Chiefs (Will Lee Series #1)

( 50 )

Overview

Stuart Woods' Edgar(r) Award-winning novel spans fifty years of racial tension, politics, and murder in the small Southern town of Delano, Georgia, where a depraved killer claims his innocent victims even as three very different generations of policemen seek to stop him.

For the people of Delano, Georgia, 1920 was a landmark year. That winter they elected their first police chief, built the first jail. . .and discovered the first body — the naked, brutalized corpse o a young ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$9.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (88) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $5.67   
  • Used (77) from $1.99   
Chiefs (Will Lee Series #1)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - 25th Anniversary Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price
(Save 37%)$15.95 List Price

Overview

Stuart Woods' Edgar(r) Award-winning novel spans fifty years of racial tension, politics, and murder in the small Southern town of Delano, Georgia, where a depraved killer claims his innocent victims even as three very different generations of policemen seek to stop him.

For the people of Delano, Georgia, 1920 was a landmark year. That winter they elected their first police chief, built the first jail. . .and discovered the first body — the naked, brutalized corpse o a young boy. So began a forty-year manhunt that would embroil three generations of small-town police chiefs in the dark, twisted secrets of their sleepy, God-fearing community — and expose a seamy underbelly of hatred, corruption, and perversion too terrible to imagine. . .and too virulent to ignore.

Beginning in 1920, Chiefs spans 40 years, chronicling the experiences of three Georgia police chiefs who watch the world, their town and their jobs, change. At the heart of this incredible read is a 40-year-old mystery each chief must try to crack. Reissue.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Pat Conroy
Wonderful. . . Stuart Woods has written a classic! .
New York Times
A fascinating, compelling tale.
Roanoke Times and World News
Excellent.
Roanoke Times and World News
Excellent.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451215802
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Series: Will Lee Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 121,604
  • Product dimensions: 4.48 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods is the author of thirty-three novels. He lives in Key West, on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, and in New York City. Readers may learn more about him and his work, read an interview, and correspond with him on his Web site at www.stuartwoods.com.

Biography

Stuart Woods was born in 1938 in Manchester, Georgia. After graduating from college and enlisting in the Air National Guard, he moved to New York, where he worked in advertising for the better part of the 1960s. He spent three years in London working for various ad agencies, then moved to Ireland in 1973 to begin his writing career in earnest.

However, despite his best intentions, Woods got sidetracked in Ireland. He was nearly 100 pages into a novel when he discovered the seductive pleasures of sailing. "Everything went to hell," he quips on his web site "All I did was sail." He bought a boat, learned everything he could about celestial navigation, and competed in the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) in 1976, finishing respectably in the middle of the fleet. (Later, he took part in the infamous Fastnet Race of 1979, a yachting competition that ended tragically when a huge storm claimed the lives of 15 sailors and 4 observers. Woods and his crew emerged unharmed.)

Returning to the U.S., Woods wrote two nonfiction books: an account of his transatlantic sailing adventures (Blue Water, Green Skipper) and a travel guide he claims to have written on a whim. But the book that jump-started his career was the opus interruptus begun in Ireland. An absorbing multigenerational mystery set in a small southern town, Chiefs was published in 1981, went on to win an Edgar Award, and was subsequently turned into a television miniseries starring Charlton Heston.

An amazingly prolific author, Woods has gone on to pen dozens of compelling thrillers, juggling stand-alone novels with installments in four successful series. (His most popular protagonists are New York cop-turned-attorney Stone Barrington, introduced in 1991's New York Dead, and plucky Florida police chief Holly Barker, who debuted in 1998's Orchid Beach.) His pleasing mix of high-octane action, likable characters, and sly, subversive humor has made him a hit with readers -- who have returned the favor by propelling his books to the top of the bestseller lists.

Good To Know

Some fascinating facts about Stuart Woods:

His first job was in advertising at BBDO in New York, and his first assignment was to write ads for CBS-TV shows. He recalls: "They consisted of a drawing of the star and one line of exactly 127 characters, including spaces, and I had to write to that length. It taught me to be concise."

He flies his own airplane, a single-engine turboprop called a Jetprop, and tours the country every year in it, including book tours.

He's a partner in a 1929 motor yacht called Belle and spends two or three weeks a year aboard her.

In 1961-62, Woods spent 10 months in Germany with the National Guard at the height of the Berlin Wall Crisis.

In October and November of 1979, he skippered a friend's yacht back across the Atlantic, with a crew of six, calling at the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands and finishing at Antigua in the Caribbean.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 9, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Manchester, Georgia
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Georgia, 1959
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Book One: Will Henry Lee

HUGH HOLMES, president of the Bank of Delano and chairman of the Delano City Council, was a man who, more than most, thought about the present in terms of the future. It was one of his great strengths, both as a banker and as a politician, but on a cold morning in December of 1919, this facuIty failed him. It would be many years before he would have some grasp of how that morning changed his future, changed everything.

Holmes prided himself on being able to took at a man as he entered the bank and predict what the man would want, On this morning he watched through the sliding window in the wall be tween his office and the main room of the bank as Will Henry Lee entered, and Holmes indulged himself in a bit of his usual prognostication. Will Henry Lee was a cotton farmer; his standing mortgage was due the first of the year, and he would want it renewed. It took Holmes only seconds to review the circumstances: Will Henry's debt amounted to about thirty-five percent of the value of his farm, in reasonably good times. That was a lower level of debt than was borne by most farmers, and Will Henry had paid his interest on time and made two payments against principal. But Holmes knew, the boll weevil situation being what it was, that Will Henry might fail with his next crop. Still, he respected the man, liked him, wen; he decided to renew. He leaned forward at his desk and pretended to read a letter, confident that he had anticipated the content of their approaching discussion and had worked out an appropriate response. Will Henry knocked at the open door, sat down, exchanged pleasantries, and askedHolmes for the job of chief of police.

Holmes was stupefied, partly by the completely unexpected request, and partly by the total collapse of his early-warning system. His mind was not accustomed to such surprises, and it lurched about through a long moment of silence as it struggled to assimilate this outrageous input and get it into an orderly framework of thought. The effort was a failure. To give himself more time, he clambered onto familiar ground. "Well, now, Will Henry, you're not overextended on your farm. We could probably see you through another crop, even with things the way they are with cotton." To his credit, Holmes maintained his banker's face throughout the exchange.

"Hugh, if I extended I'd have to have more capital, which means getting deeper in debt to the bank. If I did that for another crop things wouldn't get any better; they'd just get worse. Better farmers than me are going under. I think you'd be doing the best thing for the bank if you took the farm now and sold it. I might get something after the note was paid. To tell you the truth, Hoss Spence offered me nearly about exactly what I owe for the place just last week, but I think I'd rather let the bank take it than let a man buy me out for a third of what the place is worth. Hoss's peaches and cattle are going to be on a lot of land where cotton used to grow, and I'd just as soon my land didn't get included in that." He stopped talking, looked at Holmes, and waited.

Holmes's brain was beginning to thrash through the gears now. Item one: Will Henry was right about the bank's position; taking the farm now would give a better chance of coming through the transaction profitably; things could truly be a whole lot worse next year. Item two: Delano had long been big enough for a chief, but the town wasn't big enough to attract an experienced officer from another force. Holmes, as chairman of the city council, had been looking hard for months for a suitable man. The chief at La Grange had put it to him bluntly. "Mr. Holmes, I'll tell you the truth; right now Delano couldn't even attract a decent patrolman from a larger town, let alone a sergeant. My advice to you would be to find a local man that people respect, and give him the job. In a town like Delano he can do about ninety-nine percent of what he's got to do with just plain old respect."

Holmes looked across the desk at Will Henry. He respected the min, and he was a harsher judge than most. Will Henry was well known in the community, even though he and his father before him had been country men. Maybe his always having lived in the country would mix a little distance with familiarity and give respect a sharper edge. Holmes resisted an urge to pump Will Henry's hand and pin a badge on him right on the spot. He had to preserve a reputation for caution, and, anyway, he couldn't make the decision entirely on his own.

"Well, I'll have to bring this up at the next council meeting." He paused. "Have you talked to Carrie about this, Will Henry?"

"No, I wanted to talk to you first. Carrie's all ready to worry us through another crop, but I think it'd be a kind of relief to her to have done with the farm. We'd have to find a house in town, and I think she'd like fixing that up. She's really always been a town girl at heart, I think. What's your opinion of my chances for this job, Hugh?"

Holmes cleared his throat. "Well, I guess you could say les within the maim of possibility. I'll see that the council gives the proposal serious consideration." The two men rose and shook hands. "I might be able to help you with finding a house in town, too." He already...
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    chiefs by stuwart woods

    IT IS THE BEST BOOK WOODS EVER WROTE. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. THE CHARACTERS ARE REAL AND THE STORYLINE IS NOT SUGAR COATED BUT VERY REALALISTIC. MAKES YOU SAD WHAT HAPPENS TO SOME OF THE CHARACTERS BUT AS YOU READ ON IT ALL MAKES SENSE. AS I Have READ ALL OF WOODS BOOKS I SEE WHERE SOME OF THE CHARACTERS STARTED, WITH THE BOOK CHIEFS HE IS SUCH A GREAT STORY TELLER AND IT SHOWS IN THE BOOK CHIEFS. YOU BETTER HAVE A COUPLE OF RAINY DAYS IN A ROW AS YOU WILL NOT BE GETTING OFF THAT COUCH IF YOU ARE READING CHIEFS. IT IS A DIET BOOK, AS YOU WILL NOT WANT TO STOP EVEN TO EAT. HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    A classic tale of the rural south

    This is a classic story of rural Georgia written by a well known native. It was a gift to someone who recently moved to the writer's home town. It was a hit.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2006

    As I Remember Living in the Deep South

    I am an avid reader, and I will have to say this is the best written book I have ever read. So true to what happened in my beloved South in that era

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    Fan of Mr. Stuart Woods

    I too love the original, I still have the paperback that I fell in love with. I do not recall how many times I have read it. I also have a very worn copy of the movie of Mr. Woods book. I read all of Mr. Woods books, but I will not buy the anniversary edition, it can't be improved on so why another copy. Thanks for all your books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    DEFINITION OF A 'PAGE TURNER'

    EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. Think of great reads such as 'The Godfather', 'Gone With The Wind' and 'Roots'...'Chiefs' is THAT GOOD!! I finally found a copy in large print and although it was almost 700 pages long, I couldn't put it down until I turned the last page. The emotional rollercoaster hasn't stopped yet. READ THIS BOOK...you won't regret it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    I Could Not Lay It Down!

    A great book! Buy this book, tell your friends but don't loan it out, you'll never get it back!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    This one is the Chief of novels

    Wood's first and BEST. It really got me hooked on Woods. I like all I've read, but none compares to "Chiefs" It gets you from the get-go and carries you excitingly through 3 generations. It's the start for Will Lee novels.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    IS

    BRB, sorry! Could you write up a basic step guide?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2014

    You have got to read it!

    Really a great story that keeps you wondering "who is going to be next"? Lots of surprizes thru out the book. Ending will really surprize you too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Watch the mini-series after you read this book!

    CBS released a three part mini-series in 1983 which so marvelously depicts the characters of this wonderful story that the reader can truly see them. Brad Davts and Billy Dee Williams are magnificent as the second and thitd chiefs. But, in my opinion, the true acting skills are displayed by David Carridine whose perfotmance are truly outstanding. I think youtube has made the series available.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Interesting history of race, Southern politics and crime

    This tail is a history of a small southern town and the police chiefs that served there from the 1920s to the 1960s. It is a pretty accurate depiction of the wretched state of race relations and politics during that period and how progressive elements slowly inched their community in the direction of justice. Woven through this history are the unsolved crimes of a serial killer that take place over the administrations of these chiefs. I found these histories a little frustrating because each story seemed incomplete and left issues unresolved; however, if you can hang on until the end, it comes to a satisfying conclusion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    5 stars

    Outstanding

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    What a GREAT book!

    If you're a Stone Barrington fan first this book gives you great insight into Will Lee who's been mentioned in a few of the early novels.

    Awesome story keeps you glued to the book.

    Highly recommend for any Stuart Woods fans!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    I always enjoy reading Stuart Woods books but I have to say this was the best one of all. I will continue reading the entire 'Chiefs' series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Terrific read - hard to put down!

    If you enjoy Stuart Woods' books you must read this one. I consider this to be Woods' best. Great characters and compelling story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2013

    Exellect Read!!!! Character and historical builds are awesome!

    Hello Fellow Readers …. You might have found an Outstanding book! I found this book to be a totally unexpected treasure trove of character development, well researched or experienced historical scenery, combined with the writing encompassing the entertaining aspects of surprise, suspense and plot development. I would rate this as a first class novel. The historical aspects of this blew me away, as being in my early 50's I felt as if I had either known many of the people in these stories; or had their stories told to me and brought to life by my grandparents or great Aunts; or lived through the remainder of the time-line through the news or through my own experience, first-hand. Now, let me ask you .... is that not one of the primary objectives of a writer? .... to convey those experiences to the reader? I never expected this to be one of my favorite novels when I purchased this on a bit of a whim and a listing suggestion from my Nook shopping list. WOW! This is an absolutely outstanding novel. I don't know that I would put this up there with Thomas Wolfe, ("You Can't Go Home Again"; "The Web and the Rock"; etc.), but this is a seriously good read. It really makes one wish there were more books that would go into a parallel lifetime story of some of the wonderfully developed characters in this book. At first I found the generation-to-generation segmentation of the book to be frustrating, but they flowed so well into each other that I actually loved that aspect of the book as I progressed through the story line. This is a gem of a book that should have, in my humble opinion, warranted much more exposure since the time that it was published, but that seems to be consistently the case with really good books. I truly was sorry to come to the last page. I also hear from reading reviews of Stuart Wood's more recent books that he has gone the road of liberal proselytizing. That is all well and good, and I encourage his continued works, I just tend more to the conservative side. So, I will try some of his newer works and see what I think. I will do my best to keep an open mind and I will report my thoughts if anyone is interested in my input. Take care, and Great Reading folks!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Excellent book! You wont be able to putbit down!

    After reading the reviews, I decided, whst the heck OMG! This is by far one of the BEST books that I've read. I literally hsd to make myself put it down. It seemed to start out slow, but I later realized that the beginning was fundamental to the entire storyline. Get this book, you won't rrgret it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Good Book

    This is the first book I read by this author. I will definetly read more. It keeps your interest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    WOW

    Very interesting tale from beginning to end. Broken into three books covering three generations kind of confused me for a minute but they tied together real fast. A believeable story extremely well told covering the 1920' s through 1960's. Recommended to anyone willing to syart a book they cannot put down till its over.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Chiefs

    This is the best book that Stuart Woods ever wrote. It won many awards and it started his career. You will love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)