thriller."
"Stroby has a talent for turning criminals into sympathetic characters while showing us the dirty work they do ... Compelling writing, crisp dialogue, and page-turning plotting, but it's Crissa who will keep me coming back."
"Starred Review ...Crissa puts most men to shame. She's tough, smart, decisive and loyal."
"I couldn't be happier that Wallace Stroby has brought back professional thief Crissa Stone ... A suspenseful tale."