"The Barbed-Wire Kiss"
Barry Award finalist for Best First Novel
Now in paperback!
St. Martin's/Minotaur ISBN 0-312-99547-4
Long Branch, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove. The Jersey Shore ain't what it used to be, but ex-N.J. State Trooper Harry Rane still calls it home. After his wife's death, Harry got careless, got shot, and left the force. He's a changed man, leading 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 wannabe 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 woman who once fell hard for Harry. And history is about to repeat itself.
Praise for "The Barbed-Wire Kiss"
"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."
- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)
" A scorching first novel ... full of attention to character and memory and, even more, to the neighborhoods of New Jersey."
- WASHINGTON POST
"Stroby does wonders with his blue-collar characters - the hard-working fishermen and mechanics and bar waitresses who put their hand to petty crime the way they play the lottery..."
- NEW YORK TIMES
"Our annual dose of proof that fresh, new writers can revitalize the mystery genre ... Stroby writes descriptive prose as shiny and sharp
as a surgical instrument."
- CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"The characters are unforgettable and original... The action is nonstop, the suspense nerve-racking, and the atmosphere brooding and sensual."
- CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER
"If novels should address how it is to live on human, social and
personal bases, then THE BARBED-WIRE KISS is that rarest of mystery novels, both a good novel and a thrilling mystery. Drawing on his career as a journalist living on the Jersey Shore, Stroby has written a novel that is part Sopranos, part Springsteen, but in all a unique and stunning debut."
- BARTHOLOMEW GILL, author of DEATH IN DUBLIN
"An excellent first mystery. "
- LIBRARY JOURNAL
"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 OUT OF RANGE and TROPHY HUNT
"THE BARBED-WIRE KISS has the melancholy yet stripped-down feel of Springsteen music at its hard-driving best."
- THE ASBURY PARK PRESS
"Stroby's keen sense of character and inordinate understanding of people in all walks of life is what makes his work stand out from the field. ... 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. and THE SENTINEL
"THE BARBED-WIRE KISS ... is a keeper."
- PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN
"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
"Stroby captures the feel of the real Shore; the desperation of an area of the state whose survival rests on a few summer months. ...THE BARBED-WIRE KISS is hard-boiled to its core."
"A fast-paced debut"
- KIRKUS REVIEWS
"THE BARBED-WIRE KISS is one of those books that gut-hooks on the first page and never lets you go. Wallace Stroby gives us vivid characters, a compelling plot and a sense of place so spot-on that you swear you can smell it. What more can you ask for?"
- JOHN GILSTRAP, author of SCOTT FREE and NATHAN'S RUN
"Wallace Stroby has managed to write one of the year's best novels to date. Realistic and sympathetic characters mesh perfectly with the vivid New Jersey Shore setting. Highly recommended."
- DEADLY PLEASURES
"Against the backdrop of working-class New Jersey, Stroby lays out a tale that's both angst-ridden and gripping in its action."
- JANUARY MAGAZINE
"Wallace Stroby has hit the mystery scene like a steam engine racing along at full throttle."