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New York Dead

Introducing Stone Barrington

Summary

this one set on the meanest streets of New York City, the canyons and avenues of the posh Upper East Side. Everyone is always telling Stone Barrington that he's too smart to be a cop, but it's pure luck that places him on the streets in the dead of night, just in time to witness the horrifying incident that turns his life inside out. Suddenly he is on the front page of every New York newspaper, and his life is hopelessly entwined in the increasingly shocking life (and perhaps death) of Sasha Nijinsky, the country's hottest and most beautiful television anchorwoman. The pressures from the press are exceeded only by those from the N.Y.P.D. brass and city hall. No matter where he turns, the case is waiting for him, haunting his nights and turning his days into a living hell. Stone finds himself caught in a perilous web of unspeakable crimes, dangerous friends, and sexual depravity that has throughout it one common thread: Sasha. A gritty, high voltage novel, packed with interwoven story lines and surprising twists, New York Dead draws the reader into its stunning tale of intricate suspense and leads to a heart stopping climax you won't soon forget. Woods's latest (after Palindrome ) is a slick thriller set in Manhattan's Upper East Side, the stomping ground of Stone Barrington, a well-bred but unpretentious detective who, in a city of several million people, always ends up in the right place at the right time. Late one evening, as Stone trudges home from Elaine's Restaurant, popular TV newscaster Sasha Nijinsky plummets 12 stories from her terrace and lands on a heap of dirt 20 yards away from him--remarkably, still alive. Stone fails to apprehend the person who flees Sasha's penthouse and, after the ambulance carrying her collides with a fire truck, Sasha herself disappears. Despite the fact that no corpse is in evidence, the baffled NYPD eagerly pins a murder rap on Sasha's distraught lesbian lover. Stone refuses to accept his colleagues' pat solution and even maintains that Sasha might have survived thanks to skydiving training and her billowing, parachute-like robe. Bed-hopping TV newspeople, a sexy blonde judge sporting a red dress beneath her robes, a serial killer targeting cabbies and a creepy med-school dropout turned mortician who idolizes Sasha romp through this calculatedly melodramatic crime story all the way to its grisly B-movie finale

Setting Manhattan's Upper East Side

Characters


Stone Barrington, homicide detective, turns lawyer, recovering from being shot in the knee by 22 caliber bullet 11 weeks earlier, ready for physical to go back to work, graduated law school 15 years earlier, never took bar exam, drinking Wild Turkey, 6-2, 180 lb, walking home from Elaines he witnesses a jumper


Stones grandfather mill owner from western Mass, father driopped out of Harvard during depression, his father horrified but freed him to do what he really wanted, to be a carpenter, went to Grenich village, fell in with leftists, earned living knocking on doors to fix things, didn't own much but his tools, met Stones mother - Matilda Stone -- in late 30's, a painter and pianist from similar background, well-off Conn family wiped out in the crash - lived together through war years, army wouldn't take him dueto his radical views, branded as communist, although he never joined the party - after war, he was able to rent a proper workshop, Matilda's artist friends, who had some money, hired him to do cabinetry work and by the time

Stone was born in 1952 they were doing pretty well, Matilda's work was selling now, but not as good as now, reputation as artist-craftsman, solid middle class life, yankee upbringing once-removed, Stone went to NYU, and NYU law school, senior year program with police and liked it, became a cop, good at investigating, became detective, but didn't fit in with the cops


Stone's sexual exploits are many, and described in x-rated detail. Attracted to women, he is also very attractive TO women, with more times than not, the women initating the affairs as soon as he meets them. Intrinsic honesty "Judge contemplated Stone, and Stone comtemplated her right back."

. Late one evening, as Stone trudges home from Elaine's Restaurant, popular TV newscaster Sasha Nijinsky plummets 12 stories from her terrace and lands on a heap of dirt 20 yards away from him--remarkably, still alive. Stone fails to apprehend the person who flees Sasha's penthouse and, after the ambulance carrying her collides with a fire truck, Sasha herself disappears. Despite the fact that no corpse is in evidence, the baffled NYPD eagerly pins a murder rap on Sasha's distraught lesbian lover. Stone refuses to accept his colleagues' pat solution and even maintains that Sasha might have survived thanks to skydiving training and her billowing, parachute-like robe. Doesstnt have much money or furnishings but is trying to remodel his house in terrible condition, that he inherited from a great aunt,

Turtle Bay Brownstone, 3 floors


Dino Bacchetti, homicide detective, Stones parrtner for 4 years, killed perp that shot Stone, dressed in good Italian suit, drives like he just stole the car


Sasha Nijinsky - described 1B c 5:00


Baron Harkness - suspect, colleague of Sasha, co-anchor of evening news


Bill Eggers - lawyer at Woodman & Weld (generalist), law school buddy of Stone and his point man at the firm

Elaine Owner of "Elaines", a popular restaurant and bar at 88th & 2nd Avenue - At the time of the Sasha incident, she has apparently known Stone for years, but Stone was not what you'd call a regular at her restaurant, perhaps because it was too expensive for him on his policeman's salary. Stone does become a regular, and is usually having dinner at "Elaines, late" when a new chapter in his life begins. She also takes a motherly interest in his life, as a friend, even though she often needles Stone, particularly about his love life

Marvin Herbert Van Fleet - "Doc" 5-6, thinning hair, white coat, glasses taped in the middle, weird, unsuccessfully tries to pick up girls at Elaines -- stalker sent 1000 letters to Sasha, graduated from Med School, but never finished intern, poses as Dr, is embalmer at funeral parlor - kidnaps Stone with intent to kill him to pose at his dining table with corpses of Sasha and his previously kidnapped yuppies - this is the warning prediction that Helen Banner had given Stone - Dino breaks in and shoots Doc at the last minute to save Stone


Hiram Barker - suspect, wrote Vanity Fair article about Sasha after interviews and research


Cary Hilliard - production assistant to Harkness at TV station, from Atlanta, Stone's female interest, revealed to be Sasha's murderer just before she falls off the roof of the TV station to her death, narrowly missing taking Stone with her - Dina grabs Stone's ankle at the last second to save him


Henrietta Maxine "Hank" Morgan - suspect - athleltic, muscular, handsome, "a woman, but just barely" - makeup artist for the TV station -- she was involved with Sasha, emotionally, sexually, and finanacially - became main police suspect for murder of Sasha - police railroaded her into taking the official and public blame for Sasha's death - she subsequently committed suicide but left a suicide note professing she did murder Sasha - Stone was skepticaly about Hank's guilt and his concscience over her treatment led him to conflict with his police colleagues and consider resigning from the force if it came to that. After much soul searching, he made up his mind to go along quietly with things to save his job, but right at that point, he was quietly "fired". Actually they gave him a medical retirement with a great pension, and that allowed Stone to move on to his new career as a lawyer.


Helen Wooton, secretary at the TV station, plump, motherly, lover of Hank's, lies to provide her alibi


Carlton Palmer - Morgan's attorney


District Attorney Al Hegler -

Chief Prosecuter


Frank Woodman - chief partner in the law firm of "Woodman & Weld" - wife Marion -- he was Sasha's attorney and handled at least some financical dealings and estate - when Stone went to interview him in the Sasha investigation, he ran into his old law school buddy,

Bill Eggers, which put into motion his desire and opportunity to get back into the law business


Warren Weld - chief partner in the law firm of "Woodman & Weld" - corporate lawyer


Abbott and Indiaa Wheeler - former editor of New York Times


Edith Banner - Hi Barker's date at the party - society psychic - predicted that Sasha wasn't finished with Stone yet and that grave danger loomed for Stone - predictions that came true Judge ___ -- tall, strongly built lesbian activist


Cops - Lt Leary


Newsmen - Scoop Berman - friendly little guy that tracks down stories - as he lays dying in the street, he confeseses that he is the serial murderer of all the cabbies - "They always get in my way when I'm trying to get to a story"


Ron Rosenfelt - Stone's rabbi in the police department, helped him get promotions


Vincent DelGato - chief of police


Deputy Commissioner Waldren J

ohn Everett - FBI Special Agent


Mary Ann Bianchi - marries Dina with a kid on the way


Teddy O'Bannion - thick set, gray haired, ex-cop dismissed from the force - quasi private eye - captures the affair of Harkness and Cary on video, for Stone's W & W divorce case - this puts Stone in good stead with the law firm, but devastates his relationship with Cary

Turtle Bay - expensive area, house, inherited from Great Aunt Elizabeth who married well, soft spot for father, died at 98 this year, a mess, working on it himself, father designed and built room, all walnut, first commision after war, new heating plumbing kitchen, mothers 3 pictures

Notes "She's New York Dead", Dino, describing Sasha Njinsky, who Stone believes is still alive

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