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Dead in the Water (Stone Barrington Series #3)

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In Dead in the Water, Stone has barely arrived in St. Marks, a lovely Caribbean island nation, on a sailing vacation when something very strange happens: a beautiful young woman sails into the harbor, entirely alone on a large yacht. Before long she is under the intense scrutiny of local authorities in the very considerable person of Sir Winston Sutherland, the minister of justice. The problem is, though she arrived alone, she had departed the other side of the Atlantic in the company of her husband, a well-known...
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Dead in the Water (Stone Barrington Series #3)

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Overview

In Dead in the Water, Stone has barely arrived in St. Marks, a lovely Caribbean island nation, on a sailing vacation when something very strange happens: a beautiful young woman sails into the harbor, entirely alone on a large yacht. Before long she is under the intense scrutiny of local authorities in the very considerable person of Sir Winston Sutherland, the minister of justice. The problem is, though she arrived alone, she had departed the other side of the Atlantic in the company of her husband, a well-known writer, who is no longer in evidence. Evidence is what fascinates Stone Barrington, and before many pages have been turned, he is all that stands between the apparently innocent Allison Manning and the patently evil Sir Winston, whose motives are unclear. What is clear is that the St. Marks system of justice bears little resemblance to the American courts to which Stone is accustomed and that his smallest error could prove fatal to his client. Inextricably caught in a swirling storm of island madness and murder, made worse by a hurricane of sensational press coverage, Stone can hardly find the time to indulge his usual romantic inclinations, but he learns that, even under the intense illumination of a Caribbean sun, nothing is what it seems to be, and no one can be trusted.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Vacationing on the island of Antigua, New York investigator/lawyer Stone Barrington (a Woods perennial) gives up on the warm waters of the Caribbean to help someone who's definitely in hot watera young woman accused of murder when her wealthy husband disappears from their yacht during a transatlantic crossing.
Kirkus Reviews
Woods bounces back from the doldrums of his last few formula thrillers in this tidy did-she-do-it puzzler, nicely stirred by Caribbean breezes.

When the 45-foot yacht Expansive puts into the island paradise of St. Marks, the only thing missing is the skipper, mystery novelist Paul Manning, who, his wife tearfully tells the authorities, suffered a fatal heart attack while she watched helplessly from high atop a mast, and had to be buried at sea. The story's good enough for the coroner's inquest, but not for Sir Winston Sutherland, the ambitious Minister of Justice, who thinks a high-profile conviction might be just the thing to vault him into the aging Prime Minister's post. Luckily for Allison, she has just the credentials (blond hair, killer bod, boundless sexual stamina) to secure herself the premier legal representation on St. Marks: vacationing New York lawyer Stone Barrington (Dirt, 1996, etc.), whose appetite for adventure, etc., has been whetted by the unexpected absence of his live-in girlfriend Arrington Carter. It's a case that suits Woods's talent for streamlined, unnuanced narrative down to the shoreline. With no witnesses but Allison—now enjoying a cool $12 million payoff from Paul's insurance—and virtually no physical evidence showing how (or even whether) Paul met his death, Stone doesn't have to bother arguing the facts; all he has to do is orchestrate a massive p.r. campaign designed to impress on the government what a disaster a conviction would be for St. Marks's crucial tourist industry—while trying to find some wiggle room in the island's draconian trial law, which pretty much assumes that the accused is guilty and the real crime would be keeping the jury past dinnertime.

Trying to make this neat, utterly unsurprising, tale—Woods's best since L.A. Times (1993)—last more than one sitting would be like staying up all night nursing a Godiva truffle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061093494
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Series: Stone Barrington Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 432

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.

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.

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    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

Dead in the Water
A Novel Chapter One

Stone Barrington slowly opened his eyes and stared blearily at the pattern of moving light above him. Disoriented, he tried to make sense of the light. Then it came to him: he was aboard a yacht, and the light was reflected off the water.

He sat up and rubbed his eyes. The night before had been the stuff of bad dreams; he never wanted to have another like it. The nightmare had started at Kennedy Airport, when his live-in girlfriend, Arrington Carter, had not shown up for the flight. She was supposed to come directly from the magazine office where she had been meeting with an editor, but she had not arrived.

Stone had found a phone and had tracked down Arrington, still at The New Yorker.

"Hello?" she said.

Stone glanced at his watch. "I guess you're not going to make the plane," he said. "It leaves in twenty minutes."

"Stone, I'm so sorry; I've been having you paged at the terminal. Didn't you hear the page?"

He tried to keep his voice calm. "No, I didn't."

"Everything has exploded here. I took the proposal for the profile on Vance Calder to Tina Brown, and she went for it instantly. Turns out she had tried and tried to do a piece with Vance when she was at Vanity Fair, and he would never cooperate."

"That's wonderful," he said tonelessly. "I'm happy for you."

"Look, darling, Vance is coming into New York tomorrow, and I've got to introduce him to Tina at lunch, there's just no getting around it."

"I see," he replied.

"Don't worry, I'm already booked on the same flight tomorrow. You go ahead to St. Marks, take delivery of the boat, put in some provisions,and get gloriously drunk. I'll be there by midnight."

"All right," he said.

"Oh," she sighed, "I'm so relieved you're not angry. I know you can see what a break this is for me. Vance hasn't sat still for an in-depth interview for more than twenty years. Tina says she'll bump up the printing for the anticipated increase in newsstand sales."

"That's great," he said, making an effort to sound glad for her. "I'll meet you at the St. Marks airport tomorrow night, then."

"Oh, don't do that; just sit tight, and I'll grab a cab." She lowered her voice. "And when I get there, sweetie, try and be well rested, because I'm going to bounce you off the bedsprings a whole lot; you read me?"

"I read you loud and clear. I'd better run; they've almost finished boarding. And remember, we've only got the boat for ten days; don't waste any more."

"I really am going to make it up to you in the best possible way, Stone," she said. "Bye-bye."

"Bye." Stone hung up the phone and ran for his plane. Moments later, he had settled into a comfortable leather seat and had in his hand a rum and tonic, in honor of his long-anticipated winter holiday. As the big jet taxied out to the runway he looked out the window and saw that it had started to snow. Good. Why have a tropical holiday if you can't gloat?

Vance Calder was, arguably, Hollywood's premier male star, often called the new Cary Grant, and he had played an important part in Stone's and Arrington's lives already. She had been in Calder's company when they had met at a dinner party at the home of a gossip columnist nearly a year earlier. Although Stone had been struck by her beauty and had found her marvelous company, he had not bothered to call her, because he hadn't believed for a moment that he could take a girl away from Vance Calder. Instead, Arrington had called him. Vance, she had explained, was no more than an acquaintance who, when he was in New York, liked to have a pretty girl to squire around, especially at dinners like the one at Amanda Dart's apartment, which she would feature in her column.

Inside a few weeks they were living together, and Stone had never been happier. At forty-two, he was still a bachelor, and he liked it that way. Living with Arrington, though, had made a lack of freedom seem very attractive, and he was determined to hang on to her, even if it came to marriage. Marriage had been increasingly on his mind of late, especially since Arrington had been showing signs of feeling a lack of commitment on his part. On the plane down to St. Marks he had reached a decision. They would have a wonderful cruise on the chartered boat, and they would come back engaged, unless it turned out to be easy to be wed in St. Marks; in that case, they would come back married. He was looking forward to the prospect.

Then the night began to go wrong. In San Juan, their first stop, he learned that his flight to St. Martin, the next leg, had been delayed by two hours. In St. Martin, the connecting flight to Antigua had also been delayed, and by the time he had arrived there, the light twin that would take him to St. Marks had already left and had to be summoned back at great expense. He had reached St. Marks sometime after 3:00 a.m. Nevertheless, he had been met by the charter agent and taken to the boat, a Beneteau 36, a roomy French design, and had, without unpacking, fallen dead into the double berth in the little owner's cabin.

He got out of bed and stumbled naked into the little galley and found half a jar of instant coffee in a cupboard. Shortly he had found the gas tap in the cockpit, boiled a kettle, and made himself a really terrible cup of coffee. While he drank it he took a stroll around the interior of the little yacht, a very short stroll indeed. He was glad there would be only the two of them aboard.

Dead in the Water
A Novel
. Copyright (c) by Stuart Woods . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    Stuart Woods another hit!!!

    Stuart Woods was a new author to me and again I am hooked. The character of Stone Barrington is terrific. Stone begins his career as a policeman but becomes a New York State lawyer. Clients draw him into one breathless mystery after another. The twists and turns keeps the reader turning page after page. His partner on the force, Dino, appears as his constant sidekick and reminder to stay inside the law when solving cases. Some clients appear in a second book but don't let that stop you from reading. Each book is a completed case filled with murder, intrigue, sex and excitement. The following is the list of how the Stone Barrington books were released: New York Dead: Dirt, Dead In The Water, Swimming On Catalina, Worst Fears Realized, LA Dead, Cold Paradise, The Short Forever and Dirty Work. Be sure and search out the other books written by Stuart Wood and his other stars of fiction.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2001

    Can you solve it before he does?

    Stuart Woods continues to keep you on your toes throughout this book. Stone meets a lot of interesting people. The question is, can you keep track of all of them & their connection to the storyline? I found this book very hard to put down & tried to solve the mystery before the book ended - needless to say, I was wrong. This is my second Stuart Woods book & if the rest of the ones involving Stone Barrington are anything like the two I have read - I'm on my way to the bookstore to get the ones I don't have.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Inane

    Mr. Woods seems to think all the twists and turns in the plot are the thing to hold one's interest. In fact, all they serve to do is make the book excruciatingly longer. However, his books seem to do rather well, so who am I to critique.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    A favorite of the Stone Barrrington series

    Guessed this ending way off

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2000

    Literally could not put it down!!

    Just a great plot and fascinating characters. This was my first S Woods book and I went out a got 3 more afterwards! Woods has a superb writing style and knows how to end a book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2014

    Recommended for the imagination of being locked up with no way out. Scary feeling.

    Stone Barrington once again thinking with his other brain. The kind of story that makes you think of those dreams where you use all energy to escape and find your feet seem mired in mud. He gets himself involved in weird situations he can't seem to recognize as ridiculous but somehow it turns out to be suspenseful and spellbinding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2014

    Love Stone Barrington series

    Just ordered #4 - can't wait to continue with the series.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    good but not great

    I enjoyed the book but it is notr one of his better books. The plot was OK but it really dragged on. His is also putting in a lot of sex. Everybody likes sex but not evefry 40 pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Good

    Keeps you guessing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Opalheart

    Sigh~opalheart

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Blackwing

    Res 6

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Tigerpaw

    She sat chewing a rabbit. "Ready," she purrred. ~Tigerpaw

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    Stone Barrington stories are always enjoyable. I read all of th

    Stone Barrington stories are always enjoyable. I read all of them that I can get.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Great read

    This book is awesome!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Excellent read

    This series is a nice read. I am having trouble putting them down. Cant wait to find out what happens next for Stone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    My First Stuart Woods Book

    but defintely not my last. and just when i thought the book was going to end without the mystery being solved, woods pull a rabbit out of the hat that i definitely did not see coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Great, fun characters and lots of excitement

    All of Stuart Woods books are entertaining. Great characters, and not so many of them that you get confused. Good plot and all around, a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Recommend the Staome Barrington Series

    This is my 3rd book in the series and I love it! Stuart Woods is a great writer and I enjoy his books. Can't wait to continue with this series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Flamekit

    Walks to the river to see the kit. She runs over to it. "What are you doing on our territory?" she demands, though her orange fur lies flat.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    KEEPS YOU GUESSING

    STUART WOODS KNOWS HOW TO KEEP HIS READER'S INTEREST. I'VE BEEN READING THE STONE BARRINGTON SERIES FOR SOME TIME NOW, AND THEY ALWAYS KEEP YOU WANTING MORE. THE CHARACTERS BECOME YOUR FRIENDS AND YOU CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THEY GET INTO NEXT.

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