Author: Woods Stuart
Package Dimensions: 23x187x199
Number Of Pages: 336
Release Date: 29-06-2021
“Woods’s alternate universe—in which the first female U.S. president is succeeded by the second female U.S. president—provides perfect escapist fare.”—
Publishers Weekly“Woods provides a lively romp of a book, but it’s built for entertainment, not solving puzzles. Pick up a copy to update your sense of why James Bond was and is adored.”—
New York Journal of Books
About the Author
Stuart Woods is the author of more than eighty-five novels, including the #1
New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry.
Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in Florida, Maine, and Connecticut.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Stone Barrington stood under the portico of the Hay-Adams Hotel, in Washington, D.C., and shivered. It was January 20, and he was dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit, a double-breasted cashmere overcoat, a black cashmere scarf, and a soft, dark blue fedora. His hands were crammed into soft black leather gloves with a cashmere lining, yet, after only three minutes of this, he was already freezing. A thermometer across the street read 22 degrees Fahrenheit.
A black SUV with darkened windows drove under the portico, and the doorman conversed briefly with the driver, then beckoned Stone. Another doorman opened the nearest door for him, and he slid into the warm interior.
“Mr. Barrington?” the driver asked.
“May I see your White House badge, please?”
Stone dug his way past the scarf and felt for the plastic badge on the silk tape that hung around his neck, then held it up so the driver could compare the face on the badge with the man holding it.
“Thank you, sir. Normally, it’s a very short drive, but it may take us a little longer today. Lots of traffic.”
It took twelve minutes before someone opened the rear door and Stone hurried through the next portico. His outer garments and hat were taken from him, and he was escorted to an elevator, which disgorged him onto the upstairs floor. A Secret Service agent opened the door to the family quarters and allowed him to enter. He knew the way.
He found the president of the United States, the former president of the United States, and the next president of the United States sitting before the fireplace, sipping from teacups.
“Come in, Stone, and have tea,” Katharine Rule Lee said. “It’s the custom, on Inauguration Day, for the outgoing president to have the incoming president for tea, prior to the ceremony.”
Stone shook Will Lee’s hand and kissed Holly Barker on the cheek, then asked for Earl Grey, with lemon and a carcinogen. The president poured.
“I understand it’s a bit chilly outside,” Will said.
“I recommend outer clothing made to Antarctic standards,” Stone replied.
“Typical,” Will replied, “on Inauguration Day. How’s the crowd?”
“I’ve only seen an aerial view on television,” Stone said, “but the ground under the crowd was not visible.”
“Oh, good. The networks delight in comparing the crowd size to the last president’s.”
Stone was only halfway thawed before they were summoned to depart. In the reception hall downstairs, his outer clothing was returned to him, and he was helped into it. Taking the jump seat beside Will in the presidential limousine, Stone marveled at the foot-thick doors, the three-inch-thick window glass, and the absolute silence inside. As soon as the women’s garments could be arranged in the rear seat, they were off.
“The Bacchettis will be seated with us,” Kate said. “I’m told we’ll have electric blankets for our laps.”
The Bacchettis were Stone’s closest friends, he the police commissioner of New York City and she the COO of Strategic Services, the world’s second-largest security company. Stone and Dino had been partners as detectives on the NYPD, when everybody was younger.
Only Kate and Will managed to make co
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