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Fast & Loose
Cover of Fast & Loose
Fast & Loose
Stone Barrington Series, Book 41
In the latest thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington's newest foe has a short fuse . . . and it's just been lit.
Stone Barrington is enjoying a boating excursion off the Maine coast when a chance encounter leaves him somewhat the worse for wear. Always able to find the silver lining in even the unhappiest circumstances, Stone is pleased to discover that the authors of his misfortune are, in fact, members of a prestigious family who present a unique business opportunity, and who require a man of Stone's skills to overcome a sticky situation of their own.
The acquaintance is fortuitous indeed, for as it turns out, Stone and his new friends have an enemy in common. He's the sort of man who prefers force to finesse, and who regards any professional defeat as a personal and intolerable insult. And when Stone's sly cunning collides with his adversary's hair-trigger-temper, the results are sure to be explosive. . . .
In the latest thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington's newest foe has a short fuse . . . and it's just been lit.
Stone Barrington is enjoying a boating excursion off the Maine coast when a chance encounter leaves him somewhat the worse for wear. Always able to find the silver lining in even the unhappiest circumstances, Stone is pleased to discover that the authors of his misfortune are, in fact, members of a prestigious family who present a unique business opportunity, and who require a man of Stone's skills to overcome a sticky situation of their own.
The acquaintance is fortuitous indeed, for as it turns out, Stone and his new friends have an enemy in common. He's the sort of man who prefers force to finesse, and who regards any professional defeat as a personal and intolerable insult. And when Stone's sly cunning collides with his adversary's hair-trigger-temper, the results are sure to be explosive. . . .
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  • From the cover 1

    Stone Barrington lay back in the cockpit of the Concordia 40, a small cruising yawl built by Abeking & Rasmussen, a German yard, in 1938, and let the light breeze take him back toward Dark Harbor. The sails were nicely balanced as he sailed up Maine's Penobscot Bay, and he lashed the helm while he looked around, then peed overboard. Thus relieved, he settled back into the cockpit and tucked a cushion behind him, relaxed and happy.

    He dozed off.

    The yacht jerked a bit, waking him, and he found himself in the thickest fog he had ever experienced. He could barely make out the stem of the boat, and he was uncertain about his course. He had been headed for the Tarratine Yacht Club moorings, and his own dock beyond, but he didn't know how long he had been asleep or whether the wind had changed and put him off course. He checked the depth sounder: 55 feet of water-too deep to anchor with the rode he had aboard. He stood up and dropped the mainsail to slow the boat to a crawl, continuing with the jib and the mizzen. He went back to his cockpit seat and resumed his position, but left the helm lashed. They were making only three knots in the light breeze, and he reckoned he couldn't get into too much trouble at that speed. The depth was now 70 feet.

    He heard a voice from somewhere in the fog saying, "Start the engines and drop the sails," but he couldn't figure out the direction from which it had come. Then there was the sound of water moving past a hull, but he was still unable to determine the direction. He rummaged in a cockpit locker for the air horn and pressed the button. The noise shocked him, and it was followed by shouting from the fog.

    Then he saw a shape to port and grabbed for the helm. It took a moment to throw off the lashings, and in that time there was a terrible noise, and his world turned upside down. The boom swung across the cockpit and caught him on the side of his head, and darkness fell.

    He felt the pain before he felt his surroundings, and he feared that if he opened his eyes it might make things worse. He allowed some light past his eyelids, then quickly shut them again, groaning loudly at the pain. He heard a rustle beside him, and felt a cool hand on his forehead.

    "He's awake," a low female voice said. "Get Father."

    Stone tried to speak, but his mouth was too dry. A glass brushed his lips, and he took in a sip of water.

    "Is that better? Can you speak?"

    "I'm sorry to open with a clichŽ," he said, "but where am I?"

    She chuckled. "You're in bed. You had an accident."

    He got his eyes all the way open this time, and there was an arm attached to the cool hand, and a woman attached to the other end of the arm-very blond, almost white hair. "What kind of an accident?"

    "What's the last thing you remember?" she asked.

    He thought about that. "Fog," he said. "Lots of fog. There was a noise."

    "Your foghorn?"

    "Yes."

    "That was the first we knew of your presence."

    "I didn't hear yours."

    "I'm sorry about that. The crew was busy getting the sails down."

    He struggled to sit up, but she pushed him back. "Not yet," she said. She lifted his head and tucked another pillow under it, enabling him to look around-first, at the woman. Very nice. He was in a cozy cabin of beautifully varnished mahogany.

    "My father will be here in a moment to take a look at you," she said. "Your name is Stone Barrington, is it...
About the Author-
  • Stuart Woods is the author of more than sixty novels. 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 Florida, Maine, and New Mexico.
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Fast & Loose
Fast & Loose
Stone Barrington Series, Book 41
Stuart Woods
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