Sunday, July 12, 2015

THE DEVIL'S SHARE by Wallace Stroby

* Book 4 of the Crissa Stone series *

Crissa Stone is back and this time she's taken a job in my neck of the woods, in sunny Los Angeles,
the City of Angels. She's there to lead the easy heist of millionaire, Emile Cota's prized art pieces as
they're being driven from Vegas to the Port of Los Angeles. It's a piece of cake job because Emile Cota himself is the one who hired her! Can't be anything easier than robbin' a dude who's asking to get robbed right...? Wrong. Dead wrong.

One of the things I've been a bit worried about with this series is the potential to become repetitive and boring. But Stroby has been able to keep it fairly fresh with each installment. And this newest novel definitely feels more distinct, and a bit more dangerous for our diligent heroine this time around. This one feels more assured and you can feel the author really getting into the groove of the series in his writing. I really appreciated how the "villain" this time around turned out to not be as one-dimensional and mustache-twirling as the previous ones have been. But I still want to see the series really evolve more and not fall into the usual series trap of not growing and not raising the stakes. Wallace Stroby, if you're reading, what about maybe having Crissa, in her desperation to be with jailed boyfriend Wayne, plan an epic breakout that might go horribly wrong, or maybe have her do a job that becomes really personal, like one that Wayne organizes or something? Something like that would be awesome and really step things up in the future!

But in the meantime, although the writing is as usual pretty straightforward and workmanlike, mostly surface with no frills and no time for real explorations of inner drama, this style really works with Crissa's character. The series is full of exciting action and all the books are quick, fun reads. And The Devil's Share might be the most satisfying and well-imagined book of the series.


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