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A Delicate Touch: A Stone Barrington Novel

Review

A Delicate Touch: A Stone Barrington Novel

Former policeman, attorney and rich businessman Stone Barrington makes his 48th appearance in Stuart Woods’ A DELICATE TOUCH. At the center of the novel is an Excelsior safe that is very sensitive and can only be opened by Solomon Fink, now a 104-year-old man who was involved in making the safe during World War II in Germany. The safe is in the hands of Mary Ann Bianchi Bacchetti, the ex-wife of Stone’s former NYPD partner, Dino Bacchetti.

Once the safe is opened, Stone finds files on mafia kingpins, a great deal of cash, and papers telling of millions more to be found. The file on former Mafioso Gianni Tommassini is an enormous find since it refers to the man who now calls himself Jack Thomas and plans to help his son, Congressman Henry Thomas II, become the next president. He continues to conjure up machinations to make sure that Henry is elected to the highest office in the United States of America.

"A DELICATE TOUCH is one of Stuart Woods’ best books to date. It has a timely and interesting plot, along with finely limned characters who seem real."

Some of the money from the safe is siphoned off to Dino. This windfall forms the trajectory for his current wife, Viv, to redo their living space, and she freely spends the funds in a whirlwind of consumer consumption. Also making a cameo appearance is Holly Barker, Stone’s on-again, off-again girlfriend who is now in Washington, D.C. putting the finishing touches on a campaign to run for President. Stone’s love interest in A DELICATE TOUCH is Jamie Cox, a New York Times reporter who is writing an exposé on the mob.

Stone and Jamie argue over how to go about vetting LVD Consultants, the company owned by Jack Thomas and his partners. Jamie wants information now, but Stone must explain to her in a heated debate that they don’t have enough evidence about anything to open an investigation. The argument continues for a short time thereafter and ends with Jamie reconsidering her part in the disagreement. Since she is the investigative reporter, Stone thinks that it is her place to do the investigation.

As they continue talking, Stone says, “[L]et’s get the D.A., the police commissioner, and the agent in charge of the FBI’s New York Bureau and show them this stuff all at the same time.” Jamie reluctantly agrees but is worried about leaks because so many people will know what is going on. Stone assures her that these agencies “have the power to obtain search warrants and issue subpoenas; they also have the power to assign personnel to dig into these people’s lives, residences, and places of business.” This is what they do.

A DELICATE TOUCH is one of Stuart Woods’ best books to date. It has a timely and interesting plot, along with finely limned characters who seem real. Readers are pulled into the story from the first sentence and will find it difficult to set aside this page-turner until they’ve reached the conclusion.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on January 4, 2019

A Delicate Touch: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: December 31, 2018
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0735219257
  • ISBN-13: 9780735219250