Loitering with Intent (Stone Barrington Series #16)

( 98 )

Overview

Key West is a great place to unwind, unless you're Stone Barrington, and you're looking for someone who doesn't want to be found.

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Overview

Key West is a great place to unwind, unless you're Stone Barrington, and you're looking for someone who doesn't want to be found.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
With his romantic life in the dumpster, Stone Barrington jumps at the opportunity to make a quick business trip to sunny Key West. With his buddy NYPD Captain Dino Bachetti by his side, this trouble-seeking attorney goes in search of a client who proves to be not only elusive, but also the target of hit men who don't seem adverse to collateral damage. Stone quickly learns that even a shapely Swedish doctor can provide only so much consolation when people are shooting at you. Action, action, and clever setups.
Publishers Weekly

Never one to avoid a glamorous vacation spot, Stone Barrington travels to Key West, Fla., in this easygoing entry in bestseller Woods's long-running series (Hot Mahogany, etc.) to feature the New York cop turned lawyer. Stone is supposed to track down Evan Keating, a young man whose signature is needed on documents allowing his father to sell the family business, except that Evan doesn't want to be found and when he is, doesn't want to sign the papers. Meanwhile, there's always time to enjoy good food and romance. Stone and Dino Bacchetti, his former NYPD partner, eat a lot of conch, while a beautiful Swedish doctor, Annika Swenson, learns the hard way that being involved with Stone is the most dangerous job in America. Woods handles the proceedings with dispatch and good humor, the pages fly by, and contented readers will sit back and eagerly await the next installment. Author tour. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Beneath the excruciatingly apt title lurks a welcome return to detection, more or less, for jet-setting New York attorney Stone Barrington. Offered a hefty sum to sell the family business, chemist Warren Keating has already won the reluctant blessing of his ancient father Eli. But company rules require him to get the permission of his son as well. That's a bit awkward, because Warren hasn't seen Evan since the boy's college graduation five years ago, and a recent postcard Evan sent from Key West doesn't sound as if it's laying the groundwork for a reunion. Deputized to fly to Key West and get Evan's signature on the appropriate documents, Stone (Shoot Him If He Runs, 2007, etc.) packs light-an easy job since his girlfriend, Tatiana Orlovsky, has just returned to her unworthy husband. With the help of his ex-partner Lt. Dino Bacchetti and Dino's old buddy Lt. Tommy Sculley, who retired from the NYPD to police Key West, Stone quickly traces Evan to a convenient barstool, makes his pitch and gets decked for his trouble-not by Evan, but by his enterprising girlfriend Gigi Jones. Stone awakens to find comely Dr. Annika Swenson bending over him. Since she doesn't have any American hang-ups about sex, she's soon putting Stone through his paces, leaving him panting for sleep and another round of conch fritters. Meanwhile, Evan's schoolmate Charley Boggs has been identified as a likely drug mule, then becomes a murder victim, and Evan has accused his father of poisoning his later brother Harry, who ran the company, and trying to hire a hit man to kill Evan. For a while everything seems confusing and uncertain. Luckily for Stone's legion of fans, the guilt is swiftly fixed to a professional killeryou just know is going to be left free at journey's end to decimate the casts of future Stone adventures. Middling for this wildly uneven series. Readers who quit halfway through won't miss a thing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451228567
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Series: Stone Barrington Series , #16
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 106,734
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.20 (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

1

ELAINE’S, LATE. Stone Barrington arrived at his table at the same time as his usual Knob Creek on the rocks and made a mental note to increase the waiter’s tip. This generosity was blown right out of his mind as he took his first welcome sip, because entering the restaurant immediately after him, as if she had been following him in another cab, was his girlfriend, Tatiana Orlovsky.
Stone was surprised to see her, because earlier in the day he had asked her to dinner and she had declined. Her excuse had been better than the I-have-to-wash-my-hair standby, but not much, and she had declined an invitation the evening before as well. They had been seeing each other for some months, and she pleased him more and more. He stood up to greet her.
“Hello,” she said.
“May I take your coat and get you a drink? I have a business dinner in a few minutes, but we have time.”
She sat down without removing her coat, a bad sign. “No,” she said, “I’m not staying. There’s something I have to say to you.”
Very bad sign: “Say to you,” not “talk with you.” His inference was that a response would not be entertained. “All right,” he said, taking a long drag on his bourbon. He had a feeling he was going to need it.
“Henry is moving back in,” she said. Henry Kennerly was her estranged husband, and in Stone’s experience and from her stories, he was an unreconstructed drunk and bully.
“Tati,” Stone said, as gently as possible, “are you out of your fucking mind?”
“He’s been sober for ninety-one days,” she replied, choosing not to address the issue of her sanity. “He’s never done that before.”
“And how long do you expect him to remain in that condition?”
“He’s a new man, or rather an old one, the one I knew when I first met him. He has melted my heart.”
Stone felt his sex life leaving his body, like a departing spirit. “Tati...”
“Stop,” she said, holding up a hand like a traffic cop. “It won’t do any good to talk about it. Our time together has been wonderful, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, but it’s not going anywhere, and besides, this is my marriage I’m talking about.”
Stone wanted to remind her that it had been an unpleasant and abusive marriage for years, but he uncharacteristically managed to sense the obvious, that she was in no mood to talk. He shrugged.
She stood up, and he stood up with her. She walked around the table, gave him a light, sweet kiss on the lips, then walked out of the restaurant. As she made her way through the tiny vestibule, one man flattened himself against the wall to let her pass, while another held the outside door open for her. Stone could see a cab waiting with the rear door standing open; she got into it and rode away down Second Avenue into what had become a blowing snowstorm.
The two men entered the restaurant and walked toward Stone. The taller of the two was Bill Eggers, his law school buddy and currently the managing partner of the prestigious law firm of Woodman & Weld, to which Stone was of counsel, which meant that he was hired to handle the cases the firm did not wish to be seen to handle.
The other man was a stranger, shorter, heftier and squarer-shaped than Eggers. Stone did not know him but presumed he was the client Eggers wanted him to meet with.
“Evening, Stone,” Eggers said, shaking his hand. “This is our client, Warren Keating.”
Stone shook the man’s hand and offered them both a chair. “How do you do?” he said.
“Ordinarily I do very well,” the man said, sitting down, “but . . .”
“Warren has a problem I think you can help him with,” Eggers interrupted.
“I hope so,” Stone replied. “Can I get you a drink?”
“Scotch,” Keating replied quickly. “Laphroaig, if they have it.”
“Two,” Eggers said.
“They have it,” Stone replied, lifting an eyebrow in the direction of a waiter, who scurried over and took their order.
“And another for me,” Stone said, tossing off the remainder of his bourbon.
Eggers looked sharply at Stone but didn’t comment.
“How can I help you, Mr. Keating?” Stone asked.
“It’s Warren,” the man said. “I . . .”
“Do you mind if I sum this up for you, Warren?” Eggers said, interrupting again.
Stone reflected that Eggers did not interrupt clients without a good reason.
“All right, Bill,” Keating said wearily.
“Warren runs a multigenerational family business,” Eggers began.
“Elijah Keating’s Sons,” Keating said. “My great-grandfather started it when he got home from the Civil War.”
Stone nodded, but he had never heard of it.
“This is not what you would call a mom-and-pop business,” Eggers continued. “The company manufactures industrial equipment and tooling; they operate nineteen factories around the world.”
“We’ve run out of Elijah Keating’s sons,” Keating said. “My only son is the most recent generation, and he . . . has no interest in coming into the business. I’m getting on, and I’m weary of the travel involved in running a worldwide operation.”
“Warren has accepted an offer from a multinational company—a very, very substantial offer.”
“Congratulations, Warren,” Stone said.
“Not yet,” Keating replied. “I need my son’s consent.”
“Warren’s great-grandfather’s will was very specific,” Eggers said. “Each living heir must agree to a sale of the business.”
“My father has already signed off on the sale,” Keating said. “He’s old, and he was initially against it, but he’s finally seen the wisdom of the sale.”
“I see,” Stone replied. “And your son hasn’t consented?”
“He doesn’t know about it,” Keating replied. “At least not to my knowledge.”
“Warren and his son have not been in touch in recent days,” Eggers said.
Stone figured he was being diplomatic. “I see,” he replied, though he didn’t.
Warren Keating reached into an inside pocket, produced a postcard and handed it to Stone. “This is Evan’s most recent communication,” he said.
Stone perused the card. On one side was a photograph of a bar, labeled “Sloppy Joe’s, Key West.” Stone turned it over and read the message, which was written in block capitals.
“DEAR OLD DAD,” it read, “HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME, GLAD YOU’RE NOT HERE. GO FUCK YOURSELF.” It was signed with a flourish, “Evan.”
Stone returned the card, and Keating handed him a photograph. It was black-and-white, like something from a college yearbook, and featured a slim, handsome young man in a blue blazer, with close-cropped hair.
“How old was he then, and how old is he now?” Stone asked.
“He was nineteen or twenty then, and he’s twenty-six now,” Keating replied.
“And how long is it since you’ve seen him?”
“Not since his graduation, and we—his mother and I—sort of missed him then. We made our way over to where his class was sitting, and there was just his cap and gown on a chair with his name on it. He had only recently come into a nice little trust fund from his mother’s side of the family, which gave him a certain amount of freedom.”
“I see,” Stone said, seeing for the first time. “The postmark on the card was smudged; when did you receive it?”
“Five days ago,” Keating replied. “I had heard he was in Miami, and when we started negotiating the sale of the business I sent a private investigator looking for him. He was contacted but rebuffed the investigator and disappeared from his hotel there. I took the, ah, tenor of his message on the card to mean that he did not wish to be contacted by me.”
Stone nodded. “I should think this is a job for a skip tracer, Bill,” he said to Eggers.
“No,” Eggers said, pulling a thick envelope from an inside pocket and handing it to Stone. “It’s a job for an attorney. This is the form of consent to the sale; I wrote it myself. His great-great-grandfather’s will requires that it be explained to him by an attorney and that he be given an opportunity to engage a lawyer of his own to review it. If he chooses not to have it reviewed, there’s a second document to be signed, waiving that right.”
“If you can get this done for me, Stone,” Keating said, “I’m prepared to be generous.”
“What sort of time frame are we talking about?” Stone asked.
“A week, give or take,” Eggers said.
“And that postcard is the only reason to think he’s in Key West?” Stone asked.
Keating shrugged. “He could be anywhere.”
“I’ll leave tomorrow morning,” Stone said, glancing through the restaurant’s front window. “Weather permitting.”

2

EGGERS AND KEATING had just left when Dino Bacchetti, Stone’s former partner in his days on the NYPD, walked into Elaine’s, shucking off and shaking his overcoat. Dino was still on the force, a lieutenant now running the detective squad at the 19th, the Upper East Side precinct.
“It’s coming down out there,” Dino said, hanging up his coat and taking a seat, while making drinking motions at a waiter, who was already in gear. He stopped and looked at Stone. “You look like you’ve just been dumped again.”
“Again? What’s that supposed to mean?” Stone asked.
“Well, you’re always getting dumped,” Dino said.
“I have to go to Key West tomorrow; you want to come along?”
“What about this weather?” Dino asked.
“The snowstorm is supposed to pass off the coast early in the morning, followed by clear weather.”
“Yeah,” Dino said, “I’d like to take a trip to Key West in the dead of winter, and I’ve got some time off coming.”
“You’re on,” Stone said, sipping his drink and reaching for a menu.
Elaine got up from a nearby table, walked over and sat down. “So,” she said, “Tati dumped you?”
“I knew it,” Dino chimed in.
“We had a conversation,” Stone said.
“It looked to me like she was doing all the talking,” Elaine pointed out.
“All right, all right; she’s taking her husband back.”
“That ass?” Dino said, incredulous. “He’s a drunk, and he beat her.”
“She says he’s been sober for ninety-one days, and he’s a changed man.”
Elaine spoke up. “When they have to count the days, they haven’t changed yet. Sounds like he’s in AA, though, and that can’t be a bad thing.”
“Forgive me if I view anything that would get him back into her house as a bad thing,” Stone said.
“Don’t worry,” Dino said. “You haven’t heard the last of her.”
“What kind of job did Bill Eggers stick you with?” Elaine asked.
“Actually, it’s not so bad. Dino and I are flying to Key West tomorrow morning.”
“This is work?”
“This is work.”
“You’re a lucky son of a bitch, aren’t you?” she said.
“Sometimes.”
“Later,” Elaine said, getting up to greet some regulars who had just wandered in.
“So what is it we have to do down there?” Dino asked. “I take it we’re not going to spend all our time on the beach.”
“I hate the beach,” Stone said. “It’s hot and sandy and uncomfortable. Have you ever made love on a beach? Sand gets into everything, and I mean everything. Even your ears.”
“Your ears?”
“Trust me.”
“I guess I’ll have to. You know anybody in Key West?”
“I met a lawyer from there once, at a meeting in Atlanta, but I can’t remember his name. Jack something, I think; nice guy.”
“You remember Tommy Sculley, from the old days?”
“Yeah, he was a few years ahead of us on the squad.”
“He put in his thirty and retired down there a few years ago, but he couldn’t stand it, so he got a job on the local force.”
“Good. Let’s look him up.”
“You didn’t answer my question: What do we have to do down there?”
Stone handed him the photograph. “Find this kid.”
“What, he didn’t come back from spring break last year?”

 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 98 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 98 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2009

    Stone Barrington up to his usual!

    Always an enjoyable read, I look forward to each new installment from Stuart Woods. This one doesn't disappoint at Stone and Dino find themselves on a Florida adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    Good Reading

    This book keep you thinking all the way to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    Disappointing in the extreme.......

    I have been a rabid Stuart Woods fan for a long time and have read every one of his books, but I've come to the conclusion that he is phoning it in these days. The last two -- this book and HOT MAHOGANY -- have barely any character development, little in the way of thought in terms of the plots and Woods' legendary writing skills have been on vacation -- maybe in Key West.... Stone used to be an interesting guy who used his head and actually thought about things. Now he trades quips with Dino, picks out the same old preppy clothes, flies his plane (just like Woods, and inevitably gets laid by the prettiest woman around, and if he has thoughts about anything, he's not sharing them. Woods used to create great atmosphere -- now he name-drops the most expensive places in whatever locale he's set his story. It's a given that Woods CAN write -- his early work was at the top of the mystery heap, bar none -- but it seems to me like these days, he takes a month or so off from whatever he is doing every year and churns out the prerequisite novel-a-year. The idea behind this book wasn't all that bad -- it could have been an arresting story -- but it was drivel. Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, and Lee Child all are doing the same extraordinary work they have always done, while Woods is definitely sleeping on the job. I think I may have bought my last Woods book........

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    Stuart Woods Bombed Out

    This was probably the most trite and boring book Mr. Woods has written. I truly thought that someone else wrote at least the first 2/3rds of this book. Usually Stone and Dino keep me very much entertained, but not this time. Maybe Mr. Woods's recent marriage has dulled his ability to keep us entertained. I'll give him one more try, but if the next books falls as flat as this one, then he will certainly be off of my reading list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Stuart come back!

    Stone Barrington has always been my favorite Stuart Woods chaacter, but I couldn't even get thru this book--what happened? COuld barely finish his last Stone one either--Hot Mahogony. Very very disappointed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Once again, big let down

    I was hoping for a comeback after the last sleeper,sad to say this one is no better, what happen to the writing style of his books in the past, maybe someone should take some time off after he sells his plane and recharge his battery and come back stronger than ever. Don't waste your money on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Stone Barrington Strikes Again

    Good afternoon read. Ending isn't what you think. If you're a true Stone Barrington fan, you won't be disappointed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    I am never disappointed with a Stone Barrington story. They are

    I am never disappointed with a Stone Barrington story. They are all exciting..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    A must read

    Woods melds Barrington, Barker, Lee & Eagle in such a manner that they flow together as if one continuing story. All are must reads!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    A Good Read!

    Very good book. I do enjoy the Stone Barrington series. Alot of cooky mishaps in this book. At one point you won't know the good guys from the bad guys....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2010

    Good read!

    Wasn't crazy about picking this book up because I had seen a lot of men reading it! I thought hmm... it's a man's book. I was wrong! This is an exciting page turner for men and women. It's a simple read, easy to follow. Great book for a rainy day!

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Stone Barrington gets into trouble and women again!

    This was another Stone Barrington novel which continues a popular lawyer / detective character--this plot is rather unique--worth reading for pleasure / diversion

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Excellent title.

    I thought the characters were excellent and enjoyed this paperback very much - I like all of his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    escapism

    excellent easy light reading.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Outstanding writer with great plots.

    I would recommend any of Woods books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2009

    Better than TV

    Some people escape watching television drama, I escape reading a Stuart Woods book. These are simple, entertaining novels whose characters are familiar and fun. The author shares his knowledge of the locations his characters travel, aircrafts/airports/boats, cocktails, food, and keeps the pages turning. Anyone desiring an "intense" storyline won't find it here...but if you want drama with humor and easy to read suspense....you will enjoy Mr. Woods clever writing style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Stone and Dino finally hit Key West

    This is just one more of many good reads from Stuart. I have collected all of his books and have never been disapppointed. This one is no exception. The characters are all mysterious and yet intriguing. It has a rather surprising ending that goes along with the fasinating colorful town of Key West. Keep them coming Stuart!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    In true Stone Barrington fashion

    Stone Barrington fans will not be disappointed.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    One of my favorite Authors

    I enjoy his writing style . He keeps you wanting to read on.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book by an excelent author

    As good if not better than the rest of his books. Waiting on the next one.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 98 Customer Reviews

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