THE PULP REVIEW: Choke Hold by Christa Faust

The blurb:

Angel Dare went into Witness Protection to escape her past—not as a porn star, but as a killer who took down the sex slavery ring that destroyed her life. But sometimes the past just won’t stay buried. When a former co-star is murdered, it’s up to Angel to get his son, a hotheaded MMA fighter, safely through the unforgiving Arizona desert, shady Mexican bordertowns, and the seductive neon mirage of Las Vegas…

So, was it any good?

Hell yeah. But that comes as no surprise to regulars at the blog: I’m always rabbiting on about its predecessor, 2009’s MONEY SHOT. It was one of the first Hard Case Crime novels I read and remains my favourite. CHOKE HOLD is a brilliant sequel.

The book sees the return of sassy porn-star, Angel Dare. Following the events of MONEY SHOT, and a bad spell in Witness Protection, Dare is on the run, using tall tales and hot lips to keep one step ahead of the bad guys. But a random encounter with ex-lover and fellow porn star, Thick Vic Ventura leaves Angel in the shit again, dragged into a cat-and-mouse game to keep Vic’s son and MMA wannabe out of harm’s way.

Angel Dare is definitely one of the hottest dates you can have with a crime book. Her narration is sharp; at times poignant, at other times laugh-out-loud hilarious. Her co-stars at first seem as ludicrously outrageous as Dare herself, until you dig beneath the surface: for all its glorious filth, CHOKE HOLD remains a grounded and undeniably accessible read.

For me, this is the strength of Faust’s storytelling: with lesser writers you get either escapist fantasy or real life grit and grime. With Faust you get both: as high-jinxed as Angel Dare’s adventures can be, she remains a strong, well-rounded and believable character.

CHOKE HOLD is a stand-out thriller and cracking return for fan-favourite, Angel Dare. It screams movie deal so loud that every director on the planet should hear. Let’s just hope Rodriquez and Tarantino are listening.           

CHOKE HOLD is available now from all good book stores. To order a copy or read a sample chapter, click here.

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