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EMMA DILLINGER’s life has stalled out. She lives in Livingston, California—where the 100- degree temperatures remind some people of hell—and works as a bartender. So much for her degree from Berkeley and dreams of being an English professor. She keeps her sanity by keeping up with the things that make her feel pretty: Barre-method classes, manicures, and bi- monthly hair styling from Angela. It’s far from perfect, but it works.
But then REEV comes back into her life. Reev, her former high school boyfriend who left her to join the Marines, and his half-brother, BENSON, convince Emma to go to a club across town. They had plans to con her, thereby controlling her as a pawn in their scheme to take control of the downtown businesses. Emma, though, accidentally burns the club down, killing 14 of Benson’s goons in the process.
When Emma awakes the next morning, she finds herself immersed in a dark underground that she never knew existed. Reev is torn between betraying the woman he once loved, and working with his brother. He plays along as a victim in the scheme. A few days later, Benson picks Emma up and forces her to kill a local business leader. The original assassin, he explains, died in the fire. In shock, Emma carries out her task, but the man chokes on a grape. Instead of killing him, Emma tries to rescue him, but he falls on her knife. Task complete.
Benson and his boss, Vince, are so impressed that they coerce her into becoming an assassin for the organization by threatening her mother’s life. Emma relies on Reev to carry out the killings, but she keeps getting the credit. But when Reev disappears. Emma is forced to rely on her sorority girl training—hello, self-defense class!—for her final target. She could run, but now she wants to prove to herself she doesn’t need Reev.
Emma soon realizes she has been part of a scheme for a Silicon Valley bank to take over the city. The final target on her list is JANICE, her boss at the bar and her dear friend. This is when Emma decides she needs to choose who she really is, and she decides to do the right thing. Instead of killing Janice, Emma makes a stand, but is captured and brought before GERALD DALTON, the billionaire owner of EAST BAY MUTUAL. Gerald has taken Reev as his personal bodyguard and propositions the two of them to be his face for the downtown redevelopment. Emma refuses, which starts a gunfight. Reev chooses to protect Emma, but she is shot.
Emma awakes in a hospital, alive, but forever known as the Kappa Kappa Hit Woman. Reev is taken to prison for conspiracy, but is released a year later. In that time, Emma has embraced her hometown, bringing in her sorority sisters to help with locally driven redevelopment. When Emma picks Reev up from prison, they stop for a drink. What harm could come from a drink?