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Shoot First: A Stone Barrington Novel


Shoot First: A Stone Barrington Novel

Former NYPD detective turned lawyer Stone Barrington serves on various boards, and the Steele Group now hosts him in Key West, Florida.

Stone plays golf with the company’s CEO, Arthur Steele, along with new board members Meg Harmon and Arthur Junior. After practicing a few drives, they set out for the first tee box. Near them, a cracking sound splits the air. Stone immediately identifies a rifle shot, yelling at his group to hit the dirt. Al Harris, from the next foursome, has been hit in the shoulder. A car skids away from behind swamp grass and brush, kicking back gravel in its wake. Too late for pursuit, Stone is glad he has invited best friend and former partner Dino Baccetti and his wife, Viv, to join him on the trip.

The local detectives question the golfers about possible motives for the murder, deducing that the attempted assault was a professional hit. Stone invites Meg back to his rented house for lunch with Dino and Viv. Meg is the CEO of a software company that has developed a prototype for a self-driving car. She is agreeable, and the two share backgrounds, as well as present and future aspirations.

"In typical Stuart Woods fashion, the plot thickens with precision. His readers will enjoy the action in SHOOT FIRST, a novel that is well-titled."

In the days that follow, it becomes apparent that Meg was the target of the shooter's fire. A former employee has stolen the prized software prototype, with plans to sell it for a huge profit. Stone vows to protect Meg, accepting her as a new client. The plan turns personal when the two mesh physically as well as ideologically. They become lovers with ease.

Various players enter the story to complicate the plot. A change of scene becomes necessary, leading Stone to shelter Meg by flying her to his manor in the English countryside, only to discover that a major villain has followed them there. When a fire threatens to destroy the house, arson is blamed. The outcome is less than originally predicted, but Stone again changes course. Between jaunts to his New York home and others, the two jet-setters remain a step ahead of their pursuers. The registered patent of Harmon's software becomes a questionable entity as well.

Woods further complicates the plot with murder, more deceit, foreign agitators entering the picture, and an international arms dealer running the show. At a time when the patent seems locked up, a secured copy of the software is back with its owner, and life appears to be with few distractions, Stone and Meg can breathe easily. But when Meg is abducted and threatened with death, Stone must produce the thumb drive with software information to secure her release. Nothing is certain now. Stone must work magic. Is he up to the task?

In typical Stuart Woods fashion, the plot thickens with precision. His readers will enjoy the action in SHOOT FIRST, a novel that is well-titled. This is a fast read that can accompany one on a late spring/summer holiday for entertainment to be readily shared.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on May 18, 2018

Shoot First: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: November 27, 2018
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0735217211
  • ISBN-13: 9780735217218