Harry Rane

Created by Wallace Stroby

Before he was a big shot New York Times bestseller and drawing praise from folks like Stephen King and Lawrence Block, Wallace Stroby (the Crissa Stone series) kicked off his novel-writing career with a couple of damn good hard-boiled P.I. thrillers featuring former New Jersey State Trooper HARRY RANE. Widowed, grief-stricken and suffering from a gunshot wound he got on the job, Harry takes early retirement, and now lives in an old farmhouse out in the Jersey boondock, planning to just live out his life, work on his shit box of a car, and stay out of trouble.

Like that’s ever gonna happen.

In his hard-charging first appearance, The Barbed-Wire Kiss (2003, Harry decides to help an old high school buddy out of a jam — just as a favour, ya know — with a local crime boss, and it does not go well, especially when Harry’s past comes sniffing around. By the time The  Heartbreak Lounge (2009), the only follow-up so far, rolls up to the bar, Harry’s knocking down the days doing some investigative grunt work for a friend’s agency, when (surprise, surprise) trouble once again rears its ugly — and surprisingly violent — head.

If you like ’em hard and tough, check these babies out. Stroby knows how to keep the rough stuff flowing, but it’s Harry, poor ground down but defiant Harry, who’s the big draw here.


Jersey Boy Wallace Stroby is an award-winning journalist (he was an editor at The Newark Star-Ledger, Tony Soprano’s hometown newspaper) and novelist. Born and bred, he’s a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore, and can recite all the lyrics to Springsteen’s Born to Run album.


  • “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


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

One thought on “Harry Rane

  1. This was my first Stroby book and I really liked it. Not just the writing but since I live near many of the locations mentioned, I had a perfect mental picture as I read. Wally’s a really nice guy too – saw him twice last week in Asbury Park: First for the oral history panel discussion of The Stone Pony and then he came to our Noir At The Bar this past Sunday. Didn’t read but contributed a signed ARC of Some Die Nameless to our raffle as we raised money for Duane Swierczyski’s daughter, Evie.

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