By Christa Faust
Cover art by Glen Orbik
Hard Case Crime, October 2011
The name is Dare, Angel Dare, and as a name it’s rather better than Siren Seduce or Kitty Cajole, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
She is quite a game girl an’ all, an ex-porn star and sometime cold blooded killer, smart and sassy, hardboiled as hell.
When the novel opens, Angel is working as a waitress in a small town – Hicksville, USA in all but name – hiding low after having ensconced from the witness protection programme – if you want to know how she wound up there, check out the previous novel, Money Shot. Her eyes alight on a face from the past, Thick Vic, one of her former co-stars; and later she is suckered into promising to take care of his son, Cody. This is the ‘choke hold’ of the title, a grip that holds her fast.
Angel may sometimes act like a female version of Richard Stark’s Parker, but she has integrity, she’s a dame you can depend on. What you can expect here is a rollercoaster ride, a neo-noirish tale involving drug smuggling (streroids and the like), clandestine mixed martial arts bouts, dodgy betting, extortion, and a lot of guns going off. By the end, the body count easily reaches double figures, but you can bet that our celestial siren has someone watching over her.
Right from the start, Choke Hold places its peep-toe mule on the base of your throat and doesn’t let up for a second. You’ll hold your breath and forfeit sleep, and that not entirely out of choice. It’s perfect pulp entertainment. As for Angel Dare herself, she’s a divine and dastardly creation. The last time I was as enamoured by a female character was when I saw Linda Fiorentina in The Last Seduction. I don’t know which one I’d back in a fight, whether mixed martial arts or just straight wrestling, but it would certainly be fun to watch…
The publisher’s description of the book can be read here.