Cover image for Dirty work
Title:
Dirty work
Author:
Woods, Stuart.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
322 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A Stone Barrington novel"--Jacket.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780399149825
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Back in New York City after the London adventures of The Short Forever, cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington is approached by a colleague at the firm of Woodman & Weld who needs help with a celebrity divorce case. Heiress Elena Marks needs proof of her layabout husband's infidelity before she can begin divorce proceedings. When the undercover work Stone sets up turns dirty-and catastrophic-leaving the errant husband dead and the mystery woman gone without a trace, Stone must clear his own good name and find a killer hiding among the glitterati of New York's high society. Carpenter-the beautiful British intelligence agent first encountered in The Short Forever-arrives in New York to begin an investigation of her own; Stone suspects that her case is strangely connected to the dead husband. And he and Dino, his former NYPD partner, are set to face the most bizarre and challenging assignment of their very colorful careers.


Author Notes

Stuart Woods was born in Manchester, Georgia on January 9, 1938. He received a B. A in sociology from the University of Georgia in 1959. He worked in the advertising business and eventually wrote two non-fiction books entitled Blue Water, Green Skipper and A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland. His first novel, Chiefs, was published in 1981. It won an Edgar Award and was made into a TV miniseries starring Charlton Heston. His other works include the Stone Barrington series, the Holly Barker series, the Will Lee series, the Ed Eagle series, the Rick Barron series and the Teddy Fay series. He won France's Prix de Literature Policiere for Imperfect Strangers.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Woods constantly surprises his readers, and nowhere is that more evident than in his latest thriller. Suave cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington is asked to hire someone to take photos of Lawrence Fortescue, the husband of a wealthy socialite, with a woman who is presumably his mistress. Stone hires the nephew of an old friend, who proves to be grossly incompetent when he falls through the skylight onto the man he's supposed to be photographing. Fortescue ends up dead, the supposed mistress disappears, and the photographer is charged with manslaughter. As Stone digs deeper, he discovers that Fortescue wasn't killed by the photographer's fall, but by an injection of poison. Enter Carpenter, aka Felicity Devonshire, Stone's contact in British Intelligence. Carpenter suspects the woman involved with Fortescue is actually Marie-Therese du Bois, a trained assassin with a grudge. Carpenter and her colleagues are in town to hunt down Marie-Therese, who is killing agents who were present when her parents were murdered. Carpenter is next on the list, and Stone is determined to protect her. Less predictably, he also wants to help Marie-Therese, whose parents may not have been killed accidentally. Readers will never be less than enthralled. --Kristine HuntleyAdult Books Young adult recommendations in this issue have been contributed by the Booklist staff and by reviewers Nancy Bent, Tina Coleman, GraceAnne DeCandido, Deborah Donovan, Patty Engelmann, Sally Estes, Roberta Johnson, Beth Leistensnider, Shelley Mosley, Regina Schroeder, Candace Smith, and Linda Waddle. Titles recommended for teens are marked with the following symbols: YA, for books of general YA interest; YA/C, for books with particular curriculum value; YA/L, for books with a limited teenage audience; YA/M, for books best suited to mature teens.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Woods's new mystery is as sleek and engaging as the upper-class lifestyle of its appealing hero, ex-cop-cum-lawyer-cum-private investigator Stone Barrington. Woods (Blood Orchid) rewards Stone (and readers) by bringing back the beautiful British intelligence agent, code-named Carpenter, who first appeared in The Short Forever, the preceding book in this series. But Carpenter brings Stone more than hot sex and clever dinner conversation-she inadvertently draws him into her life-and-death struggle with one of the world's most efficient and intelligent female assassins, La Biche. While on assignment for lawyer Stone, attempting to photograph an adulterous husband in flagrante delicto, a clumsy assistant gets into trouble and falls into the hands of the NYPD and British Intelligence. Stone's pal and ex-partner from his early days on the NYPD, detective Dino Bacchetti, aids in extricating the assistant, but the incriminating photographs soon involve both men in the hunt for La Biche, who is out to kill Carpenter and avenge an old wrong. Friend and foe alike feed outright lies to Stone and Dino as the chameleonic lady assassin piles body upon body. Woods writes in a dry, witty style that keeps all his characters on a likable keel. The amusing repartee between Stone and Dino is memorably funny. In the end, Stone supplies a surprising dose of morality, and the reader finds that there is more to the story than flesh, flash and derring-do. Author tour. (Apr.) FYI: Woods recently signed a new contract with Putnam to supply two more in this series as well as several other unspecified books over the next two years. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In Woods's latest novel, cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington is tapped by a wealthy client to get incriminating photographs of her cheating husband. Stone reluctantly accepts, but things really heat up when the husband winds up dead, a victim of his mysterious mistress. Beautiful British intelligence agent Carpenter, a prominent character, arrives on the scene and supplies the identity of the killer-an international assassin and master of disguise named Marie-Therese DuBois, better known as "La Biche." La Biche is out to kill those agents who were instrumental in the death of her parents, and Carpenter is next on the list. The plot is often implausible but moves at a fast pace, and the dialog is usually sharp and funny. Some listeners may find Robert Lawrence's cartoonish portrayals of the secondary characters irritating, but this work is entertaining, and the author's fans will be interested. Recommended for adult popular fiction collections.-Phillip Oliver, Univ. of North Alabama Lib., Florence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

1 ELAINE'S, LATE. A big night-a couple of directors, a couple of movie stars, half a dozen writers, an assortment of journalists, editors, publicists, cops, wise guys, drunks, hangers-on, women of substance, and some of considerably less substance. And this was just at the tables; the bar was a whole other thing. Stone Barrington pushed his plate away and sat back. Gianni, the waiter, snatched it away. "Was it all right?" Gianni asked. "You see anything left?" Stone asked. Gianni grinned and took the plate to the kitchen. Elaine came over and sat down. "So?" she said. She did not light a cigarette. To Stone's continuing astonishment, she had quit, cold turkey. "Not much," Stone replied. "That's what you always say," Elaine said. "I'm not kidding, not much is happening." The front door of the restaurant opened, and Bill Eggers came in. "Now something's happening," Elaine said. "Eggers never comes in here unless he's looking for you, and he never looks for you unless there's trouble." "You wrong the man," Stone said, waving Eggers over to the table, but he knew she was right. For ordinary work, Bill phoned; for more pressing tasks, he hunted down Stone and usually found him at Elaine's. "Good evening, Elaine, Stone," Eggers said. "Your cell phone is off." "It didn't work, did it?" Stone replied. "I gotta be someplace," Elaine said, getting up and walking away. She got as far as the next table. "Drink?" Stone asked. Michael, the headwaiter, materialized beside them. "Johnnie Walker Black, rocks," Eggers said. "I have a feeling I'm going to need a Wild Turkey," Stone said to Michael. Michael vanished. "How's it going?" Eggers asked. "You tell me," Stone said. Eggers shrugged. "If I had to guess," Stone said, "I'd say, not so hot." "Oh, it's not so bad," Eggers replied. "Then what drags you away from home and hearth, into this den of iniquity?" "You remember that big Irish ex-cop, used to do little chores for you from time to time?" "Teddy? He dropped dead in P. J. Clarke's three months ago." "From what?" "How many things can an Irishman in an Irish bar drop dead of?" Stone asked, rhetorically. "Yeah," Eggers admitted. "And why would I need somebody like Teddy?" Stone asked. "You remember telling me about that thing Teddy used to do with the water pistol?" Eggers asked. "You mean, after he kicked down a door and had his camera ready, how he squirted his naked subjects down low, so they'd grab at themselves and leave their faces open to be photographed in bed with each other?" Eggers chuckled. "That's the one. I admire that kind of ingenuity." The drinks came, and they both sipped for a long, contemplative moment. "So, you're in need of that kind of ingenuity?" Stone asked at last. "You remember that prenup I tossed you last year?" Eggers asked. Bill Eggers was the managing partner of Woodman & Weld, the very prestigious New York law firm to which Stone was of counsel, which meant he sometimes did the work that Woodman & Weld did not wish to appear to be doing. "Elena Marks?" Stone asked. "The very one." "I remember." Elena Marks was heiress to a department store fortune, and she had married a member in high standing of the No Visible Means of Support Club. "You remember that funny little clause you wrote into her prenup?" "You mean the one about how if Larry got caught with his pants around his ankles in the company of a lady other than Elena, he would forfeit any claim to her assets or income?" Lawrence Fortescue was English-handsome, well educated, and possessed of every social grace, which meant he didn't have a receptacle in which to relieve himself. "The very one," Eggers said. "Has Larry been a bad boy?" Stone asked. "Has been, is, and will continue to be," Eggers replied, sipping his Scotch. "I see," Stone said. "Now that Teddy has gone to his reward, who do you use for that sort of thing?" "It's been quite a while since that sort of thing was required of me," Stone replied edgily. "Don't take that tone with me, young man," Eggers said, raising himself erect in mock dudgeon. "It's work, and somebody has to do it." Stone sighed. "I suppose I could find somebody." Eggers looked at him sharply. "You're not thinking of doing this yourself, are you? I mean, there are heights involved here, and you're not as young as you used to be." "I am not thinking of doing it myself, but I'm certainly in good enough shape to," Stone said. "What kind of heights are we talking about?" "The roof of a six-story town house, shooting through a conveniently located skylight." "There is no such thing as a conveniently located skylight, if you're the one doing the climbing," Stone said. "You'd need someone...spry," Eggers said, "and the term hardly applies to the cops and ex-cops you mingle with." At that moment, as if to make Eggers's point, Stone's former partner from his NYPD days, Dino Bacchetti, walked through the front door and headed for Stone's table. "If you see what I mean," Eggers said. Stone held up a hand, stopping Dino in his tracks, then a finger, turning him toward the bar. "I get your point," Stone said. "I'll see who I can come up with." "You don't have a lot of time," Eggers said. "It's at nine o'clock tomorrow night." "What's at nine o'clock tomorrow night?" "The assignation. Larry Fortescue has an appointment with a masseuse who, I understand, routinely massages more than his neck muscles. Elena would like some very clear photographs of that service being performed." "Let me see what I can do," Stone said. Eggers tossed off the remainder of his Scotch and placed a folded sheet of paper on the table. "I knew you would grasp the nettle," he said, standing up. "The address of the building is on the paper. I'll need the prints and negatives by noon the day after tomorrow." "What's the rush?" "Elena Marks is accustomed to instant gratification." "But not from Larry?" "You are quick, Stone. Nighty-night." He slapped Dino on the back as he passed the bar on his way to the door. Dino came over, licking Scotch off his hand, where Eggers had spilled it. He flopped into a chair. "So what was that about?" he asked, pointing his chin at Eggers's disappearing back. "Dirty work," Stone said. --from Dirty Work: A Stone Barrington Novel by Stuart Woods, Copyright © 2003 Stuart Woods, Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission by the publisher. Excerpted from Dirty Work by Stuart Woods All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.