Read Short Straw Online

Authors: Stuart Woods

Tags: #Suspense, #Thriller, #Mystery

Short Straw

BOOK: Short Straw
9.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Short Straw
Number II of
Ed Eagle
Stuart Woods
Signet (2006)
Rating: ★★★★☆
Tags: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Mysteryttt Suspensettt Thrillerttt

OUR FAVORITE LEGAL EAGLE RETURNS.

NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLING AUTHOR STUART WOODS CONTINUES WHAT HE STARTED IN
SANTA FE RULES
:

Stuart Woods delivers a compulsively readable novel of crosses and double-crosses, featuring a shrewd criminal lawyer and his shamelessly sexy wife-a true black widow.

The Ed Eagle Novels

Short Straw

Santa Fe Dead

Santa Fe Edge

Stuart Woods

Short Straw

BOOKS BY STUART WOODS

FICTION

Dark Harbor
+

Iron Orchid
*

Two-Dollar Bill
+

The Prince of Beverly Hills

Reckless Abandon
+

Capital Crimes

Dirty Work
+

Blood Orchid
*

The Short Forever
+

Orchid Blues
*

Cold Paradise
+

L.A. Dead
+

The Run

Worst Fears Realized
+

Orchid Beach
*

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 (1979)

MEMOIR

Blue Water, Green Skipper

Short Straw

STUART WOODS

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS NEW YORK

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

Publishers Since 1838

Published by the Penguin Group

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), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310,
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

Copyright © 2006 by Stuart Woods

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in
any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or
encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase
only authorized editions. Published simultaneously in Canada

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Woods, Stuart.
Short straw / Stuart Woods.
p. cm.

ISBN: 978-1-101-21986-7

Attorney and client––Fiction. 2. Santa Fe (N.M.)––Fiction. I. Title.
PS3573.O642S57 2006 2006041643
813’.54––dc22

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.

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

This book is for

Bob Dattila and Betsy Hall.

Short Straw

Contents

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-one

  Chapter Twenty-two

  Chapter Twenty-three

  Chapter Twenty-four

  Chapter Twenty-five

  Chapter Twenty-six

  Chapter Twenty-seven

  Chapter Twenty-eight

  Chapter Twenty-nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-one

  Chapter Thirty-two

  Chapter Thirty-three

  Chapter Thirty-four

  Chapter Thirty-five

  Chapter Thirty-six

  Chapter Thirty-seven

  Chapter Thirty-eight

  Chapter Thirty-nine

  Chapter Forty

  Chapter Forty-one

  Chapter Forty-two

  Chapter Forty-three

  Chapter Forty-four

  Chapter Forty-five

  Chapter Forty-six

  Chapter Forty-seven

  Chapter Forty-eight

  Chapter Forty-nine

  Chapter Fifty

  Chapter Fifty-one

  Chapter Fifty-two

  Chapter Fifty-three

  Chapter Fifty-four

  Chapter Fifty-five

  Chapter Fifty-six

  Chapter Fifty-seven

  Chapter Fifty-eight

  
AUTHOR’S NOTE

One

E
D EAGLE DIDN’T WANT TO GET OUT OF BED. USUALLY HE
woke at the stroke of seven, put his feet on the floor and was up and running, but not this morning. He drifted for a moment, then snapped back. He raised his head and looked at the large digital clock that rested on top of the huge, flat-screen TV on his bedroom wall: 10:03
A.M.
Impossible. Clock broken.

He sat up and checked his wristwatch on the bedside table: 10:03. What the hell was going on? He had a hundred people coming to lunch at the grand opening of his new offices at noon, and there was much to do. Why hadn’t Barbara woken him? He stood up. “Barbara?” he yelled. Silence. He looked at the other side of the bed: still made up.

He staggered into the bathroom and splashed water on his face, then he walked across the hall to his wife’s bathroom. Not there. On the marble shelf under the mirror was a small plastic bottle from the pharmacy, lid off. He picked it up and read the label.
AMBIEN
. Sleeping pill. He never took them. He looked inside: empty.

He replayed the evening before: steaks for the two of them, grilled on the big Viking range, Caesar salad, bourbon before, bottle of red with. Half a bottle of red wine would not cause him to over-sleep. Not unless it contained an Ambien or two. He had an uncomfortable feeling in his gut.

He walked downstairs in his bare feet and checked every room, then he went to the garage. Barbara’s Range Rover was gone. Could she have gone to the office without him to get ready for the gathering, letting him sleep late? She must have.

Ed went back upstairs, shaved and stood in a shower until he felt human again, then he blew dry his longish black hair, dressed in a new shirt, recently arrived from his shirtmaker in London, then a new suit, recently arrived from his tailor in the same city. He pulled on a pair of black alligator western boots, which added a couple of inches to his six-feet, seven-inch height—or altitude, as he liked to think of it—chose a tie and a silk pocket square, grabbed his Stetson and headed for town.

He parked in his reserved space in the basement garage of the newly constructed, five-story office building, just off Santa Fe’s Plaza, then took the private elevator to the penthouse. His new offices were swarming with people: painters touching up here and there, janitors cleaning up after the painters, secretaries, caterers, people hanging pictures. Most of these things should have been done by the day before, but everything always ran a little late. He grabbed a passing secretary.

“Where’s Barbara?” he asked.

“Haven’t seen her,” the woman replied, then continued on her way.

He walked across the open flagstone area just inside the glass doors and into his new office, tossing his Stetson onto a bentwood hat rack. A painter was daubing at a place on the wall next to the windows. He picked up the phone and pressed the Page button.

BOOK: Short Straw
9.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

His Every Word by Kelly Favor
Dearly Departed by Hy Conrad
Judgment Day by James F. David
Harlequin's Millions by Bohumil Hrabal
The Supernaturals by David L. Golemon
A Special Providence by Richard Yates
The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel