Grass Roots (Will Lee Series #4)

( 27 )

Overview

In this early thriller from Stuart Woods, attorney Will Lee returns to his Georgia roots-and gets involved in a political firestorm that could make or break his career.

Woods introduces Will Lee, the brilliant and loyal chief aide to Washington's most influential senator. When the senator succumbs to a stroke, he asks Lee to run for office, and Lee is faced with scandal, rivals, and a white supremacist organization that would ...

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Grass Roots

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Overview

In this early thriller from Stuart Woods, attorney Will Lee returns to his Georgia roots-and gets involved in a political firestorm that could make or break his career.

Woods introduces Will Lee, the brilliant and loyal chief aide to Washington's most influential senator. When the senator succumbs to a stroke, he asks Lee to run for office, and Lee is faced with scandal, rivals, and a white supremacist organization that would rather see him dead than in office.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three compelling plot lines are woven into a tautly drawn suspense novel by the author of Chiefs ; not a whodunit or a howdunit, but a how-does-it-all-connect. After years as chief of staff for a venerable Georgia senator, Will Lee decides to run for the seat himself when a stroke cripples his mentor. Standing in his way are an ambitious governor in the Democratic primary and, possibly, a far-right fundamentalist in the general election. In addition, Will must interrupt his campaign to serve as the defense lawyer in a controversial race-murder trial, while elsewhere, a dedicated ex-cop pursues the head of a Klan-like vigilante group that's been carrying out gangland-style killings. Woods builds these plots to reach their climaxes--an election, a verdict and a shoot-out--simultaneously, and links the stories with an ingenuity that runs out of steam only in the final few chapters. Nonetheless, his headlong storytelling style is stoked with enough sex and violence to ignite a TV miniseries. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.)
Library Journal
When Georgia Senator Ben Carr has a stroke, his chief of staff, Will Lee, decides to run for Carr's seat. Concurrently Lee has been appointed public defender for a white man accused of murdering a young black woman--a case full of explosive racial tension. The election campaign is a nasty one involving a militaristic right-wing group, a TV evangelist with a mission, and a power-hungry governor. The various plot lines, though a little too contrived, move the story at a smart pace. A consummate storyteller, Woods ( Under the Lake , LJ 6/1/87) demonstrates his narrative ability by intertwining contemporary southern politics and the murder trial into a most satisfying tale.-- Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451234308
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Series: Will Lee Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 318,217
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods is the author of fifty novels, including the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods 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

Grass Roots

Chapter One

Will Lee flashed his identification at the guard and nodded toward the car. "Can I park out front for just a few minutes? I've got to pick up some stuff from the office."

The guard came down the steps and walked around the Porsche—not new, not clean—and carefully inspected the parking sticker on the windshield. Taking his time, he walked back to where Will shivered. "Ten minutes," the man said. "No more."

Everybody in Washington loved power, Will reflected as he got out of the car and slammed the door. Not least, Capitol guards. Seven-thirty on a Saturday morning in December, Congress having recessed the day before, and the man was worried about traffic. Will raced into the Russell Building, under low, leaden skies, the cold nipping at his neck. He paused to sign in at the inside guard's desk, then entered the building, his steps echoing off the marble floor as he headed toward the elevators. In a hurry and almost without thinking, he did something he had never done before: he pushed the members' button, guaranteeing express service. He leaned against the paneling as the car rose, taking in a faint odor of varnish and cigars, and allowed himself a ten-second reverie: he was not an interloper in this car, but an elected member, leaving the press gathered at the elevator door as he rose to his suite of offices to take a phone call from a worried President. It made him laugh that he was no more immune to the lure of power than the building guard. The car eased to a stop, and Will walked quickly down the hallway to the office. To his surprise, the door swung open before he could turn the key.

Will dismissed the thought of anything sinister; the cleaners must have forgotten to lock it. He strode quickly through the small reception area and past the staff desks that crowded the main room of the suite, then turned right past the Senator's closed door to his own small office. Even a senator's chief of staff did not rate much space in the crowded Russell Building. He had got behind his desk and was opening a drawer before he noticed the light coming from under the other door, the one that opened into his boss's room. Someone was in Benjamin Carr's office.

Will hesitated, then put aside his caution. He walked to the door and opened it, prepared to accost an intruder with righteous indignation, at the very least. His eye fell first on the collection of photographs of Ben Carr with each of the last nine Presidents of the United States, starting with an ill-looking Franklin Roosevelt, on the front porch of the Little White House, in Warm Springs, Georgia. Then his attention went to the figure hunched over the Senator's desk.

Ben Carr looked up, surprised. "What're you doing in here this time of day, boy?" he asked in his gravelly voice.

"Morning, Senator," Will replied, surprised himself. "I was on my way to the airport. I forgot something." He frowned. "What on earth are you doing in here at this hour on a Saturday?"

The Senator looked sly. "How do you know I'm not here every Saturday morning?" He waved a hand. "I know, I know, because you're here yourself. Naw, I'm here for the same reason as you. I've got a nine-o'clock plane to Atlanta; Jasper's waiting in the garage."

"How'd the physical go?" Will asked. He had not seen his boss for two days, since the Senator had spent Friday at Walter Reed Hospital.

"Sound as a—yen," the Senator replied, chuckling at his own joke. "They say I'm fighting fit."

"Now is that a fact, sir?" Will asked. "You know I'll find out if it isn't." Ben Carr was seventy-eight, and he had been looking tired lately.

"Hell, you sure will," Carr laughed. "Can't keep a secret anymore in this town. Used to be, a member of Congress could keep a girl in Georgetown or screw a colleague's wife, and the press didn't write about it. Not anymore, though." He raised a calming hand. "Don't get worried, now; my blood pressure's up a little, that's all. They gave me some pills; I might even take 'em."

"You're sure that's all?"

"That's all. They tell me I'll live through another term. We'll announce right after Christmas, I think. We don't want the Republicans to have too much time to get excited, do we?"

Will grinned. "No, sir. We'll let 'em down early."

Ben Carr placed his palms on his desk and pushed himself to his feet. Tall, bald, a little stooped, he walked around the desk. "I'm glad you came by this morning, Will. Sit down for a minute; I want to talk to you."

Will took a seat at one end of the leather sofa, and the Senator arranged his lanky frame at the other end, drawing a knee up beside him.

"Will, we've never really talked about this—I mean, right out in the open, but you want this job, don't you?"

"Not your job, sir," Will replied honestly.

"I know, I know," Carr said. "But you'd like Jim Barnett's seat next time, wouldn't you?" James J. Barnett was the lackluster Republican who had become the junior senator from Georgia two years before.

"Yes, sir, I think I would," Will said, grinning.

"Good, good," Carr said, slapping the back of the sofa. "You'll do it damned well, too."

"Thank you, sir." Will tried to meet the Senator's gaze and failed. "I thought I'd . . . after you're reelected, of course, I thought I'd better go home and get some red mud on my shoes." It was Ben Carr's own phrase for moving among the Georgia electorate, and Will had chosen it deliberately. "I've been in Washington nearly eight years now, and I'm a little out of touch."

Carr nodded. "You're right to want to do that, Will. I don't know about New York and California, but in Georgia, you win elections at the grass roots. Remember that and live by it, and you're halfway to elected office." He fell silent.

Grass Roots. 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 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 21, 2009

    More Great Reading from Stuart Woods

    I have read all of the Stone Barrington books and all of the Holly Barker books and have loved them all. I had heard about Chiefs but had not read it; so I did and thus began my quest for Will Lee books. I'm working my way through them and while they are different they still are among the best reading material available. Did I mention Ed Eagle. Another must read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Whats up with the reviews?

    This was really a very good book. It did not drag at all to me. What I dont understand are the reviews! This is one time I am glad I didnt read them first. Unless someone can explain them to me, I think BN should take them off. They dont seem to have ANYTHING to do with the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Love Stuart Woods Books

    I have read all of Stuart Woods book and highly recommend all of them!

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

    Posted May 8, 2013

    To nettlewhisker

    Raintalons locked out and can i join? Im Applepaw. No mentor.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Herbpelt

    He doesnt understand its Rubbykit not Rubykit.....lol

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    Pretty Good

    I do love Stuart Woods books; but, this one dragged in a few places. It was still worth reading.

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

    Posted January 9, 2013

    To scarlet witch

    An others....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Scarlet witch

    Be prepared. Move over a result they cannot post here we shall see who will rise victorious

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Psy again

    Does anyone want to be in the song? If not I have other options to choose from.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    The Transient

    Tony: *sends another shock to you, which knocks u out* Z: *nods back*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Stormfast

    "YOU!" GROWLS AT BLAZE? [SILVER AND WHITE SHE WOLF WITH BLUE WYS)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Shadow

    What are you guys? Cats humans wolves?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Emily

    Im bored so i came here -,- hi z hi kitty cat ^_^

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Sabretooth

    "Everyone is already here, really..."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    This book is a gift. Cannot review.

    Not for me, this item is a Christmas gift.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    This one of the greats from Stuart Woods. Could not put it down.

    This one of the greats from Stuart Woods. Could not put it down.

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This reprint of a 1989 tale holds up nicely two decades later.

    When highly regarded Senator Ben Carr of Georgia suffers a debilitating stroke, his loyal chief of staff, Will Lee runs for the office. His opponent in the Democratic primary is the state¿s governor Mack Dean; if he wins that his most likely Republican foe is an extreme TV star fundamentalist.<BR/><BR/>However, Will places his personal campaigning on hold when Judge Boggs asks him to serve as a public defender on a hate crimes homicide case in Meriwether County where he grew up and his ma still lives in Delano. The case is a racially charged murder that could impact his election chances as his client is a white male accused of killing a black female. <BR/><BR/>Meanwhile a former cop hunts a vigilante group assassinating people involved in what they interpret as porn peddling gangland-style. This too impacts Will¿s chances of winning the election as the issues of soft on crime and pornography surface.<BR/><BR/>Each of the three prime threads is gripping and easily could have served as fully developed novellas in differing sub-genres: political, legal and investigative. However, the fun in this tale is how Stuart Woods cleverly interweaves the three seemingly diverse subplots into a cohesive exciting thriller. This reprint of a 1989 tale holds up nicely two decades later.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2001

    My Review

    OMG this was the best book i ever read. grass and roots were truly and deeply in love. i recommend this to anyone who likes gardening adn everyone at chapin.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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