The Barbed-wire Kiss

by Wallace Stroby

Harry Rane's longtime friend, Bobby, has gotten himself into deep
trouble and now he's bringing that trouble to Harry. He needs help
cleaning it up. Once a New Jersey State Police trooper, Harry still
has some valuable contacts and knows how to use them. But Bobby's
trouble is with an organized crime figure, Eddie Fallon. Eddie's
not a good person to mess with. It seems Bobby figured that maybe
he could strike it rich with a one-time drug deal. Unfortunately,
he's come up short --- short of the drugs and about $50,000. And
Eddie isn't a real patient man. Harry has some pretty good moves,
but he also has one very bad one, a near-fatal one. It turns out
that Fallon's wife is Harry's ex-girlfriend. Eighteen years ago,
she left, pregnant with Harry's child and never returned --- until
now. Harry's judgment has been impeccable up to this point, but
Cristina is just too tempting to resist. To complicate matters
further, members of the department he once was a part of are
breathing down his neck over some bodies that have turned up.

Wallace Stroby has hit the mystery scene like a steam engine racing
along at full throttle. He knows how to grab your attention and
never let go. Fast-paced and engrossing, THE BARBED-WIRE KISS
delivers a satisfying punch.

It came to a nice, tidy wrap-up and I was pretty happy with it.
Then I realized I still had 20 or 30 pages left in the book. Stroby
just doesn't let go. Even at the last page, I had the feeling it
wasn't quite over yet. Harry has another chance, but what's in his
future from here? I wouldn't mind seeing where he goes and what he
does --- and soon. You've just gotta love him, especially when he's
throwing caution and reason to the wind and letting his heart and
mouth guide him. I read, cringing, wincing and shaking my head. I
think I even cried out "Don't do THAT, Harry" a couple times.

This is an exceptional first novel. If you love a mystery and crave
action, give THE BARBED-WIRE KISS a few hours. You won't need more
than that and you'll agree it was time very well spent.

Note: Strong language, violence, minimal sexual content.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 21, 2011

The Barbed-wire Kiss
by Wallace Stroby

  • Publication Date: March 13, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0312995474
  • ISBN-13: 9780312995478