Stone Barrington’s latest dalliance with President Holly Barker at his Maine island retreat is interrupted by the discovery of a dead man.
CIA director Lance Cabot commands that the twice-shot man, who's carrying CIA identification under the name John Collins, be moved from the deck of the Dark Harbor ferry to Stone’s garage, but Holly doesn't think he actually knows the dead man. When Stone returns home to Manhattan, he's soon visited by Collins’ widow, model-turned–fashion magazine editor Vanessa Morgan whom he proceeds to solace between the sheets. He’s disconcerted when Vanessa reports that the husband whose death interrupted their divorce is very much alive. Stone and his old NYPD partner, Commissioner Dino Bacchetti, are soon in a position to confirm these reports—and so is Lance, despite his initial resistance to them. Sadly, Jack Collins, who turns out to be a friend of Stone’s from NYU Law School, is given precious little to do after returning from the grave, as the focus shifts to Stone’s attempts to keep Vanessa and himself from being targeted for death by Valery Majorov, the Russian operative who thought he’d killed Jack. Stone spirits Vanessa off to Windward Hall, his estate in England, where he introduces her to MI6 director Dame Felicity Devonshire and they all fall into bed together. On their return to New York, though, both Stone and Vanessa find themselves in the sights of a resourceful female assassin who just won’t take no for an answer.
A frank indulgence for the author and readers who share his preference for abrupt scene changes over a consequential plot.