Crissa Stone’s fourth caper involves stealing some priceless antiquities from an owner so obliging that he offers to pay her and helps her plan the job.
Emile Cota has cut more than a few corners in amassing his collection. It’s just his luck that by the time the buyer he'd lined up for a cache of antiquities he pinched is ready to take delivery, he’s been identified and ordered to return his treasures to Iraq. Nothing daunted, he hires Crissa, whom he knows as Christine Wynn, to hijack them en route to their destination and arrange their delivery to the buyer. The job seems simple enough, since Randall Hicks, Cota’s factotum and security chief, will provide all the inside information she can possibly use and help with the logistics. Crissa reaches out to retired driver Bobby Chance, who hooks her up with a pair of Irishmen; Hicks calls in his Marine buddy Sandy Sandoval; they meet, practice their routines, and wait for what promises to be a bloodless coup. Predictably, that’s not how it works out, and in short order, the conspirators are dispersed to the four winds, at least some of them determined to eliminate the others and grab the brass ring before anyone can turn informant against them. As the body count rises, the focus sharpens to a duel between Crissa and Hicks. Guess who wins.
Though Stroby (Shoot the Woman First, 2013, etc.) doesn’t exactly break new ground, readers hungry for an old-fashioned double-strength heist gone wrong could hardly do better.