The Barbed-Wire Kiss by Wallace Stroby
A Novel

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Synopsis

Two years ago, Harry Rane's wife died after a bout with cancer. Then, grief-stricken and careless, he went back to his job as a New Jersey state cop and got shot in the line of duty. He took early retirement, and now lives in an old farmhouse in rural New Jersey and takes life one day at a time. It's not much, but he gets by.

Things change when an old friend from his grade school days in Long Branch calls him for help. Bobby was Harry's best friend until high school graduation, but when Harry went to the police academy Bobby went another way, working, dealing a little on the side. Now he's taken one last chance and gotten in over his head for $50,000 to Eddie Fallon, a local crime boss. Harry goes to see Fallon on Bobby's behalf, hoping to work something out, but it's hard to negotiate with a man like Fallon, and things quickly get complicated, and dangerous.

He does learn, too, that he and Fallon have something in common --- Fallon's wife is an ex-girlfriend Harry hasn't seen since he was eighteen, a girl who was pregnant with his child when she ran away.

In this brooding, blistering debut set against the spare, atmospheric background of downstate New Jersey, Harry gets caught between his past and his future, between right and vengeance.

 

About Wallace Stroby

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WALLACE STROBY is an award-winning journalist and a former editor at The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. This is his fifth novel, following the acclaimed Cold Shot to the Heart and the Barry Award finalist The Barbed-Wire Kiss. He lives in New Jersey.
 
Published February 17, 2003 by Minotaur Books. 352 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Barbed-Wire Kiss

Kirkus Reviews

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“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.

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

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Book Reporter

Harry Rane's longtime friend, Bobby, has gotten himself into deep trouble and now he's bringing that trouble to Harry.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Barbed-Wire Kiss: A Novel

ReviewingtheEvidence.com

A closer examination of dialects prevalent in Southern New Jersey and coastal Atlantic areas reveal that the midlands dialect of South Jersey speech is more akin to Philadelphia than to New York.

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Reader Rating for The Barbed-Wire Kiss
65%

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