Dirt (Stone Barrington Series #2)

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Overview

Feared and disliked for both her poison pen and ice-queen persona, bicoastal gossip columnist Amanda Dart finds the tables have turned. The unwitting victim of an anonymous gossipmonger who is faxing to national opinion makers an outrageous scandal sheet revealing the details of her ongoing indiscretions with a nationally known takeover artist, Amanda enlists the help of New York lawyer and investigator Stone Barrington to learn the identity of the faxer. Everybody is a suspect in the world of tabloid journalism....
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Dirt (Stone Barrington Series #2)

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Overview

Feared and disliked for both her poison pen and ice-queen persona, bicoastal gossip columnist Amanda Dart finds the tables have turned. The unwitting victim of an anonymous gossipmonger who is faxing to national opinion makers an outrageous scandal sheet revealing the details of her ongoing indiscretions with a nationally known takeover artist, Amanda enlists the help of New York lawyer and investigator Stone Barrington to learn the identity of the faxer. Everybody is a suspect in the world of tabloid journalism. As the faxes grow more scathing and begin to expose the peccadilloes of not only Amanda but other members of the gossip community, Barrington winds up with more leads than he can handle and an employer who is about to take matters dangerously into her own hands. The world of gossip is turned on its head. It becomes clear to Stone that even the most respected members of the social scene will stop at nothing - even murder - to clear their names.
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Editorial Reviews

People
Dirty fun.
New York Daily News
Delightfully nasty.
Cosmopolitan
Blackmail, murder, suspense, love—what else could you want in a book?
Library Journal
There's gossip about gossip columnist Amanda Dart, and murder soon follows.
From Barnes & Noble
A gossip queen hires New York lawyer and private investigator Stone Barrington to find out who is revealing her own indiscretions to the nation through faxed scandal sheets. As the faxes become more scathing, Stone begins to realize that high-profile celebrities will stop at nothing--even murder--to clear their names. From the author of the best-selling Choke and Imperfect Strangers. "An artfully plotted thriller."-- Publishers Weekly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061094231
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Stone Barrington Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

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

Dirt

Chapter One

Dinner had been wonderful—twelve around a gleaming oval table of burled walnut in a dining room a dozen stories above the light-flecked carpet of Central Park, the cooking by the chef of a famous restaurant a few blocks away, the wines from the host's superb cellar, and the company carefully chosen by a couple who could cast a wide net. Amanda Dart felt quite at home among them.

As they moved from the table into the library next door for coffee and brandy, Amanda reflected that her presence there was as much a tribute to her position as to her personality, though she could certainly hold her own in any company. Of those present—a movie star and his gorgeous companion, a captain of industry and his dowdy wife, and a former British prime minister, her dinner partner, among them—Amanda alone possessed the power to tell the world just who her hosts had attracted to their table, something the couple wanted very badly for the world to know. It was vulgar to drop names; Amanda Dart, queen of gossip columnists, would do the dropping for them.

Lord Wight, the former prime minister, was taking a keen interest in Amanda, attention that, on another night, would have been a great deal more interesting for her. Tonight, however, she had other plans, other company in mind, and the thought made for a weak feeling in her crotch.

"I chose my title from the island of my birth," Lord Wight was saying.

"Oh, yes, the Isle of Wight," Amanda said, returning his serve. "I believe the town of Cowes there is the capital of British yachting." Point made.

"The capital of European yachting," his lordship replied.

"And that's where you sailyour little yacht?"

"Actually, it's quite a large yacht," Wight replied testily. "And I don't just sail it, I race it."

"Tell me, Lord Wight," Amanda asked innocently, "just how does someone amass enough of a fortune to buy a large yacht during a lifetime of public service?"

"Fortunately, my dear lady," Wight said, smiling softly, "in my country the amassing of a fortune is not incompatible with a life in politics. One acquires knowledgeable friends who advise one on how to invest one's money."

Amanda winked at him. "One understands," she said.

Her hostess joined them. "Amanda, dear," she said, "you made me promise to tell you when it was midnight, and it is. You're catching a plane?"

"To St. Bart's," Amanda said, moving forward in her seat in preparation for standing.

"Surely there's no plane out of Kennedy at this hour," Wight said, consulting a gold watch from his waistcoat pocket. "They do have noise regulations, don't they?"

"Not at Teterboro," Amanda replied. "One is fortunate enough to have friends with jets." She stood up, bringing Lord Wight with her.

"My dear," he was saying, "I do hope I can see you when I'm next in New York."

"Of course, Lord Wight," Amanda replied, fishing in her little clutch purse for a card. "I would be delighted to hear from you." Any night but tonight, she thought.

She made her goodbyes, collected her coat from the butler, and slipped out of the huge apartment.

Downstairs, her trusty driver, Paul, and her elderly Cadillac were waiting. Amanda slipped into the back seat, and in a moment they were moving. "The Trent, Paul," she said.

"Yes, ma'am," Paul replied.

It was Amanda's fiftieth birthday, though no one knew it; she was in spectacular shape, her firm body the product of a regular program with a trainer in her own little gym. Amanda allowed no other person to see her perspire. She placed two fingers on her carotid artery and glanced at her watch. Her resting pulse was normally forty-five; tonight, it was seventy.

Amanda lived her life in very public view, and she took great care in how she presented herself to her world. Although of a deeply sensual nature, she was known as something of an ice queen, and she was quite happy to keep it that way. Her sexual alliances were few, but athletically maintained, with men who were always wealthy, off her beaten track, very discreet, and usually younger than she. Tonight and for the weekend, she would see her very favorite, a real estate developer from Atlanta named Henry Bell, who made it to New York no more than once every eight or nine months. Perfect for Amanda.

Henry was a pillar of Atlanta society, the husband of a retired opera singer and the father of two daughters whose social ambitions were relentless. Amanda had helped them meet tout Gotham while, unbeknownst to them or anyone else, she had established a highly erotic relationship with their father, who was a youthful forty-five. This weekend he was in New York, ostensibly for a board meeting, and he was waiting for her at the Trent, a small, elegant hotel in the East Sixties. They planned to be together until early Monday morning.

The car glided to a halt at the Trent's discreet entrance. Amanda looked up and down the block before she got out; she had no wish to run into anyone she knew. "No need to get the door, Paul. Please meet me here after midnight on Sunday—say, two a.m."

"Two o'clock Monday morning," Paul said.

Satisfied that the block was empty of pedestrians, she slid out of the car and ran across the sidewalk, slipping on a pair of dark glasses. She paused for a moment in the foyer of the hotel and glanced across the little lobby at the front desk, where a man in a tailcoat was working. She waited until he turned away, then scooted across the lobby, unspotted, to the alcove where the elevator was. She pressed "P" for penthouse and waited while the car traveled upward for fifteen floors. When the door opened, she popped her head out to check that the hallway was empty, then walked out of the elevator and to the end of the hall, stopping before double doors.

Glancing around once more to be sure she was alone, she stepped out of her shoes, then slipped off her panties. She was not wearing a bra under the little black dress. She took off her coat and unzipped her dress. Then, holding her coat, shoes, and panties in her hand, she rang the bell. Seconds later the door opened, and she stepped inside.

Henry Bell stepped back to allow her to enter. He was wearing a silk dressing gown. He said nothing, but untied the belt and whipped it off, presenting a trim physique and a throbbing erection. Amanda dropped her belongings on the floor, wiggled her shoulders, and let the little dress fall off, revealing full breasts and a finely crafted body. She kicked the dress out of the way and stood there, wearing only black stockings and a black garter belt.

"Hello, sailor," she said, and went to him.

Late Sunday evening, they sat propped up in bed, naked, next to the remains of a room service dinner on a tray. Henry dozed lightly while Amanda watched yet another of his endless collection of erotic Scandinavian videotapes. Henry had a little man in Stockholm who sent them to the Trent whenever he was in New York. Amanda loved them.

This one was particularly intriguing, she thought, glancing at Henry. Poor baby, she had given him a real workout for the whole weekend. He deserved his rest; still . . . She reached for his penis and began kneading it gently. A small smile appeared on his sleeping face.

"We've just time for one more round, sweetie," she said.

Henry didn't open his eyes. "If I can," he whimpered.

Amanda rearranged herself slightly, then bent over and took his penis into her mouth. Henry gave a little groan and began to respond.

At that moment, the doors to the suite's bedroom burst open with a bang, and the room was filled with light.

"Over here, Amanda!" a man's voice shouted as a flashbulb went off.

Amanda sat straight up in bed, her mouth open, her eyes wide. Her left hand still rested on Henry's penis. "What?!" she screamed. There were all sorts of lights, those that flashed and those that burned steadily.

"Get out!" Amanda screamed, shaking a fist at the lights.

Henry sat frozen, dumbfounded.

"Just one more, Amanda!" the man's voice shouted.

Amanda picked up a heavy clock from the bedside table and threw it at the light as Henry suddenly came to life. He started toward the intruders, but the bedroom doors were slammed in his face. He threw his shoulder against them, then howled in pain.

Amanda did what she most wanted to do in the world: she screamed.

An hour later, fully dressed but still trembling, Amanda fled the hotel, got into the back of the Cadillac, and was driven home. She looked over her shoulder but saw no witness to her leaving. She was in control again, and she had begun to assess the damage. It promised to be considerable.

Amanda walked into the office suite of her penthouse, dressed in her standard uniform of Chanel suit, Ferragamo shoes, plain gold jewelry, and a gold Cartier Panther wristwatch and bracelet. Dirt. Copyright © 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
( 132 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(43)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    'Dirt' TOO graphic!

    Good story, but some of the shared sexual proclivities of the characters were a little much!! They did not add to the story for me, in fact they were a distraction, and I tended to skip them!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Don't Bother

    I like Stuart Woods, but not this book. Save yourself the time and pick one of his other books.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Ok read.

    I would love for Stuart Woods to write another novel the caliber of Chiefs. Chiefs is my vote for great American novel. As a side note, each ebook has its title at the upper left corner of the Nookcolor. This ebook....Dirt, is written as Drit. Ebooks can be pricey and I'm disappointed with the large number of typos in each book I read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Goldenkit

    He ran to a stream and masked his sent. Then raced to gold result one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    anoother great one by Woods

    Woods is a great writer. He keeps your interest right from the start and always has a great plot.He has been a little heavy on the sex the last few years but nothing we cant handle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Excellent reading!

    Stuart Woods does an excellent job on mysteries. The Stone Barrington series are outstanding. Keep writing Mr. Woods!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Stormkit

    Just makig dirt, huh? Followed

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Lacking

    The characters were too shallow.

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

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Lorna

    Goes to shadow res 3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    3

    J oyigtdf .ru

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    Great book

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Great plot, great characters

    Woods continues to surprise me after about 50 pgs in when Im about ready to stop reading from all the affairs everyones having! After about 50 pgs though the plot and characters come together and make an excellent read! Stone is a great character, as are his unique friends. READ THIS SERIES

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

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Shadow

    Lets go to dirty. Some cats are already here.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Lillywhisper

    Falters. No one is here i guess. She leaves.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Good

    However, this is not the book I ordered last night. Order # 351050722 a book by Joel Goldman.........I sent 2 emails asking for help and wasn't acknowledged for either one of them. Where is my book??????????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Recommend - Good Free eBook

    Always enjoy a Stone Barrington novel - this one is no exception. Fast, quick with interesting characters and plot. Enjoyable, quick read. Won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Loved it. LOVED IT!!

    Read many of his books & all are great!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    check out this book

    highly recommend great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Good plot but.....

    The plot moves along at a good pace, interesting characters but... does Stone really have to have sex with nearly every female in the book. Not sure I will read another in the series. Stone's dalliances detract from the story.

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    Excellent reading!

    Impressive writing. Great action storyline, good characters. All writing moves the plot forward. Secondary characters are full characters, not just outlines.

    Fun, exciting, moves right along! Will continue reading the series.

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