Swimming to Catalina (Stone Barrington Series #4)

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Overview

Sinking Like A Stone

Stone Barrington thought he'd heard the last of former girlfriend Arrington after she'd left him to marry Vance Calder, Hollywood's hottest star. The last thing Stone expected was a desperate call from Calder. Arrington has vanished, and her new fiancé wants Stone to come to LA and find her.

In a town where the sharks drive Bentleys and no one can be trusted, Stone soon discovers he's drowning in a sea of empty clues that ...

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Swimming to Catalina (Stone Barrington Series #4)

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Overview

Sinking Like A Stone

Stone Barrington thought he'd heard the last of former girlfriend Arrington after she'd left him to marry Vance Calder, Hollywood's hottest star. The last thing Stone expected was a desperate call from Calder. Arrington has vanished, and her new fiancé wants Stone to come to LA and find her.

In a town where the sharks drive Bentleys and no one can be trusted, Stone soon discovers he's drowning in a sea of empty clues that take him from Bel Air to Malibu to Rodeo Drive. Running out of time and leads, he needs to keep his head above water and find Arrington fast, or end up swimming with the fishes himself.

Author Biography: Stuart Woods was born in Manchester, Georgia, a small town in the American South. He was educated in the local schools and at the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a BA degree in 1959. He served in the United States Air Force, in which he says he "...flew a truck," as an enlisted man during the Berlin Wall crisis of 1961-62.

He devoted his early adult years to a career in advertising , as an award-winning writer for agencies in New York and London. It was while living in London in 1973 that he decided to pursue an ambition held since childhood, to write fiction. he moved to a flat in the stable yard of a castle in south County Galway, Ireland, and while working two days a week for a Dublin ad agency to support himself, began work on a novel. Shortly after beginning, he discovered sailing and , as he puts it, "Everything went to hell." The novel was put temporarily aside while he spent all his time, "...racing an eleven foot plywood dinghy against small children, losing regularly."

Inthe autumn of 1974, a friend invited him to help ferry a small yacht up the west coast of Ireland, and the bug bit even harder. Shortly thereafter, his grandfather died, leaving him "...just enough money to get into debt for a boat," and he immediately decided to go to the 1976 Observer Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR). He moved to a gamekeeper's cottage on a river above Cork Harbour and had a boat built at a nearby boatyard. He studied navigation and sailed on other people's boats every chance he got, then, after completing a 1300-mile qualifying voyage from the Azores to Ireland, he persuaded the Race Committee to accept him as an Irish entry.

He completed the race in good form, taking forty-five days, and in 1977 his memoir of the Irish period, Blue Water, Green Skipper was published in London and New York. While sporadically working on the novel, he completed another book, A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland, published in 1979.

Chiefs, Woods' long-awaited novel, was published in 1981 to wide critical and popular acclaim, garnering excellent reviews and winning the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Chiefs was filmed for television as a six-hour drama starring Charlton Heston. Following his success with that novel, Woods published a string of fiction that established him as one of the most popular writers in the world.

Orchid Beach is Stuart Woods' eighteenth novel. His previous books, Run Before the Wind (1983), Deep Lie (1986), Under the Lake (1987), White Cargo (1988), Grass Roots (1989), Palindrome and New York Dead (1989), Santa Fe Rules (1991), L.A. Times (1992), Dead Eyes (1993), Heat (1994), Imperfect Strangers and Choke (1995), Dirt (1996), Dead in the Water (1997) and Swimming to Catalina (1998) have been translated into Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Japanese, and Hebrew and there are millions of copies of his books in print around the world. Several of Stuart Woods' novels have been optioned for feature films and television movies.

Stuart Woods lives on the the Treasure Coast of Florida and Litchfield County, Connectict. He still flies his own plane, and sails.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Formerly a cop and now a lawyer, Stone Barrington is plummeting to the bottom of the ocean with an anchor chained to his waist at the start of Woods's 17th novel, a smoothly presented if slight thriller that ambles pleasurably through a kidnapping plot involving Barrington's ex-lover (improbably named Arrington). Her husband, actor Vance Calder, flies Barrington out to Hollywood to help find her. In L.A., Barrington goes from flavor-of-the-minute to persona non grata in less time than it takes a flop to disappear from a multiplex. Naturally he's suspicious, so he starts investigating on his own and finds links aplenty among Calder, a mobster named Onofrio Ippolito (head of the Safe Harbor Bank) and labor fixer David Sturmach. The plot moves quickly and is full of dialogue and genial if unsurprising gibes at self-centered stars. Unsurprising is the key word here. Neither the mystery nor the romantic subplot contributes much in the way of suspense to this pleasant, inoffensive airplane read.
Kirkus Reviews
Even though Stone Barrington is back from the Caribbean, the debonair attorney-adventurer seems to spend half his time, as the title indicates, in the water—though mostly, like the book, treading water or plain floundering.

A panicked call from movie star Vance Calder, who married Stone's longtime lover Arrington Carter three months ago, tells Stone that Arrington has disappeared and begs him for help. But by the time Centurion Studios' private jet lands Stone in La-La Land, Vance is singing another tune: Arrington's fine, she's just overwhelmed by her pregnancy, she's gone away to think things over, she's phoning Vance every day. The first, vastly more entertaining half of the resulting tale is nothing more than a series of artless detours away from Arrington, each detour paved with superlatives. Stone presses flesh with wheeler-dealer David Sturmack, the most powerful man in Hollywood. Centurion boss Louis Regenstein, who thinks Stone would make a great actor, gets him a screen test, the best anybody's ever seen. Even the folks in wardrobe rave. (Stone's a perfect 42 Long.) Meantime, Stone's struck up intimate relations with two strikingly beautiful women whose deepest loyalties aren't to him. He's also taken an instant suspicion to big-time banker Onofrio Ippolito—and so have we, thanks to a heavy-handed prologue that showed Stone plummeting to a watery grave, courtesy of the Ippolito anchor he's chained to. Once Stone gets loose from that anchor, it's time for the second, far more obligatory installment, as he sets about rescuing Arrington, who's obviously been kidnaped, and tracing the crime (and many others) to Ippolito, Sturmack, and Co., with the help of some antique trickery (rescues from sinking ships, bullet-firing pens) that wouldn't have raised an eyebrow in the earliest James Bond films.

Such leftovers don't make very tasty or nutritious fare, not even when the virtues of every predictable scrap are extolled at the top of the author's stentorian voice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061099809
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Series: Stone Barrington Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416

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

Swimming to Catalina

Chapter One

Elaine's, late. Stone Barrington sat at a very good table with his friend and former partner Dino Bacchetti, who ran the detective division at the NYPD's 19th Precinct, and with Elaine, who was Elaine.

The remnants of dinner were cleared away by Jack, the headwaiter, and brandy was brought for Stone and Dino. It was very special brandy; Dino had the bottle of his own stuff stashed behind the bar, and it annoyed Elaine no end, because she couldn't charge him for it, not that she didn't find other ways to charge him for it.

"Okay, I want to know about Arrington," Elaine said.

"Elaine," Dino interrupted, "don't you know that Stone is still suffering a great deal of emotional pain over Arrington's dumping him?"

"Who gives a fuck?" Elaine asked, quite reasonably. "I want to know how he let her get away. She was something, that girl."

"There's a large body of opinion," Dino said, "that holds that she didn't want to be known as Arrington Barrington."

"And who could blame her?" Elaine asked. "Come on, Stone, spill it."

Stone took a deep breath and sighed. "I have to take a lot of shit from you two, you know?"

"I think you better cough it up," Dino said, "or we're going to start getting tables in Siberia."

"You bet your ass," Elaine confirmed.

Stone sighed again. "It was like this," he said, then stopped.

"Yeah?" Elaine encouraged.

"We were supposed to have ten days sailing in St. Marks in February."

"I never heard of St. Marks," Elaine said. "Where is that?"

"It's a nice little island, tucked between Antiguaand Guadeloupe. Anyway, we were supposed to meet at Kennedy for our flight down, but she got tied up, and she was supposed to be on the next plane, but then the blizzard hit."

"I know about the blizzard," Elaine said, exasperated. "Tell me about the girl."

"While the blizzard was going on she got the New Yorker assignment to do a profile of Vance Calder."

"The new Cary Grant," Dino explained, as if Elaine had no idea who a major movie star was.

"Yeah, yeah," Elaine said.

"Apparently he hadn't given an in-depth interview for twenty years," Stone continued, "so it was quite a coup. Arrington had known Calder for a while—in fact, she was with him at the dinner party where we met."

"So much for social history," Elaine said.

"All right, I'm in St. Marks, sitting on the chartered boat, waiting for Arrington to show up, when this blonde sails in on a big beautiful boat, all by herself. But she had left the Canary Islands with a husband, who was no longer present. So she gets charged with his murder, and I end up defending her."

"Like I don't read a newspaper?" Elaine interjected. "Like the western hemi­sphere didn't read about this trial?"

"All right, all right; I keep getting faxes from Arrington, saying she's all tied up with Calder, then I get a fax saying that she's going to L.A. with him for more research."

" 'Research'; I like that." Elaine smirked.

"So I write her a letter, pouring out my heart, practically asking her to marry me . . ."

" 'Practically'? What is that?" Elaine demanded.

"All right, not in so many words, but I think she would have gotten the idea."

"She didn't get the idea?"

"She didn't get the letter. I gave it to a lady headed for Florida to FedEx for me, and her plane crashed on takeoff."

"Wow, that's the best excuse I ever heard for not writing," Elaine said. "You sure your dog didn't eat it?"

"I swear, I wrote her the letter. Then, before I could write it again, I get a fax from Arrington saying that she and Calder were married in Needles, Arizona, the day before. What am I supposed to do?"

"You were supposed to do it a long time ago," Elaine said. "Why should this gorgeous girl wait around for you to get your ass in gear?"

"Maybe, but there was nothing I could do at this point, Elaine. I was going to trial in a couple of days; the woman's life depended on me."

"The woman might have been better off if you'd gone after Arrington," Dino said, "considering how the trial went."

"Thanks, Dino, I needed that."

"Any time."

"So now Arrington is married to the guy People says is the sexiest man in America, and I'm . . ." His voice trailed off.

"How long they been married?" Elaine asked.

"I don't know—two and a half, three months."

"It's probably too late," Elaine mused. "Unless it's going really badly."

"I've had a couple of letters from her telling me how gloriously it's going," Stone said glumly.

"Oh," Elaine said.

There followed a long silence.

Jack came over to the table. "Phone call for you, Stone," he said, pointing at one of the two pay phones on the wall nearby.

"Who is it?"

"I don't know," Jack replied, "but he's got a beautiful speaking voice on the telephone."

"Must be Vance Calder," Dino deadpanned.

Elaine burst out laughing.

Stone got up and trudged over to the phone. "Hello?" he said, sticking a finger in the other ear to blot out some of the noise.

"Stone?"

"Yeah? Who's this?"

"Stone, this is Vance Calder."

"Yeah, sure; Dino put you up to this?"

"What?"

"Who is this?"

"It's Vance, Stone."

Stone hung up the phone and went back to the table. "Nice," he said to Dino. "Huh?"

"Guy on the phone says he's Vance Calder. Thanks a lot."

"Don't thank me," Dino said. "I never met the guy."

"You put whoever that was up to it, didn't you? It was a setup." He looked at Elaine. "You were probably in on it, too."

Swimming to Catalina. 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 3.5
( 59 )
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(19)

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(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Autum

    Swims in the pool... any one here

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Mama

    Stone Barrington is smarter than everybody in the whole wide world... movie stars, cops, his partner, studio heads, the FBI. In Stuart Woods mind anyway.

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

    Posted June 22, 2014

    Stonepelt

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    Skyleaf

    Sighed. "Let's go back to the regular den.

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

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Warrior den

    Warrior den

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Ninja

    Drowns

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

    Posted September 12, 2011

    highly recommended

    This is one of a series of great Barrington books. I could not put it down. It has everything to keep your interest.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    Mediocre

    kinda boring at times. i expected stone barrington to be a more interesting character. but overall it was alright.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2003

    Another Good Woods' Book

    So the hero almost drowns but he doesn't. Okay, it sounds like Woods' stuff. Actually it is pretty good. I really enjoy Woods' work.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2002

    A real page-turner

    I can't say that Stuart Woods is the best writer ever (I'm a big Steven King fan), but I hate buying his books. I simply cannot put them down. I read this book cover to cover in less than 24 hours, and that's with a full-time job. The stories are captivating, and the books very easy reads. He is a big 'formulaic' writer - if you get 'Writer's Digest,' you will see that he uses all the right hooks to keep you reading. The thing is, they work and he uses them very well. I am going to have to get the next one from the library. I just read them too quickly to buy them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2001

    Another Quick Read!

    Stuart Woods is an excellent story teller. His character Stone Barrington is someone I wish to follow again, but come on ... can't he find someone besides Arrington. She is clueless and a little dipsy. Stone must have liked her for the sex, for she certainly is blonde! If you like quick reading and heroic escapes from death, this is the novel. Stone keeps his sex appeal in the novel, but it does become a little unbelievable at times. The ending tries to wrap things up quickly and there are a lot of answers to questions without the details. A little more time on detail needs to be afforded to the Stone Barrington novels to make them great!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    ABSOLUTELY CAPTIVATING!!!

    Woods has done it again. Barrington and his womanizing ways are back again in this mysterious tale of a missing x-girlfriend. Absolutley could not put it down.

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    Posted May 18, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2010

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    Posted January 3, 2010

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2010

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