Spotlight Review: STONE COLD FOX by Rachel Koller Croft

From the publisher:

A perfectly wicked debut thriller 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. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape.

When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully loaded, thoroughly dull and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of 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 1 percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester.

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 pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be.

“This delicious, twisty tale of deception and daughterhood will have everyone holding onto their wallets.” —Good Morning America

“This is excellent writing for a debut author and is a must-read for fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl or Lisa Unger’s Confessions on the 7:45.” —Library Journal

“An absorbing story that plays with ideas of good and evil, keeping readers guessing who is the hero and who the villain.” —Kirkus (starred review)

This book was completely unputdownable! It starts off one way then takes you over a cliff. It appears to be a story about a woman who is the epitome of a gold digger. Bea knows she’s gorgeous, smart, and sexy and she’s determined to marry rich. Filthy rich. She dates several older men, the type who want trophy wives, but no proposals come from them and the relationships fizzle out. Then she meets Collin.

Collin isn’t just rich, he’s generationally wealthy, heir to a family fortune that is incredibly appealing to Bea. This is the type of character, the type of woman, I would generally have no use for whatsoever, so I have to give credit to this author who somehow made me care about her and root for her to fool Collin enough to get her wed. Part of it is that she is so good to Collin; she listens to him when he speaks, and even though she won’t allow herself to fall in love, she cares enough about him to want to make him happy. Her methods work; he is completely besotted.

Things take a slightly darker tone with intermittent chapters that harken back to Bea’s childhood, but it takes a while before we realize how egregious her mother, and her upbringing, truly were. There is additional turmoil with Collin’s best friend, Gail, who he not only relies on, but his entire family and her family are all very close friends. These are the 1%, the uber-wealthy who stick together and are not very welcoming to outsiders, to say the least. But Collin goes to bat for Bea, standing up to his parents and his best friend. Things get dicey when Bea recognizes an enemy in Gail, and Bea is sharp enough to realize that Gail is in love with Collin. Luckily for Bea, Collin has zero romantic interest in Gail so that makes Bea and Gail enemies.

Collin and Bea seem like their happily ever after is in the bag. She gets the enormous engagement ring, the wedding of her in-laws’ dreams, and the ultra-wealthy family she’s always wanted. Then things get really dark. No spoilers here – let’s just say there are twists I never saw coming, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This was a totally intriguing book with an unusual storyline that really works. Incredible debut – don’t miss it!

2/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

STONE COLD FOX by Rachel Koller Croft.  Berkley (February 14, 2023). ISBN:‎  978-0593547502. 368p.





One Response to Spotlight Review: STONE COLD FOX by Rachel Koller Croft

  1. […] via the International Thriller Writers “Big Thrill” newsletter. (I loved her book, Stone Cold Fox!) Plus, it’s being adapted for TV, so read the book […]

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