Barbed Wire Heart
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Barbed Wire Heart

4.1 (925 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Never cut the drugs--leave them pure.
Guns are meant to be shot--keep them loaded.
Family is everything--betray them and die.

Harley McKenna is the only child of North County's biggest criminal. Duke McKenna's run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley's been working for him since she was sixteen--collecting debts, sweet-talking her way out of trouble, and dreading the day Duke would deem her ready to take over his command. Now time's running out. A terminal cancer diagnosis leaves Duke with six months to live, and their business rivals, the Springfields, are circling. If Duke's illness is revealed, a bloody war will break out through North County and Harley will be the one left to pay the price. With her father secretly in hospice care, she makes a choice: to sabotage his business and frame Carl Springfield for it.

Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: she is her father's daughter. And McKennas always win.

BARBED WIRE HEART is a novel set in the mountains of rural Northern California that explores the meth trade through the eyes of a kingpin's daughter hell-bent on destroying everything her father's built in order to save her town, her life, and the battered women she protects.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 162 x 232 x 38mm | 640g
  • Grand Central Publishing
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1538744090
  • 9781538744093
  • 1,050,907

Review quote

"The power of her story is such that one cannot help but think that BARBED WIRE HEART is composed of equal parts fact and imagination, with perhaps a pound or two more of the former than of the latter. Those who are particularly fond of their characters shaded in deep gray, as opposed to black and white, will find much to love here, particularly with respect to the gritty protagonist."--BookReporter "A high-tension thriller...[Harley is] relentlessly tough and profoundly compassionate...This is a deeply affecting story about the complex family dynamics of growing up in the midst of a drug-trade blood feud...Highly satisfying."--Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW) "Fast-paced and explosive....the tough but conflicted Harley will have readers cheering...Will especially attract fans of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone."--Library Journal "Harley McKenna is possibly the most powerful, original female character we've had in decades.... Masterfully constructed, BARBED WIRE HEART is an evocative work of darkness and redemption, hinting at times of Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy. An amazing debut novel. An exciting new voice in the world of books."--New York Journal of Books "Terrific...In infusing noir tradition with feminist resolve, BARBED WIRE HEART pulls off something rare. Harley may be ridden with guilt and overcome by the feeling that she's incapable of being loved, but in her pursuit of a life of her own, she has only begun to fight."--Chicago Tribune "A pulsepounding thriller...masterfully written and constructed....With her powerful debut, Sharpe is definitely a name to watch."--Booklist (STARRED REVIEW) "A terrific novel of suspense, heartbreak, morality and family. Harley McKenna is a remarkable character. The pages will turn themselves and stay with you for a long time."--David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of End Game "Read this book! From the opening scene to the adrenaline-fueled finale, this is the rare thriller that packs an emotional punch as compelling as the deadly drug war that must be won at any cost. Harley is absolutely my kind of kick ass heroine. She's one of the most complex, fascinating, dangerous characters I've encountered in years. And BARBED WIRE HEART is the kind of novel that will stay with you long after the end."--Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Find Her "Harley McKenna is a young woman raised in a harsh world of meth and madness, a lone girl with a conscience raised by a lawless daddy. I love Tess Sharpe's clean-boned writing and tension that makes my heart gallop. Add the underdog fighting against heroic odds, and a universal cause that hits home, and I'm hooked. I am a fan!"--Leah Weiss, bestselling author of If The Creek Don't Rise "Harley McKenna is fierce and unforgettable, a protagonist who takes 'strong female character' to a new level. With shades of Winter's Bone and True Grit, the writing is pin-sharp, with an engaging, masterfully sustained voice, and an utterly captivating story. Tess Sharpe is a writer to watch."--Beth Lewis, author of The Wolf Road "BARBED WIRE HEART is balanced on a knifepoint, a novel teetering between hope and fate, loyalty and betrayal. With a story of family and a narrator wrought hard as iron, Tess Sharpe has written a ballad of survival sung by a voice you'll never forget."--David Joy, bestselling author of Where All Light Tends To Go "[BARBED WIRE HEART] introduces a major talent...This hard-edged thriller set in the gold rush country of Northern California... has a welcome, powerful feminist sensibility and with its relentless intensity, gritty atmosphere, and compelling father-daughter psychology, this promises to be one of the best books of 2018."--Kirkus (STARRED REVIEW)
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About Tess Sharpe

Born in a backwoods cabin to a pair of punk rockers, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural California. Following an internship with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she studied theater at Southern Oregon University before abandoning the stage for the professional kitchen. She lives, bakes, and writes near the Oregon border.
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Rating details

925 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 36% (337)
4 44% (405)
3 15% (137)
2 3% (32)
1 2% (14)
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