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It was as late as it was ever going to get at Elaine’s. Elaine had died nearly six months earlier, and the restaurant couldn’t make it without her. This was its last night.
“You know,” Dino said, gazing at the mob jammed into the place, “if half these people had had dinner here once a week after she died, this joint would still be thriving.”
“You’re right,” Stone said, “but I guess the place could never be the same without Elaine to hold it together.”
“I feel sorry for the writers,” Dino said. “There isn’t another joint in town that gives the best tables to writers. They’ll be wandering up and down Second Avenue, looking for someplace to eat.”
“And think of all the book deals that won’t get made here,” Stone said. “Where else do writers and publishers mingle?”
All the tables had temporary tops that seated ten people, and Stone and Dino were jammed against the wall, so close to the next table that if they wanted to get to the men’s room, they would have to stand on their chairs and walk across the table. There were two hundred people lined up on Second Avenue, waiting to get in.
Bill Eggers, the managing partner of Stone’s law fi rm, Woodman & Weld, spoke up from across the table. “Never mind the writers,” he said, “where are you two guys going to eat?”
“I have no idea,” Stone said. “There just isn’t another place in the city that has what Elaine’s had. Forty- eight years she was here.”
Somebody with a video cam elbowed his way up to the table and panned around the group. Herbie Fisher and his girl and Bob Cantor and his wife were there. Holly Barker had fl own up from Washington for the occasion and was staying with Stone. The cameraman moved on. Stone looked around and saw plenty of regulars: Gay Talese, Frederic Morton, David Black, Nick Taylor, Carol Higgins Clark—all writers; photographers Harry Benson and Jessica Burstein were taking pictures; Alec Baldwin, with shaggy hair nd a full beard, had found a video cam somewhere and was using t; Josh Gaspero, retired publisher, and his Thursday- night regulars ere at their regular table. Gianni and Frank, the headwaiters, nd all the waiters, were still there; none had left for another job before the end.
It was just like every other night at Elaine’s, except for the three hundred extra people.
Stone had ordered the most expensive wines, because he knew Elaine would have loved that. She had liked nothing better than l fogging a few bottles of Dom Pérignon of an evening.
Holly hugged Stone’s arm. “I’m sorry, Stone, I know how you loved Elaine and her joint.”
“That’s what she always called it,” Stone said, “her joint.”
Dino poured himself another Johnnie Walker Black from the bottle on the table.
“Can I get you a straw for that?” Stone asked.
Dino handed him a bottle of Knob Creek. “And for this?”
A good- looking redhead Stone didn’t recognize struggled past his table, heading for either the bar or the front door. Stone was still watching her a moment later when she was stopped by a man who had planted himself in her path. He leaned over and shouted above the din into her ear. She drew back her right hand and punched him squarely in the face. He fell, scattering drinkers, and Stone could have sworn she stepped on him as she continued out the door.
Copyright © 2012 by Stuart Woods
The end of an era is how attorney Stone Barrington sees it when he, NYPD lieutenant Dino Bacchetti and Holly Barker, Stone’s CIA lover, meet up at a famed New York watering hole about to close for good. The place is packed, but one thing they all notice is a hot redhead who makes a minor scene before exiting. Only later do they realize that Shelley Bach, the former assistant director of the FBI—and fugitive serial killer!—was taunting them.
Meanwhile, a billionaire’s son, over his head in gambling debts, needs Stone to make things right with the kid’s bookie. It should be an open and shut case. Instead Stone and his cohorts are led down a deadly path none of them saw coming.... Unnatural Acts is Stuart Woods at the top of his game.
Large Print Hardcover Book : 304 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group/Mbr of Penguin Putnam ( April 17, 2012 )
Item #: 13-580784
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.16inches
Product Weight: 18.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
As usual.......WOW!!! Another great book that I had a very hard time putting down even when my grandkids came over. I love all his books!
Reviewer: Margo R
He is a talented author, all his books are excellent