NOW IN PAPERBACK
Johnny Harrow is back home in New Jersey after seven years in a Florida prison - and he has some scores to settle. Foremost is with his ex girlfriend, Nikki Ellis, who gave their child up for adoption and wants Johnny out of her life forever. As Johnny follows her trail through the back alleys and barrooms of the Jersey Shore, Nikki turns to ex-state trooper Harry Rane to protect her. But even Harry isn't quite prepared for the murderous force of nature that is Johnny Harrow...
Praise for "THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE"
"In a brilliant follow-up to his impressive debut ("The Barbed-Wire Kiss"), Stroby continues the hard-boiled adventures of Harry Rane...The denouement is bloody, explosive, and deeply satisfying. Harry Rane walks these mean streets perfectly at home with the icons: Spade, Marlowe, and Archer."
- KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)
"Stroby worked the formula of the noir crime novel like an old pro in "The Barbed-Wire Kiss,' which captured the bleak aura of desolation in Jersey Shore communities where petty crooks and racketeers rub elbows with car dealers and fishermen at the local topless bar. Stroby is back on this marginal social turf...writing with such fierce originality that he rejuvenates genre conventions. Johnny Harrow is an electrifying character."
- THE NEW YORK TIMES
"THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE is a great pleasure, a crime novel full of fully realized characters - good guys and bad - plot moves as complex and surprising as real life, and raw, tough, gritty prose and scenes. This is the real stuff. It makes the Sopranos seem like a domestic spat at a family picnic in the park. I loved it."
- - James Crumley, author of THE LAST GOOD KISS and DANCING BEAR
"Wallace Stroby's first book about ex-New Jersey State Trooper Harry Rane, "The Barbed-Wire Kiss," found some tough, sharp new things to say...THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE is even better."
- CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Stroby is breaking new ground in the realm of noir literature. His descriptive abilities are breathtaking...THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE demonstrates a talent that runs deep, dark and rich. Highest possible recommendation.."
"Conventional publishers' wisdom is that second novels are invariably inferior to firsts. Wallace Stroby refutes that notion emphatically."
- SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
"Wallace Stroby's second novel is written with authenticity and style. The prose is as sharp as a pistol-butt against the back of the head yet surprisingly touching at the same time. This is some serious crime fiction...a novel that is utterly engrossing, relentlessly suspenseful and that packs the wallop of a .38 slug fired at point-blank range."
- MYSTERY NEWS
"Payback and revenge drive Stroby's taut, violent second outing...In the end, Stroby's suspenseful tale of bleak lives in danger offers a few glimmers of hope for those with damaged hearts."
- PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
"It's not easy to pull off a cat- and-mouse story that inspires just the tiniest bit of sympathy for the predator, but Stroby does just that...Readers will have a hard time putting down this three-ring circus of a book. Not to be missed." -
THE NEWARK STAR-LEDGER
"Well-refined prose, vivid descriptions, and mounting tension..."
- LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Critics welcomed "The Barbed-Wire Kiss" with an impressive array of adjectives, like stunning, arresting and dazzling. The new book, more vivid, more muscular, is even better."
- NEW JERSEY MONTHLY
"Stroby has a knack for keeping you reading."
- CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
"Wallace Stroby proves his sensational debut, 'The Barbed Wire Kiss,' was no fluke with a follow-up that's every bit as good as its predecessor. Readers have good reason to hope for more Harry Rane novels."
- FLINT JOURNAL
"Stroby's edgy, dark, gritty tale is razor-sharp and distinctly memorable; he is a creative and exceptionally talented crime novelist who is slowly gaining well-deserved national recognition."
- LANSING STATE JOURNAL
"A tightly plotted fireball of suspense. Stroby infuses his action-packed story with unpredictable twists."
- SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL
"The best hard-boiled detective novel I've ever read... Genre writers follow the rules, literary writers make up their own, and Wallace Stroby definitely belongs in that latter category."
- EDMONTON JOURNAL
"Straight-ahead, no-frills noir just the way I like it. Stroby combines two interlocking narratives with just the right amount of tension, builds character development and plot points through the use of dialogue, and adds even more melancholic layers to Harry Rane's lonely life. Where he'll go from here, it's hard to say, but he better come back soon."
- SARAH WEINMAN
"THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE hooks the reader from the start... lots of action, a cast of well-drawn, manipulative people, and steadily building tension that makes it hard to put down...It ends with a thrilling dead-of-winter confrontation and a satisfying denouement."
- I LOVE A MYSTERY