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Quick & Dirty
Cover of Quick & Dirty
Quick & Dirty
Stone Barrington Series, Book 43
Stone Barrington gets entangled in the intricate and rarefied art business in the latest thriller by #1 New York Times–bestselling author Stuart Woods.
When a slam-bang of a crime brings a beautiful new client into Stone Barrington's office, little does he know his association with her will pull him into a far more serpentine mystery in the exclusive world of art. It's a business where a rare find could make a career—and a collection—and mistakes in judgment are costly. And under its genteel and high-minded veneer lurks an assortment of grifters and malfeasants eager to cash in on the game.
In the upscale world of New York City's luxury penthouses and grand Hamptons estates, it will take a man of Stone Barrington's careful discernment and well-honed instincts to get to the truth without ruffling the wrong feathers . . . because when it comes to priceless and irreplaceable works of art, the money and reputations at stake are worth killing for.
Stone Barrington gets entangled in the intricate and rarefied art business in the latest thriller by #1 New York Times–bestselling author Stuart Woods.
When a slam-bang of a crime brings a beautiful new client into Stone Barrington's office, little does he know his association with her will pull him into a far more serpentine mystery in the exclusive world of art. It's a business where a rare find could make a career—and a collection—and mistakes in judgment are costly. And under its genteel and high-minded veneer lurks an assortment of grifters and malfeasants eager to cash in on the game.
In the upscale world of New York City's luxury penthouses and grand Hamptons estates, it will take a man of Stone Barrington's careful discernment and well-honed instincts to get to the truth without ruffling the wrong feathers . . . because when it comes to priceless and irreplaceable works of art, the money and reputations at stake are worth killing for.
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    1




    Stone Barrington departed the Carlyle Hotel, on Madison Avenue at 76th Street and slipped from under the 76th Street awning into his waiting car. He had had a business lunch after departing the United Nations, where his close friend, Secetary of State Holly Barker, had given a well-received speech. A heavy rain was falling, and he could hardly see across the street.
    "Can you see to drive, Fred?" he asked his factotum, Fred Flicker.
    "Only just, sir," Fred replied. "I'll go slowly."

    "As you wish." Stone found his unfinished New York Times crossword on the seat next to him; it was quite dark outside, and he switched on the reading light and started to work.
    Traffic was slow. He saw a figure in black jogging toward Park Avenue with something in his hand; Stone couldn't tell what, and he went back to his puzzle.
    They had reached Park Avenue, but just as they did the light turned red, and since there is no right turn on red in New York City, Fred waited for it to change.
    A dark blur appeared to his right in Stone's periperal vision, but before he could turn to look at it, something struck the side window of the car with a heavy blow, and the vehicle shook slightly. As he turned he saw the figure in black seeming to bounce off his car and fall into the street. He peered out the window at the figure, who was scrambling to his feet and noted that he carried a sledge hammer.
    Then, from behind him, came another blow to the car, then one to the left rear window. Finally, the figure on Stone's side had another go, with similar results. This time a star appeared in the window glass.
    Fred was turning to look at him. "What's happening?" he asked.
    "Never mind the light, Fred, take a right quickly."
    Fred did so, just as the light changed, and he was able to drive the length of the block before encountering another red light on Park. Stone looked over his shoulder and saw three dark figures, bearing sledge hammers, trotting toward the car. "Never mind the light, Fred, GO!" Stone shouted for emphasis.
    Fred went and got lucky, sailing through the empty intersection. All the lights on Park turned green, and he made it to 57th Street before they turned red again.
    "What the hell?" Fred asked.

    "Beats me," Stone said. "Drop me at the house, then take this over to the Strategic Services garage on 12th Avenue and ask them to replace my window. The other two seem to have survived intact." Stone had bought the car, already armored, from Strategic Services, the second-largest security company in the United States.
    Fred pulled into the garage in Turtle Bay, so Stone wouldn't get wet. "Shall I wait for the car, sir, while they repair it?"
    "Yes, if they have the window in stock and can do it immediately; if not, just wait until the rain stops, then leave the car and take a cab back."
    "Yes, sir." Fred pulled out of the garage and turned west as the door closed behind him.
    Stone took the crossword with him into his adjacent office, where his phone was ringing. His secretary was nowhere to be seen, so he picked it up. "Stone Barrington."
    "It's Dino." Dino Bacchetti had been Stone's detective partner many years before when they were both on the NYPD; by now, he had risen to the heights of Commissioner of Police. "Dinner tonight? Patroon at seven-thirty?"
    "Sure. Funny you should ring; I need a policeman."
    "Somebody take a shot at you?"
    "No, but three men with sledge hammers attacked my car at Park and 76th."
    "Did you say, 'sledge hammers'?"
    "I did."
    "Did you have anything to drink at...
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2017

    As with Grisham, no word on plot when it comes to Woods's next Stone Barrington novel. It is, however, his fourth Barrington novel in 2017, so your head is probably spinning.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 7, 2017
    The theft of a small, unknown Van Gogh painting from a Park Avenue penthouse propels bestseller Woods’s suspenseful 43rd novel featuring wealthy, well-connected New York attorney Stone Barrington (after Indecent Exposure). During the robbery, the painting’s owner, Mark Tillman, took a fatal plunge off the penthouse terrace. Was he pushed, or was it an accident? And might Tillman’s attractive widow, Morgan, somehow be involved? Since Stone and Morgan become lovers soon after they meet, Stone is inclined to believe her innocent of any wrongdoing. That a couple living in the Hamptons, both artists, visited Tillman at his Manhattan residence the afternoon of his death complicates the case. Arthur Masi, the expert who heads the NYPD art squad, assists Stone in his quest to recover the stolen Van Gogh in time to spare the painting’s insurer from making a huge payout. The excitement builds as the deadline approaches, though the surprise twist ending raises more questions than it answers. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2017
    Somebody must have changed Stone Barrington's meds. The studly New York attorney's latest adventure finds him investigating an actual crime, looking for clues, making inferences, and notching only a single new amorous conquest.A trio of no-goodniks armed with sledgehammers attack Stone's Bentley as he and his driver, ex-Royal Marines commando Fred Flicker, wait at a red light. The dunderheads barely damage the armored vehicle, but it turns out that they've targeted many other luxury cars, one of them driven by widow Morgan Tillman, whose husband left her a wealthy woman when he fell off their penthouse terrace during a theft by the world's most enterprising cat burglar. Approached by Morgan, who vents about the attack on her car, Stone takes her to dinner with his old NYPD partner, Police Commissioner Dino Bacchetti; she vents in turn to him; and the car attackers, having ushered Stone and Morgan to the same bed, disappear as completely as the Ford Edsel to make room for Arthur Steele, who tells Stone about Vincent Van Gogh's very last painting (no, not the one with the crows over the cornfield), which was apparently stolen from the Tillman penthouse at the same time Mark Tillman was killed. Steele's firm is about to pay Morgan the $60 million for which the painting was insured, but he suspects that it's actually a consummate forgery by Tillman neighbor Angelo Farina, whose son, Pio, along with his girlfriend, sculptor Ann Kusch, inflame Dino's suspicions by lying about where they were during the break-in. Steele offers Stone $8 million to recover the painting within the week--an offer Stone, realizing that the payment may have to see him through two or three more heavy-spending installments (Indecent Exposure, 2017, etc.), ups to $12 million before he begins searching for the painting, which passes improbably from one crook to another, each with a more inflated assessment of its true value.The closest the hero is ever likely to come to old-fashioned detection, though his creator's heart is clearly more in the chase than the solution.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Stone Barrington Series, Book 43
Stuart Woods
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