Skin game

Stuart Woods

Book - 2019

"When Teddy Fay receives a freelance assignment from a gentleman he can't refuse, he jets off to Paris on the hunt for a treasonous criminal. But as Teddy unearths more information that just doesn't seem to connect, his straightforward mission becomes far bigger--and stranger--than he could imagine. The trail of breadcrumbs leads to secrets hidden within secrets, evildoers trading in money and power and a global threat on an unprecedented scale. Under the beautiful veneer of the City of Lights, true villainy lurks in the shadows...and Teddy Fay alone can prevent the impending disaster." -- jacket.

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1st Floor FICTION/Woods Stuart Checked In
Thrillers (Fiction)
Suspense fiction
Action and adventure fiction
New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons [2019]
Main Author
Stuart Woods (author)
Other Authors
Parnell Hall (author)
Physical Description
311 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

The third in the Teddy Fay series finds the master of disguise infiltrating an endangered-species convention in Paris. Formerly on the CIA's most-wanted list, Fay is now working for the agency and charged with determining why so many bad guys are convening to learn about spotted owls and panda bears. As with Woods' popular Stone Barrington novels, the pure voyeuristic joy of this series lies in Fay's remarkable skills and the abundance of gadgets and resources at his fingertips: burner phones, computer hacks, corpse disposal all in a day's work. The more improbable the plot becomes, the more fun it is to read. A galloping good read for those who check their disbelief at the door.--Karen Keefe Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of bestseller Woods and Edgar finalist Hall's breezy third Teddy Faye novel (after 2018's The Money Shot), Lance Cabot, the head of the CIA, orders the ex-CIA operative, who knows disobeying Lance isn't a good idea, to leave his Hollywood home immediately for Paris, where he's to uncover a mole in the CIA's Paris station. Meanwhile, scheming Syrian strongman Fahd Kassin, who has bugged Lance's phone, starts to monitor Teddy's calls. Fahd orders his henchmen to kill Teddy before he reaches Paris, but the resourceful Teddy manages to turn the tables on all his assailants. Once in Paris, Teddy sets about identifying the mole, but news of a rare animal convention in the city, which is to be attended by Fahd, distracts him from his mission. Disguised as a loudmouthed Texan, Teddy attends the convention, where he soon gets wind of a plot that's far more sinister than the illegal sale of endangered animals. The ingenious ways in which Teddy outwits his adversaries is a large part of this entry's appeal. Series fans will hope he has a long career. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

The CIA calls on its favorite rogue ex-operative, Teddy Fay (The Money Shot, 2018, etc.), to flush out a mole in its Paris office.Agency director Lance Cabot makes no bones about how serious the problem is when he reaches out to Teddy, aka film producer Billy Barnett, aka stunt man Mark Weldon, demanding his help and offering in return no money, precious little logistical support, and not even the pretense that Teddy owes his country something. In fact, the problem's even more serious than Lance knows: Syrian strongman Fahd Kassin can already listen in on Lance's phone calls, and soon enough his operatives have drawn a bead on Teddy's communications as well. Uncertain exactly what Teddy's charge is or how he plans to fulfill it, Kassin dispatches a series of assassins to neutralize the threat, but through a combination of experience, sharp instincts, physical conditioning, and dumb luck, Teddy (spoiler alert) manages to stay a step ahead of them, outwitting some of them and killing the others. Arriving safely in Paris under still another alias, reactivated CIA agent Felix Dressler, he introduces himself to members of the staff, takes the best-looking one to bed, and roots around till he comes across something that makes his antennae bristle: the participation of several world-class scientists in a hush-hush, invitation-only session of the Endangered Species Preservation Conference. Ignoring Lance's directive about how to proceed, Teddy, who "couldn't recall an operation where there had ever been so much at stake," pretends to have left the country, disguises himself yet again as big-game-hunting Texas oilman Floyd Maitland, and talks himself into that secret session, whose rationale is almost worth the price of the book.Once again, Woods-plus-collaborator is Woods-plus. The high body count is utterly weightless, and the identity of the mole will surprise only fifth-graders reading their first volume from the adult section, but the influence of Hall guarantees a plot that's coherent, ingenious, and even somewhat consequential. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

1. Teddy Fay finished his twenty laps in the terrace pool. He pulled himself out and sat on the deck, drinking in the morning sun. His broken leg had nearly healed. Remarkable, considering the amount of stress he'd subjected it to before allowing it to be put in a cast. Or rather, put back in a cast. Extenuating circumstances had forced him to cut off the original cast in order to deal with a life-or-death situation. He'd been a good boy since, even followed his rehab regimen. The fact that he liked swimming didn't hurt. He got up, sat in a deck chair, and poured himself a cool glass of lemonade. Teddy enjoyed the three-story split-level Hollywood house on Mullholland Drive that he'd purchased in the name of Billy Barnett. Teddy had three identities. That is . . . three current identities. In the course of his career, he had played many roles, occasionally more than one at a time, but they were usually temporary. As Billy Barnett, he had risen through the ranks from production assistant to producer at Centurion Studios. As Mark Weldon, he was a stuntman who had evolved into a character actor who specialized in playing villains. As Teddy Fay, he was not known at all. His cell phone rang. Teddy scooped it up. "Hello?" "Billy Barnett?" "Yes." "This is Lance Cabot." Teddy nearly dropped the phone. Lance Cabot was the head of the CIA. Teddy had worked for Lance once, before going rogue and killing people who deserved to die. Lance had organized a global manhunt for him, but Teddy was so elusive they soon elevated him to the top of the Most Wanted list. When even a presidential pardon failed to cool the Agency's ardor, Teddy changed his name and dropped out of sight. He'd been rumored dead. Most agents subscribed to the rumor. Teddy said, "Why would the head of the CIA be calling a Hollywood film producer?" "I'm not calling you in your producer capacity." Teddy paused. "Go on." "We have a problem in Paris." "Oh?" "We have a mole. Which is ridiculous-there's nothing happening in Paris that would warrant an enemy power planting a mole at that branch. The Agency was tracking only one individual recently, a low-level Syrian agent named Hassan Hamui. Recently he suddenly dropped out of sight, as if he knew he was under surveillance: knew when, how, and by whom. That's why we think we have a mole." "And you want someone to handle the situation? Well, I'm not the man you're looking for. I happen to know you went out of your way to try to kill him, so I'd hardly care to be that guy. But if you want me to apply my meager talents to the situation, perhaps we can work something out." "You want money?" "Hardly. I can't be bought because I have all I need. I'm not above doing a favor for a friend, but you hardly fit into that category." "You're still alive, aren't you?" "What do you mean by that?" "If I wanted to, finding and killing you wouldn't be hard. After all, I made this phone call." "Is that a threat?" "Not at all. I'm pointing it out as a token of friendship, since such things seem to matter." "What would I have to do?" "Go undercover, assume a new identity. I know you've played everybody from a bag lady to a bank president, but this might be sort of a stretch." "Oh? Who do I have to pretend to be?" "A CIA operative." "Thanks a heap." "I need you to leave at once." "Are you picking me up here?" "No." "Will you fly me from New York?" "It shouldn't look like we brought you in. Our mole would go on high alert. It has to appear as if you're emerging from deep cover. Whoever you wish to be will suddenly appear in our records as if he'd been there all the time. You get to pick your own legend. Once you do, you might let me know who you are." "You're saying no one's running me. There's no one in charge of this mission I can contact." "Would you listen to them if there were?" "What's my cover story?" "It doesn't matter, just so you have one. We have a leak. We don't know how high or low it goes, but we can't be telling people who might be the leak that we're looking for the leak." "I have to create my own cover, fly myself in, and make up my own assignment?" "I thought you'd like that." "Fuck you, too, Lance." Excerpted from Skin Game by Stuart Woods, Parnell Hall All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.