Select one of the keywords
Shoot the Woman First    by Wallace Stroby order for
Shoot the Woman First
by Wallace Stroby
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Shoot the Woman First is the third in Wallace Stroby's Crissa Stone mysteries, following Cold Shot to the Heart and Kings of Midnight. The title refers to the fact that they tell antiterrorist commandos to do that very thing, as the women they're up against 'are the real hard cases ... You don't mess with the women.'

Crissa is an engaging felon, who participates in well planned, non-violent capers to fund support for her daughter Maddie (who believes Crissa's cousin is her mother) and to pay lawyers working on her mentor/lover Wayne's case - she hopes for his early release from a Texas prison.

This episode opens on the planning phase of a job to rob a Detroit drug lord, whose security has recently got sloppy. Two old and trusted friends are involved - Charlie Glass and Larry Black - plus Charlie's cousin.

The heist goes ahead but turns sour when it's time to split the proceeds - Crissa's friends die and she barely escapes with her life, and with hers and Larry's share of the loot. Knowing that Larry has a small daughter in Florida, Crissa heads there to hand over his share. She always pays her debts.

Of course, someone comes after her, corrupt ex-cop Burke for whom the end (his enrichment) justifies any means he deems necessary. Crissa accompanies Larry's addicted ex, Claudette, and their small daughter Haley to Claudette's sister's home, which is where the action explodes into a maelstrom of violence.

If you haven't found this series yet, don't miss it. I'm not usually keen on criminal protagonists, but you have to love Crissa. And they definitely should have shot the woman first!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews