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Barbed Wire Heart

Barbed Wire Heart

The daughter of a meth kingpin faces the most difficult choice of her life–family loyalty, or freedom. Set in a harsh and insular rural community reminiscent of Winter’s Bone, Tess Sharpe’s powerful debut BARBED WIRE HEART is a breathtaking “ballad of survival sung by a voice you’ll never forget” (David Joy).

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 he’d deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he’s built.

Her time’s run out. The Springfields, her family’s biggest rivals, are moving in. Years ago, they were responsible for her mother’s death, and now they’re coming for Duke’s only weak spot: his daughter.

With a bloody turf war threatening to consume North County, Harley is forced to confront the truth: that her father’s violent world will destroy her. Duke’s raised her to be deadly–he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she’s got to take out Duke’s operation and the Springfields.

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.

A remarkable novel with a deep emotional core, BARBED WIRE HEART seamlessly blends page-turning suspense with a multilayered and unflinching portrayal of a poor, rural community where family is everything.

“Terrific…BARBED WIRE HEART pulls off something rare.” –Chicago Tribune

“Harley McKenna is possibly the most powerful, original female character we’ve had in decades.” —New York Journal of Books

This is the rare thriller that packs an emotional punch…Harley is one of the most complex, fascinating, dangerous characters I’ve encountered in years.” –Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Terrific. “–David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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Genre: Mystery & Thriller / Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense

On Sale: March 6th 2018

Price: $25.98 / $33.98 (CDN)

ISBN-13: 9781478975717

Meet The Author: Tess Sharpe

Born in a mountain cabin to a punk rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural Northern California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a lot of dogs and a growing colony of slightly feral cats. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed YA novel Far From You and the co-editor of Toil & Trouble, a feminist YA anthology.

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reader reviews


"Narrator and author Tess Sharpe's debut story of backwoods crime and the ongoing struggle to survive against powerful rivals is enhanced by her emotional and evocative delivery. Harley McKenna has been involved in the family crime business since she was 16. Sharpe's voice mimics the existential terror of a teenager who is forced into life-or-death situations when she's too young to fully understand the ramifications of her and others' actions. Sharpe captures Harley's dread of the future, when she'll likely have to take over the drug-dealing empire. But it's the love of family that drives Harley, and Sharpe's narration depicts this with perfection. Overall, Sharpe transmits the tension and matter-of-fact violence of Harley's life with an intensity rarely heard in audiobooks."—AudioFile Earphone Awards

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