The second novel in the thrilling Stone Barrington Series by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Stuart Woods
"Blackmail, murder, suspense, love—what else could you want in a book?" –Cosmopolitan
Feared and loathed for her poison pen and ice queen persona, Amanda Dart has made her share of enemies. Then the tables are turned. An anonymous gossipmonger is faxing Amanda's personal and private peccadilloes to anyone who can read. Desperate to save her reputation, she enlists the help of New York lawyer and private investigator Stone Barrington to learn the identity of the faxer. And everyone in the world of tabloid journalism becomes a suspect.
But the faxes don't stop. In fact, they get worse. And Stone winds up with more leads than one man can handle, until Amanda takes matters dangerously into her own hands and turns the world of gossip on its head. As the circle of suspects shrinks, Stone discovers that even the most respected members of the social scene will stop at nothing—even homicide—to clear their sullied names.
It may be his fifth novel in three years, but this slickly entertaining suspenser displays Woods at the top of his game with no signs of flagging. A sizable supporting cast of paparazzi-challenged beautiful people share the action as Stone Barrington, the suave ex-cop attorney-hero of New York Dead, makes his comeback. In this superbly paced tale, Stone gets involved in a blackmail scheme involving Amanda Dart, a much-feared, nationally syndicated gossip columnist. After Amanda is photographed in bed in a Manhattan hotel with a married real-estate magnate, a fax headlined "DIRT" and presenting both the photo and details of Amanda's tryst is sent to a weighty list of prominent people and major media outlets. The DIRT fax-web quickly expands to snare the gay but closeted editor of a sleazy L.A. tabloid. When Stone is hired by Amanda to sniff out who's spilling the pearls about these jealously guarded privacies, one of his operatives, a retired N.Y.C. cop, is murdered. The intrigue deepens when one of the perps is identified as closely resembling a male model in a Vanity Fair cologne ad. Dripping with name-dropping, haute couture and pricey playthings, and spiced with hormonal aerobics as Stone trolls the siren-infested waters of upscale Manhattan, the narrative rockets toward an abrupt but absolutely stunning denouement. Using all his skills here, and subtly reminiscent of the waggish P.G. Wodehouse, Woods delivers a marvelously sophisticated, thoroughly modern old-fashioned read. $275,000 combined (with the simultaneously published HarperPaperback edition of Choke) ad/promo; simultaneous HarperAudio edition; author tour; U.K., translation, dramatic rights: Janklow & Nesbit.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Even though I'm an avid reader I found that sometimes I had to reread a section because there were to many characters to keep them all in mind! Did you ever consider using some book area to list the characters with a couple of descriptive words that would allow the reader to review that character's role!
Thanks! All in all a good read!
Great story and ending. Five stars all the way.
As publish dates go, this novel is as old as dirt. But, blow off the dust, dig into it and you'll find a treasure.