Swimming to Catalina (Stone Barrington Series #4)

Swimming to Catalina (Stone Barrington Series #4)

by Stuart Woods, (none)

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Stone Barrington thought he'd heard the last of former girlfriend Arrington after she left him to marry Vance Calder, Hollywood's hottest star. The last thing Stone expected was a desperate call from Calder. Arrington has vanished, and her new fiancé wants Stone to come to LA and find her.

In a town where the sharks drive Bentleys and no one can be trusted, Stone soon discovers he's drowning in a sea of empty clues that takes him from Bel Air to Malibu to Rodeo Drive. Running out of time and leads, he needs to keep his head above water and find Arrington fast, or end up swimming with the fishes himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061711930
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Series: Stone Barrington Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 45,236
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.


Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 9, 1938

Place of Birth:

Manchester, Georgia


B.A., University of Georgia, 1959

Read an Excerpt

Swimming to Catalina

Chapter One

Elaine's, late. Stone Barrington sat at a very good table with his friend and former partner Dino Bacchetti, who ran the detective division at the NYPD's 19th Precinct, and with Elaine, who was Elaine.

The remnants of dinner were cleared away by Jack, the headwaiter, and brandy was brought for Stone and Dino. It was very special brandy; Dino had the bottle of his own stuff stashed behind the bar, and it annoyed Elaine no end, because she couldn't charge him for it, not that she didn't find other ways to charge him for it.

"Okay, I want to know about Arrington," Elaine said.

"Elaine," Dino interrupted, "don't you know that Stone is still suffering a great deal of emotional pain over Arrington's dumping him?"

"Who gives a fuck?" Elaine asked, quite reasonably. "I want to know how he let her get away. She was something, that girl."

"There's a large body of opinion," Dino said, "that holds that she didn't want to be known as Arrington Barrington."

"And who could blame her?" Elaine asked. "Come on, Stone, spill it."

Stone took a deep breath and sighed. "I have to take a lot of shit from you two, you know?"

"I think you better cough it up," Dino said, "or we're going to start getting tables in Siberia."

"You bet your ass," Elaine confirmed.

Stone sighed again. "It was like this," he said, then stopped.

"Yeah?" Elaine encouraged.

"We were supposed to have ten days sailing in St. Marks in February."

"I never heard of St. Marks," Elaine said. "Where is that?"

"It's a nice little island, tucked between Antiguaand Guadeloupe. Anyway, we were supposed to meet at Kennedy for our flight down, but she got tied up, and she was supposed to be on the next plane, but then the blizzard hit."

"I know about the blizzard," Elaine said, exasperated. "Tell me about the girl."

"While the blizzard was going on she got the New Yorker assignment to do a profile of Vance Calder."

"The new Cary Grant," Dino explained, as if Elaine had no idea who a major movie star was.

"Yeah, yeah," Elaine said.

"Apparently he hadn't given an in-depth interview for twenty years," Stone continued, "so it was quite a coup. Arrington had known Calder for a while—in fact, she was with him at the dinner party where we met."

"So much for social history," Elaine said.

"All right, I'm in St. Marks, sitting on the chartered boat, waiting for Arrington to show up, when this blonde sails in on a big beautiful boat, all by herself. But she had left the Canary Islands with a husband, who was no longer present. So she gets charged with his murder, and I end up defending her."

"Like I don't read a newspaper?" Elaine interjected. "Like the western hemi­sphere didn't read about this trial?"

"All right, all right; I keep getting faxes from Arrington, saying she's all tied up with Calder, then I get a fax saying that she's going to L.A. with him for more research."

" 'Research'; I like that." Elaine smirked.

"So I write her a letter, pouring out my heart, practically asking her to marry me . . ."

" 'Practically'? What is that?" Elaine demanded.

"All right, not in so many words, but I think she would have gotten the idea."

"She didn't get the idea?"

"She didn't get the letter. I gave it to a lady headed for Florida to FedEx for me, and her plane crashed on takeoff."

"Wow, that's the best excuse I ever heard for not writing," Elaine said. "You sure your dog didn't eat it?"

"I swear, I wrote her the letter. Then, before I could write it again, I get a fax from Arrington saying that she and Calder were married in Needles, Arizona, the day before. What am I supposed to do?"

"You were supposed to do it a long time ago," Elaine said. "Why should this gorgeous girl wait around for you to get your ass in gear?"

"Maybe, but there was nothing I could do at this point, Elaine. I was going to trial in a couple of days; the woman's life depended on me."

"The woman might have been better off if you'd gone after Arrington," Dino said, "considering how the trial went."

"Thanks, Dino, I needed that."

"Any time."

"So now Arrington is married to the guy People says is the sexiest man in America, and I'm . . ." His voice trailed off.

"How long they been married?" Elaine asked.

"I don't know—two and a half, three months."

"It's probably too late," Elaine mused. "Unless it's going really badly."

"I've had a couple of letters from her telling me how gloriously it's going," Stone said glumly.

"Oh," Elaine said.

There followed a long silence.

Jack came over to the table. "Phone call for you, Stone," he said, pointing at one of the two pay phones on the wall nearby.

"Who is it?"

"I don't know," Jack replied, "but he's got a beautiful speaking voice on the telephone."

"Must be Vance Calder," Dino deadpanned.

Elaine burst out laughing.

Stone got up and trudged over to the phone. "Hello?" he said, sticking a finger in the other ear to blot out some of the noise.


"Yeah? Who's this?"

"Stone, this is Vance Calder."

"Yeah, sure; Dino put you up to this?"


"Who is this?"

"It's Vance, Stone."

Stone hung up the phone and went back to the table. "Nice," he said to Dino. "Huh?"

"Guy on the phone says he's Vance Calder. Thanks a lot."

"Don't thank me," Dino said. "I never met the guy."

"You put whoever that was up to it, didn't you? It was a setup." He looked at Elaine. "You were probably in on it, too."

Swimming to Catalina. Copyright (c) by Stuart Woods . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Swimming to Catalina 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous 15 days ago
every story gets better written.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mathenam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Exactly what you would expect from the Stone Barrington series.
pineapplejuggler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This felt like I was reading a movie. I wished there would have been some sort of devious twist, but maybe that's not what Woods writes. The only thing that really irked me was when the name of a company changed from Abalone Fisheries to Albacore Fisheries midway through the book. That was... odd.
TDoug1853 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Entertaining, easy read. Typical of the series. Thoroughly California - movie stars, Beverly Hills, money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept waiting for something real. Never happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of course another good stone barrington book.
TerribleTed More than 1 year ago
Another Stone Barrington where he seems to be a less then great investigator. He accepts things and told to him and seems to miss some straightforward clues that someone of his caliber would normally pick up on. He talks as if he is thorough but things happen and he doesn't think them through like say, Dino would. His time away from the force? Too much attorney and not enough cop? I'm trying to see the big picture and also not look at it from a reader point of view. If I was there would I see it? Well, being analytical, I may be a bit more critical, but I also think if I was there and had so many negative things happening, I would be suspicious of anything that moved. He is not so. Then again, where would be the story? He does take on things that show terrific courage. And that's what makes him continuously interesting. The overall story benefits. AKA "The big picture".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good series.....
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Stone Barrington series - just ordered 5, 6 & 7
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stone Barrington is smarter than everybody in the whole wide world... movie stars, cops, his partner, studio heads, the FBI. In Stuart Woods mind anyway.
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