Stone Barrington sat with his client, Mike Freeman, of Strategic Services, and his former partner from his NYPD days, Dino Bacchetti, over the ruins of dinner and a bottle of excellent Cabernet.
“That was good,” Mike said. “I never knew how good the food was here, until you started bringing me.”
“Comfort food,” Dino said.
Elaine sat herself down in the spare chair. “Comfort food?” she asked. “Is that some kind of crack?”
“It’s high praise,” Stone said quickly, not wanting to get her started. Elaine’s did not enjoy a high reputation with the food critics of the local media, because they didn’t come often enough to get the good tables, but the regulars knew how good the food was, and that was all she really cared about.
“I’ll take high praise,” Elaine said.
Stone’s cell phone hummed on his belt, and he dug it out of its holster. “Stone Barrington.”
“Stone, it’s Arrington,” she said. Stone and Arrington had once been a very big item, to the extent of his having fathered a son by her.
“Well, hello there,” he said. “I thought I’d never hear from you again.” They had spent one night together in his Maine house, on Islesboro, at Dark Harbor, and then she had taken her leave, saying it was over.
“I want to hire you,” she said.
“I’m for hire. How’s Peter?”
“He misses his father,” she said.
Stone wondered which father she meant, himself or her late husband, movie megastar Vance Calder, whose son the world believed Peter to be. Stone didn’t know what to say.
“I mean Vance,” she said. “He hardly knows you.”
“All right,” Stone said. “Why do you want to hire me?”
“I’m going to say this fast, because I’m sleepy, and I want to go to bed. I know you’re at Elaine’s at this hour, but I’m not.”
“So, say it fast.”
“You remember Centurion Studios? A large Hollywood film factory.”
“I believe so.”
“You remember that Vance owned a third of the shares when he died?”
“I didn’t know it was that much.” “He’d been buying the stock for many years, every time somebody died and some shares became available.”
“There’s a stockholders’ meeting coming up, and there will be a vote on whether to sell the studio. It has always been closely held, and Vance wanted to keep it that way.”
“I don’t know, some corporation or other. They’ll sell the property to developers, and the studio will just be a letterhead.”
“And what do you want me to do?”
“Vote my shares against the sale, and do what you can to get the other stockholders to vote against it.”
“How many are there?”
“A couple of dozen, maybe. I’ll send you a list, along with my signed proxy, to the Bel-Air house. You can have the guesthouse, as usual. Manolo and Carmen will take good care of you.”
Manolo and Carmen were the Filipino houseman and his wife who ran the place. Stone knew he would be taken care of very well indeed. “All right, I guess I can manage that.”
“Can you get there tomorrow?” “
Copyright © 2011 by Stuart Woods
In Bel-Air Dead, New York Times bestseller Stuart Woods drops his smart and savvy attorney Stone Barrington into the middle of a dangerous, million-dollar tug-of-war between interests that seek to control one of Hollywood’s oldest, most respected movie studios.
While dining at Elaine's, Stone Barrington receives an unexpected call from Arrington Calder, the ex-girlfriend with whom he has a son. Arrington's late husband, the venerated actor Vance Calder, has left her a fortune in Centurion Studios stock, and she asks Stone to represent her against the sale of the studio. When he arrives at her home in ritzy Bel-Air, matters take a nasty twist. A stockholder who rejected the offer put forward by billionaire Terrence Prince has been found murdered, and when more deaths occur, Stone takes a closer look at Prince. It seems the developer, though squeaky clean now, has a shady past…and he and his backers have Arrington and the studio in their sights! Soon, Stone finds himself dragged into a surprisingly deadly web of intrigue. And when he discovers a dangerous enemy of his old friend Ed Eagle mixed up in it all, Stone better watch his and Arrington’s backs, or they’ll both wind up Bel-Air dead!
Hardcover Book : 304 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group ( April 19, 2011 )
Item #: 13-327186
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.75inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Another great book. Always look forward to the latest adventures of the whole group. Good book for a lazy day.
I've read all of Stuart Woods' books and I think his earlier ones were the best. That said, I've liked all of his books to some degree. I find Stone Barrington's sleeping around to be a less than appealing trait; but, on the whole, the storyline was good and kept my interest. I did like the way the Ed Eagle storyline was woven into this book. I'll just keep reading until he's done writing!
It is an entertaining book. Fast read and not real deep. "War and Peace" it is not. But I like a light read sometimes. Love the way the world is at the main character's command by just a few phone calls.
Reviewer: Mary E
Sort of snoozer. Not much plot, characters are not that interesting and Bel Air, etc. is kind of getting old, the glitz and glamor of it. I am not sure this well known author was trying very hard.
I liked it, but then again, I like everything Stuart Woods writes. Some say it's slow, but Stone Barrington makes all books worth reading