Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kings of Midnight-Wallace Stroby

Kings of Midnight

Wallace Stroby

Minotaur, Apr 10 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9781250000378

Career felon Crissa Stone needs a big score to get out of the criminal business so she can regain custody of her child and arrange for her lover’s parole. However, her latest gig falls apart when her two partners Rory and Hollis turn avaricious and kill each other. Crissa flees from the deadly scene.

In the Fed’s Protection program, retired gangster Benny Roth works at CafĂ© Milan in Indiana using the name Leonard when two New Yorkers, Danny Taliferro and his nephew Frank Long, arrive. They make the sexagenarian go to his home where his twenty-something girlfriend Marta is being held by a third hood Dominic. They want Benny to lead them to cancer victim mob boss Joey Dio who hid millions from the Lufthansa theft over three decades ago that Roth was part of. Benny insists most of them were paid in death as he was lucky to survive and never got any of the loot. Benny turns the table on the trio and flees with Marta. As a raging Taliferro and his cohorts pursue Benny, he hooks up with Crissa to find Dio’s stash.

The latest Stone crime caper (see Cold Shot to the Heart) is a great tale that combines the real 1978 Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport as the motivation to a present day cat and mouse chase. The storyline with the emphasis on the PDCA (plan, do, check and act) methodology of criminals will remind readers of Donald E. Westlake’s Dortmunder tales (see Get Real and Watch Your Back) though without the humor. Loaded with action but driven by Crissa and her two new partners, fans will appreciate this taut thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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