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Skin game
2019
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Author Notes
Stuart Woods was born in Manchester, Georgia on January 9, 1938. He received a B. A in sociology from the University of Georgia in 1959. He worked in the advertising business and eventually wrote two non-fiction books entitled Blue Water, Green Skipper and A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland. His first novel, Chiefs, was published in 1981. It won an Edgar Award and was made into a TV miniseries starring Charlton Heston. His other works include the Stone Barrington series, the Holly Barker series, the Will Lee series, the Ed Eagle series, the Rick Barron series and the Teddy Fay series. He won France's Prix de Literature Policiere for Imperfect Strangers. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
First Chapter or Excerpt
1. Teddy Fay finished his twenty laps in the terrace pool. He pulled himself out and sat on the deck, drinking in the morning sun. His broken leg had nearly healed. Remarkable, considering the amount of stress he'd subjected it to before allowing it to be put in a cast. Or rather, put back in a cast. Extenuating circumstances had forced him to cut off the original cast in order to deal with a life-or-death situation. He'd been a good boy since, even followed his rehab regimen. The fact that he liked swimming didn't hurt. He got up, sat in a deck chair, and poured himself a cool glass of lemonade. Teddy enjoyed the three-story split-level Hollywood house on Mullholland Drive that he'd purchased in the name of Billy Barnett. Teddy had three identities. That is . . . three current identities. In the course of his career, he had played many roles, occasionally more than one at a time, but they were usually temporary. As Billy Barnett, he had risen through the ranks from production assistant to producer at Centurion Studios. As Mark Weldon, he was a stuntman who had evolved into a character actor who specialized in playing villains. As Teddy Fay, he was not known at all. His cell phone rang. Teddy scooped it up. "Hello?" "Billy Barnett?" "Yes." "This is Lance Cabot." Teddy nearly dropped the phone. Lance Cabot was the head of the CIA. Teddy had worked for Lance once, before going rogue and killing people who deserved to die. Lance had organized a global manhunt for him, but Teddy was so elusive they soon elevated him to the top of the Most Wanted list. When even a presidential pardon failed to cool the Agency's ardor, Teddy changed his name and dropped out of sight. He'd been rumored dead. Most agents subscribed to the rumor. Teddy said, "Why would the head of the CIA be calling a Hollywood film producer?" "I'm not calling you in your producer capacity." Teddy paused. "Go on." "We have a problem in Paris." "Oh?" "We have a mole. Which is ridiculous-there's nothing happening in Paris that would warrant an enemy power planting a mole at that branch. The Agency was tracking only one individual recently, a low-level Syrian agent named Hassan Hamui. Recently he suddenly dropped out of sight, as if he knew he was under surveillance: knew when, how, and by whom. That's why we think we have a mole." "And you want someone to handle the situation? Well, I'm not the man you're looking for. I happen to know you went out of your way to try to kill him, so I'd hardly care to be that guy. But if you want me to apply my meager talents to the situation, perhaps we can work something out." "You want money?" "Hardly. I can't be bought because I have all I need. I'm not above doing a favor for a friend, but you hardly fit into that category." "You're still alive, aren't you?" "What do you mean by that?" "If I wanted to, finding and killing you wouldn't be hard. After all, I made this phone call." "Is that a threat?" "Not at all. I'm pointing it out as a token of friendship, since such things seem to matter." "What would I have to do?" "Go undercover, assume a new identity. I know you've played everybody from a bag lady to a bank president, but this might be sort of a stretch." "Oh? Who do I have to pretend to be?" "A CIA operative." "Thanks a heap." "I need you to leave at once." "Are you picking me up here?" "No." "Will you fly me from New York?" "It shouldn't look like we brought you in. Our mole would go on high alert. It has to appear as if you're emerging from deep cover. Whoever you wish to be will suddenly appear in our records as if he'd been there all the time. You get to pick your own legend. Once you do, you might let me know who you are." "You're saying no one's running me. There's no one in charge of this mission I can contact." "Would you listen to them if there were?" "What's my cover story?" "It doesn't matter, just so you have one. We have a leak. We don't know how high or low it goes, but we can't be telling people who might be the leak that we're looking for the leak." "I have to create my own cover, fly myself in, and make up my own assignment?" "I thought you'd like that." "Fuck you, too, Lance." Excerpted from Skin Game by Stuart Woods, Parnell Hall All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Teddy Fay (Male), Ex-CIA agent; master of disguise; agrees to help Stone find the kidnapped daughter of the Speaker of the House
Stone Barrington (Male), Lawyer, Widower, Father, Partner in a prestigious law firm; turns to Teddy's help with finding the kidnapped daughter of the Speaker of the House
Genre
Fiction
Mystery
Suspense
Topics
Lawyers
Extortion
Hostages
Blackmail
Setting
Los Angeles, California - West (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

At the start of bestseller Woods and Edgar finalist Hall's breezy third Teddy Faye novel (after 2018's The Money Shot), Lance Cabot, the head of the CIA, orders the ex-CIA operative, who knows disobeying Lance isn't a good idea, to leave his Hollywood home immediately for Paris, where he's to uncover a mole in the CIA's Paris station. Meanwhile, scheming Syrian strongman Fahd Kassin, who has bugged Lance's phone, starts to monitor Teddy's calls. Fahd orders his henchmen to kill Teddy before he reaches Paris, but the resourceful Teddy manages to turn the tables on all his assailants. Once in Paris, Teddy sets about identifying the mole, but news of a rare animal convention in the city, which is to be attended by Fahd, distracts him from his mission. Disguised as a loudmouthed Texan, Teddy attends the convention, where he soon gets wind of a plot that's far more sinister than the illegal sale of endangered animals. The ingenious ways in which Teddy outwits his adversaries is a large part of this entry's appeal. Series fans will hope he has a long career. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Teddy Fay returns to his roots in espionage, in the latest thriller from #1 New York Times -bestselling author Stuart Woods. <br> <br> When Teddy Fay receives a freelance assignment from a gentleman he can't refuse, he jets off to Paris on the hunt for a treasonous criminal. But as Teddy unearths more information that just doesn't seem to connect, his straightforward mission becomes far bigger--and stranger--than he could imagine. The trail of bread crumbs leads to secrets hidden within secrets, evildoers trading in money and power, and a global threat on an unprecedented scale. Under the beautiful veneer of the City of Lights, true villainy lurks in the shadows...and Teddy Fay alone can prevent the impending disaster.
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