Wednesday, July 05, 2006

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 about the often-cliched character of cop gone wrong. Stroby's second Rane storm is even better, as he gets involved with a dancer named Nikki Ellis who used to work at the scuzzy Heartbreak Lounge in Asbury Park.
Ellis' husband has been released from prison in Florida, and she thinks he's coming back to South Jersey to settle some scores--with her for putting their son up for adoption, with some treacherous former gangster colleagues and most of all with Rane, who once again lets himself be sucked into a mess of danger by doing a favor for a friend.