Lover Girl, a High-Octane Mafia Thriller by Stephen Kronwith, M.D.

The Bottom Line: A gem among mafia thrillers featuring a likable female assassin and one high-octane scene after another. Highly recommended. 

Meet Angelica Fortuna, a wisecracking assassin and daughter of Philadelphia crime boss Don Vito Fortuna. Nickname: The Angel of Death (l’angelo della morte). But while death is her business, Angelica herself is full of life, snark, and a healthy dose of hubris in her own youthful, good looks. 

Angelica has been sent to deliver an untimely demise to retired legendary hitman ‘Lover Boy’ Vivino. She’s smug and has played out the moment in her head, anticipating the way in which yet another simpering man will fall at her feet—both figuratively and literally. But what happens next upends life as she has known it. 

Through a delightful twist, Angelica and Lover Boy join forces and are soon caught up in a race to rescue a kidnapped child. But that’s only the beginning of their troubles. There are consequences for defying Don Vito Fortuna, and now it’s not only Lover Boy that the mobster has his sights on. The pair will have to figure out how to not only save a life, but keep theirs from being extinguished. 

Angelica joins a small but mighty cadre of oddly likable female assassins — from Villanelle on Killing Eve to Nikita from Luc Besson’s classic assassin film La Femme Nikita. But the true heart of this novel is the relationship between Lover Boy and Angelica — a 30-year-old unlikely assassin with a psychology major who was still living at home with her parents (until her mother’s recent passing). She’s a complicated and conflicted character, and Kronwith has imbued her with a humanness that makes her highly relatable despite her unique profession.

In this second book of the Lover Boy series, Kronwith snaps the reader to attention right off the bat in one of the most clever — and strangely charming — assassin scenes written. What unfolds is not only a high-octane thriller, but an unexpected examination of family and friendship. A must-read for crime thriller fans.

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