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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...In infusing noir tradition with feminist resolve, BARBED WIRE HEART pulls off something rare." --Chicago Tribune
"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
"Read this book From the opening scene to the adrenaline-fueled finale, 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