Stone Barrington is Back!
Stuart Woods brings back one of his most popular characters, Stone Barrington, in his fifth novel of the life and times of the former cop turned lawyer turned investigator. Stone is in a position that every ex-policeman dreads--all around him people are dying, and he suspects the killer may be someone he'd put in prison years before.
Dino Bacchetti, Stone's ex-partner, now the head of detectives in the 19th Precinct, is not immune either, and the Two men must pool their resources to protect those close to them.
Stone's former love, Arrington, now married to movie star Vance Calder, is back, too, and face-to-face with a new woman in Stone's life, one with a Mafia bloodline who may be as dangerous as she is beautiful.
Stone and Dino begin to trace their tracks from years before, looking for clues that might lead them to the brilliant killer. From a premier table at the legendary Elaine's to dark back alleys where Armani-clad mobsters with the latest lethal accessories dwell, this nail-biting suspense tale takes Stone on a life-and-death hunt that twists and turns till the very end; a gripping thrill ride that will test him as no case has ever done before. Racing to find a killer, Stone can only pray that his worst fears won't be realized.
Worst Fears Realized is Stuart Woods's most explosive fun novel yet; an enthralling tension filled tale that will continue to thrill his growing regions of readers.
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Stuart Woods was born in Manchester, Georgia, a small town in the American South. He was educated in the local schools and at the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a BA degree in 1959. He served in the United States Air Force, in which he says he "...flew a truck," as an enlisted man during the Berlin Wall crisis of 1961-62.
He devoted his early adult years to a career in advertising , as an award-winning writer for agencies in New York and London. It was while living in London in 1973 that he decided to pursue an ambition held since childhood, to write fiction. he moved to a flat in the stable yard of a castle in south County Galway, Ireland, and while working two days a week for a Dublin ad agency to support himself, began work on a novel. Shortly after beginning, he discovered sailing and , as he puts it, "Everything went to hell." The novel was put temporarily aside while he spent all his time, "...racing an eleven foot plywood dinghy against small children, losing regularly."
In the autumn of 1974, a friend invited him to help ferry a small yacht up the west coast of Ireland, and the bug bit even harder. Shortly thereafter, his grandfather died, leaving him "...just enough money to get into debt for a boat," and he immediately decided to go to the 1976 Observer Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR). He moved to a gamekeeper's cottage on a river above Cork Harbour and had a boat built at a nearby boatyard. He studied navigation and sailed on other people's boats every chance he got, then, after completing a 1300-mile qualifying voyage from the Azores to Ireland, he persuaded the Race Committee to accept him as an Irish entry.
He completed the race in good form, taking forty-five days, and in 1977 his memoir of the Irish period, Blue Water, Green Skipper was published in London and New York. While sporadically working on the novel, he completed another book, A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland, published in 1979.
Chiefs, Woods' long-awaited novel, was published in 1981 to wide critical and popular acclaim, garnering excellent reviews and winning the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Chiefs was filmed for television as a six-hour drama starring Charlton Heston. Following his success with that novel, Woods published a string of fiction that established him as one of the most popular writers in the world.
Orchid Beach is Stuart Woods' eighteenth novel. His previous books, Run Before the Wind (1983), Deep Lie (1986), Under the Lake (1987), White Cargo (1988), Grass Roots (1989), Palindrome and New York Dead (1989), Santa Fe Rules (1991), L.A. Times (1992), Dead Eyes (1993), Heat (1994), Imperfect Strangers and Choke (1995), Dirt (1996), Dead in the Water (1997) and Swimming to Catalina (1998) have been translated into Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Japanese, and Hebrew and there are millions of copies of his books in print around the world. Several of Stuart Woods' novels have been optioned for feature films and television movies.
Stuart Woods lives on the the Treasure Coast of Florida and Litchfield County, Connectict. He still flies his own plane, and sails.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The pain lay buried somewhere in the depths of Stone Barrington's upper body; a cross between a slipped disc and a coronary, it seemed. It had begun after a phone conversation early in the previous winter. The call, from Arrington Carter, had ended everything. Now she was the wife of another man, living in his house, rearing his son. He would never see her again, except in her husband's company, and he would never think of her again without feeling the pain.
He had never believed it would persist into the following spring, but it had. If anything, it was worse. He saw Dino a couple of times a week, always at Elaine's. Dino was his closest friend--sometimes, he felt, his only friend. Not true, of course. Elaine was his friend, and the evenings in her restaurant, with Elaine and Dino, were the only bright spots in his week. His law practice had lately been boring, a personal injury suit that dragged on and on, a bone thrown to him by Woodman & Weld, because there wasn't enough meat on it to nourish a firm with thirty partners and a hundred associates. They were ready to go to trial, and the expected settlement offer had not materialized. It was depressing. Everything was depressing. And the pain continued, assuaged only by bourbon, and he had done too much assuaging lately. He sat at table number five, at Elaine's, with Dino, and ordered another assuagement.
"Let's go to a party," Dino said. "Have your next one there."
"I don't feel like going to a party with a lot of cops," Stone said.
"It's not a cop party."
"You don't know anybody but cops," Stone said.
Dino caught the waiter's eye and signaled for a check. "I know lots of people," he said.
"Name three who aren't cops or Mafiosi."
"It's not a Mafia party, either," Dino said, dodging the question.
"Whose party is it?"
"It's at a deputy DA's."
"Oh. Then we get to bring our own booze."
"His name is Martin B-r-o-u-g-h-a-m," he spelled, "pronounced 'Broom,' and he's got some money, I think."
"Isn't he handling the Dante trial?" Dante was a crime boss, and his trial was the most important since Gotti's.
"He got a conviction this afternoon."
"I hadn't heard."
"Don't you watch the news anymore?"
"The party is to celebrate the conviction."
"How come I don't know Brougham?"
"Because he runs with a classier crowd than you're accustomed to. The only seedy lawyers he meets are in court."
"Who are you calling a seedy lawyer?"
"How many lawyers are at this table?"
"I am not a seedy lawyer; I just take seedy cases. There's a difference."
"Whatever you say," Dino said, standing up and reaching for his raincoat. "Let's get out of here."
"I don't want to," Stone grumbled.
"You don't want to do anything, you desolate fuck, and I can't stand it anymore. Now put your coat on and come with me, or I'll just shoot you here and now. Nobody would ever prosecute me; it would be justifiable homicide."
"Oh, all right," Stone said, struggling to his feet and grabbing his coat. "One drink, if the guy serves decent booze. Then I'm out of there."
The apartment was a duplex in the East Sixties, definitely not the preserve of an assistant DA.
"You're right," Stone said, as they handed their coats to a maid. "He's got money. There's at least a million dollars of art hanging in this room."
"What are you, his insurance agent?" Dino whispered. "Try and have a good time, okay?"
"Tell me more about this guy," Stone said.
"Word is, he's up for chief deputy DA, and he's going to run for DA, if the old man ever retires."
"He'll grow old waiting," Stone said.
A handsome man of about forty spotted Dino and came across the room, towing a tall blond woman in a Chanel suit.
"Dino," he said, shaking hands. "I'm glad you could make it. You remember Dana."
The woman shook Dino's hand. "Who's this?" she asked, turning her gaze on Stone.
"This is Stone Barrington, Dana. Stone, this is Martin and Dana Brougham."
"How do you do?" Stone said mechanically, shaking their hands.
"I've heard of you," Brougham said, steering Stone and Dino toward the bar. "You were Dino's partner at the Nineteenth Precinct a while back, weren't you?"
"A while back," Stone echoed. "After I left the force they had to kick him upstairs; nobody else would ride in the same car with him."
"You're over at Woodman and Weld, aren't you?"
"I'm of counsel, to them," Stone replied, "but Woodman and Weld would probably rather you didn't know it." It was a remark he wouldn't have made if he had been entirely sober.
Brougham laughed. "What are you drinking?"
"Wild Turkey on the rocks, if you have it."
Brougham grabbed a bottle that looked like a crystal decanter and poured Stone a double. "This is Wild Turkey, but it's got a leg up on the standard stuff."
Stone tasted the whiskey. The man was right. This stuff cost thirty bucks a bottle; he was beginning to like Brougham.
A couple arrived at the front door, and Brougham went off to greet them. "Wander around," he said. "Meet some people."
Stone looked around. The room was jammed with people, and somebody was playing the piano rather well. "I see at least four cops," he said to Dino.
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