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Smooth Operator: A Teddy Fay Novel Featuring Stone Barrington


Smooth Operator: A Teddy Fay Novel Featuring Stone Barrington

Stuart Woods collaborates with another author, Parnell Hall, to give life to a past favorite character from the Stone Barrington series.

SMOOTH OPERATOR begins with Stone cutting a yachting date short when summoned to Washington, D.C. by President Kate Lee. The White House has seen to minute details, knowing that Stone could not access formal wear from a yacht. Alighting from the helicopter in D.C., he is whisked to a tailor’s shop for tuxedo fitting. Leaving there, his former police training and instinct warn him that his ride is being followed. He alerts the driver to proceed with caution but to follow his directions. The suspicious vehicle pulls beside them with an open window, gun pointed to kill. To avoid harm to them both, Stone slides from the car on a fast curve, rolling out of sight. Before the assailants can regroup, he hails another cab, with directions to the tailor shop for a needed repair.

"Woods and Parnell weave a fascinating story with Teddy Fay at the helm. Stone is relegated to a lesser role but appears often enough to lend his intuition."

A bit rugged yet sufficiently sewed into his clothing, Stone is late but in time for dinner. His place card is next to a beautiful redhead in a stunning low-cut dress, introduced as Margo Sappington, White House legal counsel. An agitated and rude Congressman Drexel lets it be known that another congressman should have been his tablemate instead of Stone, who is then called from the table to answer a phone call that leads into the meat of the story. The ploy finds him inside the Presidential office, along with Speaker of the House Charles Blaine, whose daughter has been kidnapped.

Blaine has been warned that the girl will be killed if he does not deliver the necessary votes to pass a bipartisan bill for funding veterans’ health benefits. He calls the bill a “clean” one but knows that fellow Republicans want to attach additional general benefits. The kidnappers vow to kill her if the clean bill does not pass. He’s between duty and emotion, a psychological wreck. Stone advises him to demand proof of life first, to allow for additional time.

Soon enters Billy Barnett, aka Teddy Fay, fresh from Hollywood where he is producing a movie for Peter Barrington, Stone’s son. Teddy’s history is that of a CIA agent gone rogue --- dismissed and wanted by his former bosses for numerous infractions, including murder. A master of disguise, he has wiped out his former life, becoming Billy Barnett, the producer.  Stone believes that Teddy is the most skilled and reliable man to undertake the delicate job of recovery.

Woods and Parnell weave a fascinating story with Teddy Fay at the helm. Stone is relegated to a lesser role but appears often enough to lend his intuition. The White House dinner has introduced powerful players in the government who may be pieces in an intricate puzzle solution.

Problems arise when the kidnappers display knowledge that only an informant could give. Teddy must dig in government circles to unearth the mole. The scenes shift from those searching for Karen Blaine to Karen and her brave attempts to free herself. Time is ticking for her rescuers. The bill is about to come to a vote. The Speaker manages to forestall the action by calling for a roll-call vote, knowing that precious minutes are needed. The legislation passes. Is Karen still alive?

The entire scenario is deftly written with a major question floating in the wind: What about this bill is important enough for a kidnapping? Teddy will uncover, through guile and multiple disguises, a plan far more reaching than dollars for health care. National security figures in the plot involving evil men with wily ambitions. He spares nothing, including gunfire, in an all-out race to save the girl. Teddy lives up to the job and endears himself to readers as a lively hero deserving serious attention. He truly is a smooth operator.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on September 16, 2016

Smooth Operator: A Teddy Fay Novel Featuring Stone Barrington
by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall

  • Publication Date: May 2, 2017
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0399185275
  • ISBN-13: 9780399185274