Stone Cold Fox is a clever, thrilling, and wicked page-turning con artist thriller with an amazing cat-and-mouse chase that kept me on the edge till the end.
Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft
Publication Date : February 14, 2023
Publisher : Berkley Books
Read Date : March 5, 2023
Genre : Psychological Thriller
Pages : 368
Tea for this book : Lavender Tea
Disclaimer – Many thanks to the publisher for eARC via NetGalley.
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A compelling debut novel about an ambitious woman who, after a lifetime of conning alongside her mother, wants to leave her dark past behind and marry the heir to one of the country’s wealthiest families.
Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves—it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. After a lifetime of forced instruction in the art of swindling men by her mother, Bea wants nothing more than to escape her shadow, close the door on their sordid past, and disappear safely into old-money domesticity.
When Bea finds her final mark in the perfectly dull blue-blooded Collin, she’s ready to deploy all her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring, but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend Gale. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous chase. As the truth of Bea’s past threatens to come roaring out, she finds herself racing against the clock to pass the finish line before everything is exposed.
wicked page-turning con artist thriller
Stone Cold Fox is intriguing and riveting thriller with con artist drama that revolves around Bea and Gale’s cat-and-mouse game.
Bea has set her eyes on Collin and his blue-blooded family and status. She knows how to get what she wants as she learned from the best, her mother who lived her life by swindling rich men. But Bea wants to be different from her mother by aspiring hires and having safety and stability by marrying an extremely rich man and Collin is perfect for that. But what she didn’t anticipate is a challenge from his childhood best friend, Gale, who turned out a worthy rival.
What started as a fun cat-and-mouse game soon turned dangerous threatening to reveal Bea’s past that she buried deep. And soon it becomes a race for Bea to get ahead of the game to secure her future with Collin or the alternative is prison. It was thrilling to see who would reach the finish line first.
Like any normal psych thriller, all characters were unlikable, super despicable. I also didn’t like the innocent ones here but oh what a fun drama and thrill they all gave. Most of the story is written in present from Bea’s perspective but we get intermittent past chapters that take us back to Bea’s childhood and her life with her mother and how she came to where she is now.
Bea is a wicked narcissistic devil. I wouldn’t want to cross her path even in fictional books. She is the most beautiful female in any room and she knows it and is really good at using her beauty to her advantage. She is remarkable at conning and getting out of any situation. I didn’t like her comments on other women and their appearance judging them based on her singular view of money and power. She is a cold-hearted cunning fox making the title for the book apt.
Past chapters made me feel sorry for her. It was horrible what little Bea has to go through, how deprived of love and affection she was. I could get her desperation to please her mother to make her happy and get her love. And what her mother did to her was unthinkable. It put me in the dilemma of who I hated most, Bea or her mother.
Looking at her past one would think Bea would want a different life when she has to walk the path of life on her own, without her mother she might choose better but nope she was her mother’s daughter. She sure wanted to be different than her but at the same time better than her. It was interesting to see if she manages to get what wants and be what she wants.
At first, I thought I would like Gale but she too was as crazy as Bea, more desperate and unhinged. What she did was not exactly wrong but the normal person in her place would have a little self-respect and would have moved on but she was abnormally obsessed with Collin and I couldn’t get her obsession when it was obvious Collin doesn’t have feelings for her.
Surprisingly there was one character I liked and rooted for. Syl was interesting and she made the story even more mysterious. I knew she was somehow involved in this game but her reasons were surprising. I didn’t see that coming.
The mystery and suspense is amazing. First half of the book is full of chase, I could see where it was going but the second half caught me off guard. Twists in this part are surprising. I didn’t expect the game will be extended this long. I knew what happened between Bea and her mother and how that will affect her present and still it was surprising to see it coming to bite her ass. I couldn’t at all say where this will end and what end it was!
Bea surprised me most in the end, I didn’t expect her to go in this direction and I’m surprised to say it actually made me like her. Some readers felt the end was rushed but I found it clever. It left me wishing to have another game between characters.
Overall, Stone Cold Fox is a clever, thrilling, and wicked page-turning con artist thriller with an amazing cat-and-mouse chase that kept me on the edge till the end.
I recommend this if you like,
fast-paced, page-turning story
twisted mother-daughter relationship
con artist drama
unpredictable and surprising twist
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