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Authors: Stuart Woods

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L.A. Dead

BOOK: L.A. Dead
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L. A. Dead
Stuart Woods

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

 

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Thirty

Thirty-one

Thirty-two

Thirty-three

Thirty-four

Thirty-five

Thirty-six

Thirty-seven

Thirty-eight

Thirty-nine

Forty

Forty-one

Forty-two

Forty-three

Forty-four

Forty-five

Forty-six

Forty-seven

Forty-eight

Forty-nine

Fifty

Fifty-one

Fifty-two

Fifty-three

Fifty-four

Fifty-five

Fifty-six

Fifty-seven

Fifty-eight

Fifty-nine

Sixty

Sixty-one

Sixty-two

 

Acknowledgements

Author’s Note

Teaser chapter

Praise for
L.A. Dead

“Alive with action and humor … so delightfully, typically Woods, it will send his fans into paroxysms of joy… . Entertainment novels can’t get any better than this.”

—The Associated Press

 

 

“One of the smoothest writers in the pop-literature biz and always a pleasure to read… . A stylish whodunit.”

—The Detroit News

 

 

“Barrington’s fans will likely welcome the detective’s newest California-chic adventure.”

—Publishers Weekly

 

 

“[A] nerve-racking thriller.”


The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News
(FL)

Praise for Stuart Woods and His Bestselling Novels

“An action-packed puzzler.”


People

 

 

“Keeps you turning page after page.”


The Washington Post

 

 

“A whale of a story.”


The New York Times

 

 

“Blackmail, murder, suspense, love—what else could you want in a book?”


Cosmopolitan

 

 

“Terrific.”

—Pat Conroy

 

 

“A fast-paced thriller.”


Rocky Mountain News

 

 

“Another gem… . A book to read and get chills from on even the hottest day.”


San Diego Union-Tribune

 

 

“Woods delivers a marvelously sophisticated, thoroughly modern, old-fashioned read.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

BOOKS BY STUART WOODS

FICTION

Santa Fe Dead
Beverly Hills Dead
Shoot Him If He Runs†
Short Straw
Dark Harbor†
Iron Orchard
1
Two Dollar Bill†
The Prince of Beverly Hills
Reckless Abandon†
Capital Crimes‡
Dirty Work†
Blood Orchid
1
The Short Forever†
Orchid Blues
1
Cold Paradise†
L.A. Dead†
The Run‡
Worst Fears Realized†
Orchid Beach
1
Swimming to Catalina†
Dead in the Water†
Dirt†
Choke
Imperfect Strangers
Heat
Dead Eyes
L.A. Times
Santa Fe Rules
New York Dead†
Palindrome
Grass Roots‡
White Cargo
Deep Lie‡
Under the Lake
Run Before the Wind‡
Chiefs‡

 

 

TRAVEL

A Romantic’s Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland (1978)

 

 

MEMOIR

Blue Water, Green Skipper

SIGNET
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

 

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

Published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Previously published in a G. P. Putnam’s Sons edition.

 

First Signet Printing, September

 

Copyright © Stuart Woods, 2000

Excerpt from
Orchid Blues
copyright © Stuart Woods, 2001

All rights reserved

eISBN : 978-1-101-10013-4

REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

 

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

 

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

This book is for Barbara Danielson and Lewis Moore.

One

 

 

 

 

 

E
LAINE’S, LATE. STONE BARRINGTON AND DINO BACCHETTI sat at table number four, looking grim. Elaine joined them.

“So, what’s happening here? You two look like you’re going to start shooting any minute.”

“I’m getting married,” Stone said. “Congratulate me.”

“Congratulations,” Elaine said. “Anybody you know?”

“Hilarious,” Stone said.

“It would be, if it weren’t so insane,” Dino added.

“You and Dolce are really going to do this?” Elaine asked, incredulous.

“Now don’t
you
start,” Stone growled.

“He won’t listen to me,” Dino said. “I’ve been telling him for a year to stay away from her.”

“What’ve you got against your sister-in-law?” Elaine asked him.

“First of all, she’s my sister-in-law,” Dino replied. “Second, she’s evil. Her old man is the devil, and Dolce is his handmaiden.”

“Don’t start that again, Dino,” Stone said. “I don’t want to hear it anymore. We’re in love, we’re getting married, and that’s it. What’s wrong with that?”

Elaine shrugged. “You’re still in love with Arrington,” she said. “Everybody knows that.”

“What do you mean, ‘everybody’?” Stone demanded.

“Me and Dino,” Elaine replied.

“Right,” Dino chimed in.

“She’s married; she has a child,” Stone said.

“So?” Elaine queried. “So, she’s married to a movie star; nobody ever took a girl away from a movie star? Happens all the time.”

“I’m not breaking up anybody’s marriage,” Stone said, “and Arrington knows it. I’ve told her so. Anyway, there’s the boy.”

“Wouldn’t be the first kid raised by a stepfather,” Elaine said.

“I think it’s Stone’s kid, anyway,” Dino said.

“Dino, I told you, the blood test was done; I saw the lab report. The boy is Vance Calder’s, and that’s all there is to it. I’m not taking a kid away from his father. Besides, I like Vance.”

“What’s not to like?” Elaine asked. “He’s handsome; he’s the biggest star in Hollywood; he’s the most charming man I ever met.” She sipped her drink. “Present company included,” she added.

“Thanks,” Stone said. “I needed that.”

“So, when’s the happy day?” Elaine asked. “You going to be a June bride?”

“Monday,” Stone replied. “In Venice.”

“This is Thursday,” Elaine pointed out. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“We’re leaving tonight,” Stone said.

“I got news for you. It’s after midnight, all the flights have departed.”

“We’re taking a private jet, belongs to some friend of Eduardo.”

“Not bad,” Elaine said, looking impressed. “That way, you get to your hotel late enough tomorrow, so you don’t have to wait for the people in your room to check out.”

“Eduardo has a palazzo,” Dino said. “We’re being forced to stay there.”

“You’re going, too?” Elaine asked, incredulous again.

“He’s my best man,” Stone said glumly.

“If I don’t go, my wife will divorce me,” Dino said.

“She’s Italian,” Elaine pointed out. “She won’t divorce you.”

“The Bianchi family has found a way around that,” Dino said. “Remember how Dolce got divorced?”

“I didn’t know she was married,” Elaine said.

“A youthful indiscretion. She married a capo in the Bonnano family when she was nineteen. It lasted less than three weeks, until she caught him in her bed with her maid of honor.”

“So she got a divorce?”

“Not for some years. When it was inconvenient for her to still be married, the guy turned up in New York dead. Took two in the back of the head, a classic hit.”

BOOK: L.A. Dead
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