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Stone Barrington opened the taxi door. “Wait for me,” he said. “I won’t be long.” He got out of the cab and looked around. The yellow awning was gone, but “Elaine’s” was still painted on the darkened windows. A film of soap obscured the interior, but Stone found a bare spot and put his hands up to shield from the glare. What he saw was, in short, nothing.
The book jackets, photographs, and posters that had adorned the walls for forty- seven years were gone. The bar and mirrors behind it were still there, but there were no stools. The dining room contained no tables or chairs and no blue- checkered tablecloths. The two old pay phones still hung on the wall near the cashier’s stand at the bar; they had always been the only phones in the place.
For a tiny moment Stone could hear the babble of a crowded room, chairs scraping, people calling the length of the room to say hello to a friend. Then a passing bus obliterated the sounds and returned Stone to the present. He got back into the cab and gave the driver his home address.
His cell phone buzzed at his belt. “Hello?”
“It’s Dino. Where are you?”
A brief silence, then: “You shouldn’t do that.”
“You’re right,” Stone said. “The memory is better than the reality. Have you had dinner?”
“I was just thinking about it.”
“Come over and I’ll make you some pasta.”
“Me, myself. I can cook, you know.”
“There was a rumor, but I never believed it.”
“Okay. Oh, how are we dressing?”
“Unarmed,” Stone said.
“I’m always armed.”
“Then you can check your gun at the door.”
“Whatever you say.”
“How late is Viv working?”
“Tell her to come over after, and I’ll save her something.”
“I’ll see if she’s brave enough.”
“See ya.” Stone hung up.
At home, he shucked off his jacket in the kitchen and checked the fridge. It was stuffed, as usual. Helene was an overshopper, and she liked to be ready for anything.
Stone found some Italian sausages, some mushrooms, some broccoli rabe, and some garlic. He sliced the sausages and tossed them into a skillet with a little olive oil, and they began to sizzle. He ran some water into a pot and put it on to boil for the pasta. He found some ziti in a cupboard and tossed it into the boiling water, then he chopped some onion and the garlic and tossed them into the pan with the sausages, followed by the mushrooms and rabe.
Dino came into the kitchen and tossed his coat on a chair. “Jesus, that smells pretty good,” he admitted.
“Be ready in ten, fifteen minutes,” Stone said. “Pour us a drink.”
Dino went to the kitchen bar, filled a pair of glasses with ice, then filled one with his usual Johnnie Walker Black scotch and the other with Stone’s Knob Creek bourbon, then handed it to Stone.
Copyright © 2012 by Stuart Woods
New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods returns with Collateral Damage, another top-notch thriller featuring Stone Barrington and Holly Barker. The stakes are high, the plot is riveting and the suspense is deliciously close to unbearable.
Stone’s back in New York City after foiling a terrorist plot to nuke the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles. He’s ready to kick back and enjoy the high life with his gourmand friends Lt. Dino Bacchetti and the comely (but dangerous-when-provoked) Viv. Unfortunately, Stone will have to shift his plans to the back burner. Across the pond, Jasmine Shazaz, the sister of the L.A. bomb plotters and an explosives expert herself, is on the loose in London—and she’s out for vengeance.
When international intelligence agencies fail to prevent Shazaz from entering the U.S., CIA assistant director Holly Barker springs into action. She’s in the Big Apple to debrief a reporter who was integral to defusing the L.A. plot, and she’d hoped to work in some quality wine-dine-and-supine time with Stone. But Holly’s plans, too, will have to be deferred—maybe indefinitely. Because Jasmine’s revenge plot is all too personal...and she knows too much about Stone’s vulnerabilities.
Hardcover Book : 320 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group ( January 08, 2013 )
Item #: 13-659620
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.75inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Excellent! Grabs you from the first page and keeps you till the exciting last page.
Reviewer: Grace C
Great read. Can't wait for his next book!
Can't help wondering just how far an extremely "bent out of shape" mind can go when it comes to vengence.
Excellent new read.....mr woods never disapoints