The Barbed-Wire Kiss
  • The Barbed-Wire Kiss
  • The Barbed-Wire Kiss

The Barbed-Wire Kiss

4.0 2
by Wallace Stroby
     
 

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Long Branch, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove. The Jersey Shore ain't what it used to be, but ex-state trooper Harry Rane still calls it home. After his wife's death, Harry got careless, got shot, and he left the force. He's a changed man, leads a quiet life, except when it comes to helping his friends...

Now an old buddy of Harry's wants a big favor. He owes $50,000 to

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Overview

Long Branch, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove. The Jersey Shore ain't what it used to be, but ex-state trooper Harry Rane still calls it home. After his wife's death, Harry got careless, got shot, and he left the force. He's a changed man, leads a quiet life, except when it comes to helping his friends...

Now an old buddy of Harry's wants a big favor. He owes $50,000 to a Jersey crime boss and needs Harry to get him more time to repay the loan. That sounds like a plan...except for the green-eyed, redheaded complication. The mobster's married to a gorgeous lady who once fell hard for Harry. And history is about to repeat itself.

Trying to help his friend pay off his debt but inexorably drawn to the girl, soon Harry is between a rock and a hard place. His chances of getting up and staying alive look to be about a million to one....

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Wallace Stroby writes descriptive prose as shiny and sharp as a surgical instrument.” —Chicago Tribune

“Original and exciting...Stroby's dazzling debut manages to wake us up like the slap of a wave on the New Jersey shore.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Stroby does wonders with his blue-collar characters.” —New York Times Book Review

“A scorching first novel that mixes the melancholic heart of tough-guy fiction with a fierce and violent gangster plot.” —Washington Post

“Every so often a debut novel comes along that is so arresting and powerful you just know the author will go on to a fine career. Such is The Barbed-Wire Kiss.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A fast-paced debut...prepare to have your V.Q. (violence-quotient) challenged to the max.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The Barbed-Wire Kiss is as gritty and tough as its Soprano-land New Jersey setting, and Wallace Stroby is a no-nonsense guide and a fine writer.” —C. J. Box, author of Savage Run

“A new member has been added to the Michael Connelly-Robert Crais-Harlan Coben club of crime fiction. This work marks the debut of a novelist of great promise.” —Gerald Petievich, author of To Live and Die in L.A.

“Drawing on his career as a journalist living on the Jersey Shore, Stroby has written a novel that is part Sopranos, part Springstein, but in all a unique and stunning debut.” —Bartholomew Gill, author of The Death of an Irish Sinner

“The Barbed-Wire Kiss is one of those books that gut-hooks on the first page and never lets you go.” —John Gilstrap, author of Scott Free and Nathan's Run

“Intense and gritty, The Barbed-Wire Kiss weaves a melancholy path through the decaying skeletons of the Jersey shore's dead resort towns, a dark, brooding landscape strobed by lightning strikes of passion and mayhem. If James Lee Burke had grown up in Asbury Park, he might have written The Barbed-Wire Kiss.” —F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack

Publishers Weekly
Stroby's dazzling debut stars the Grieving Ex-Cop, adds the Old Girl Friend Now Married to a Mobster, stirs in A Little Favor to Help Out a Best Friend-and still manages to wake us up like the slap of a wave on the New Jersey shore. When his best boyhood buddy comes to former state trooper and widower Harry Rane with a problem involving an abortive drug deal and a nasty local mobster, Harry offers to act as an honest broker, but new problems quickly arise. The mobster has been married for the last three years to a woman who 19 years before was forced to leave town by her parents after getting pregnant by Harry. So the stage is set for lots of angst and melodrama-made not only bearable but actually fascinating, largely because Stroby has created several instantly credible characters and has made them walk over his familiar terrain as if they were the first people ever to have done so. It also helps that his many action scenes are original and exciting, and that anyone who's ever been to Asbury Park or taken the ferry from New Jersey to Delaware will feel right at home. (Feb. 28) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Ex-cop Harry Rane, recovering from the death of his wife and forced into semi-retirement by a bullet wound, comes to the rescue of his longtime friend Bobby. Bobby has made a big mistake: he has invested money with a partner for a "one-time" drug buy. The partner has disappeared with the cash, but the supplier, a suspicious character under scrutiny by New Jersey cops, still wants his money. Fortunately, Rane devises a plan meant to keep the heat off his friend. Hard-hitting prose and tidy plotting complicated by crime bosses, ex-girlfriends, pregnant wives, and bumptious Jersey-shore surroundings make for an excellent first mystery. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Harry Rane has been leading a slow-and-slower kind of life. Once he was a cop on the fast track, a senior detective with the New Jersey State Police Department’s major crimes unit, but that was two years ago, before the tragic death of his wife—and before a bullet took him down, forcing him into early retirement. Now an old friend in trouble lures him from his hermitage. As the result of a drug deal gone sour, Bobby Fox owes money to an ill-tempered crime boss named Eddie Fallon. Bobby, who went to high school with Harry, knows he’s done something stupid, knows bodily harm lurks, and appeals to his friend for help. Harry, glad to be in play again, thinks that paying Fallon his $50,000 is all that’s required to avoid a more bruising payback. And he’d be right if it weren’t for the complication embodied in Mrs. Fallon. At 18, Cristina and Harry were desperately in love. Circumstances parted them, and he hasn’t seen her since. A single look, however, is enough to slap king-size handwriting on the wall. "I lost her once," he says. "I don’t want to lose her again." Bullets fly, blood flows, body bags fill, and Harry becomes unpopular on both sides of the thin blue line. When the smoke clears, though, will the star-crossed, double-crossed lovers still be standing? All the familiar hardboiled elements are managed competently in this fast-paced debut, but prepare to have your VQ—your Violence Quotient—challenged to the max.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312650759
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/28/2003
Series:
Harry Rane Novels Series, #1
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,025,044
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Wallace Stroby is an editor for the New Jersey Star Ledger and lives in New Jersey. The Barbed-Wire Kiss is his first novel.

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved the characters and the soprano-eque backdrop. For those of us who love intrigue and mystery, this is a must read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago