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A DELICATE TOUCH by Stuart Woods


by Stuart Woods

Pub Date: Dec. 31st, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7352-1925-0
Publisher: Putnam

A long-hidden safe turns out to contain enough material to juice the next half-dozen adventures of jet-setting lawyer Stone Barrington.

Mary Ann Bianchi Bacchetti, the ex-wife of Stone’s ex–NYPD partner Dino Bacchetti, who’s now the police commissioner, calls Stone because she needs to open an Excelsior safe she’s found in the library of her late father, reformed Mafioso Eduardo Bianchi, before turning the place over to its new buyer the next day. So Bob Cantor, Stone’s tech guru, locates Solomon Fink, at 104 one of the last surviving members of the Excelsior firm, who opens the safe during a brief break from his nursing home, to reveal a prodigious sum of cash, documents leading to even more millions, and some detailed files on some very dangerous criminals. Since much of the money is earmarked for Dino, it looks at first as if this will be nothing more than another exercise in unbridled consumer spending, as Dino and his current wife, Viv, race to rival the conspicuous consumption that’s marked Stone’s recent outings (Desperate Measures, 2018, etc.). But the file on Jack Thomas, ne Gianni Tommassini, promises more interesting developments, from his initial and predictably unsuccessful attempts to silence everyone who knows about the file to his deep-laid plans to help his son, Congressman Henry Thomas II, become president by running as an independent against Secretary of State Holly Barker, one of Stone’s many once and future lovers. Armed with a formidable bank of computers and a staff whose loyalty isn’t limited by inconvenient notions of personal morality, the Thomases are formidable opponents. But Stone, Dino, Holly, Bob Cantor, and even Solomon Fink, who returns for a closing bow, are fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.

The best of Woods’ recent thrillers, a primer on election rigging that plays to both Democrats’ recent alarm and Republicans’ attachment to the material perks of the good life.