Authors: Stuart Woods,Parnell Hall
Cut and Thrust
Doing Hard Time
Son of Stone
Santa Fe Edge
Loitering with Intent
Santa Fe Dead
Beverly Hills Dead
Shoot Him If He Runs
Two Dollar Bill
The Prince of Beverly Hills
The Short Forever
Worst Fears Realized
Swimming to Catalina
Dead in the Water
Santa Fe Rules
New York Dead
Under the Lake
Run Before the Wind
A Romantic’s Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland
Blue Water, Green Skipper
*A Holly Barker Novel
A Stone Barrington Novel
A Will Lee Novel
An Ed Eagle Novel
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
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New York, New York 10014
Copyright © 2016 by Stuart Woods
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Woods, Stuart, author. | Hall, Parnell, author.
Title: Smooth operator / Stuart Woods, Parnell Hall.
Description: New York : G. P. Putnam’s Sons,  | Series: Teddy Fay ; 1
Identifiers: LCCN 2016008414| ISBN 9780399185267 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780399185281 (epub)
Subjects: LCSH: Barrington, Stone (Fictitious character)—Fiction. | Intelligence officers—United States—Fiction. | Private investigators—Fiction. | BISAC: FICTION / Action & Adventure. | FICTION / Suspense. | FICTION / Thrillers. | GSAFD: Suspense fiction. | Mystery fiction.
Classification: LCC PS3573.O642 S63 2016 | DDC 813/.54—dc23
LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2016008414
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, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
tone Barrington, clad only in a bathing suit and sunglasses, lay on the deck of the
sipping a cool glass of Knob Creek. Stone was able to do that because Mary Lou Weston herself was manning the helm. Though perhaps manning was the wrong word. A striking blonde, she looked as if she’d be more at home on a runway than driving a boat.
“You sure you don’t need me to do anything?” Stone called.
“On this little boat?” Mary Lou said. “I think I can handle it alone.”
Stone smiled. Mary Lou referred to her
the way the genteel wealthy called their East Hampton mansions
. Granted, it was smaller than the
. Still, it was one of the larger yachts on the Hudson River. Stone could practically walk across it to New Jersey.
“I was thinking more along the lines of rubbing lotion on your back.”
“I could work around to your front. I’m quite flexible.”
, PREPARE TO BE BOARDED!”
Startled, Stone rolled over and looked for the disturbance.
A Coast Guard cutter was bearing down on them.
“Hey!” Mary Lou said. “Those idiots are going to swamp us!” She flailed her arms, trying to wave off the boat.
The cutter kept coming. As it drew closer, Stone recognized the man with the bullhorn standing in the bow.
“Dino?” he said incredulously.
“You know that jackass?” Mary Lou said.
“So do you,” Stone told her.
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
“You’re a hard man to find,” Dino Bacchetti called.
Dino Bacchetti and Stone Barrington had been partners on the detective squad at the 19th Precinct. When Stone left the police force and passed the bar exam, Dino had stayed on. Over the years he had risen through the ranks, and not so long ago had been named police commissioner.
Mary Lou was steamed. “Who the hell do you think you are, stopping me in a Coast Guard cutter? You ought to be arrested.”
Stone grinned. “I’m sure he should. Though you’ll probably have a hard time finding a cop willing to do it. Mary Lou, allow me to present Police Commissioner Dino Bacchetti.”
“Yeah, right,” Mary Lou scoffed. “Like this joker’s really the . . . Oh, my God!”
“Pleased to meet you,” Dino called.
Mary Lou pushed the long blond hair off her face, and gawked. “What the hell is going on here?”
“I have no idea,” Stone said. “Are you coming aboard?”
Dino grinned. “Nah. I just always wanted to say that.
Prepare to be boarded
. Actually, you’re the one coming aboard.”
“Gee, Dino, you’re a nice guy and all that, but you don’t have her looks.”
“Sorry, Stone. It’s not an invitation.”
“You’re putting me under arrest?”
“If I have to. I was hoping you’d come quietly.”
“What’s the charge?”
“Not answering your cell phone.”
Stone spread his arms. “Do you see a cell phone?”
“Where are your clothes?”
“Get them. You’re going places.”
Dino shrugged. “Frankly, I don’t know.”