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Teddy Fay returns to La-La Land in the latest thriller from #1 New York Times -bestselling author Stuart Woods.

Teddy Fay is back in Hollywood and caught in two tricky situations. First, a rising star at Centurion becomes the target of malicious gossip, and Teddy must find and neutralize the source before the situation gets out of hand--or becomes violent. At the same time, Teddy finds himself targeted by a criminal thug bearing a grudge.

It's a lot of knives to juggle, even for a former-CIA-operative-turned-movie-producer accustomed to hazardous working conditions. This time Teddy will need to leverage every bit of his undercover skills and fearless daring to stay one step ahead of his foes . . . or he'll find himself one foot in the grave.

Author Notes

Stuart Woods was born in Manchester, Georgia on January 9, 1938. He received a B. A in sociology from the University of Georgia in 1959. He worked in the advertising business and eventually wrote two non-fiction books entitled Blue Water, Green Skipper and A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland. His first novel, Chiefs, was published in 1981. It won an Edgar Award and was made into a TV miniseries starring Charlton Heston. His other works include the Stone Barrington series, the Holly Barker series, the Will Lee series, the Ed Eagle series, the Rick Barron series and the Teddy Fay series. He won France's Prix de Literature Policiere for Imperfect Strangers.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in Hollywood, bestseller Woods and Edgar finalist Hall's brisk fourth Teddy Fay novel (after 2019's Skin Game) finds former CIA operative Teddy alternating between two identities. A few minutes applying makeup and putting on a wig transforms Teddy from Billy Barnett, a movie producer, to Mark Weldon, a stuntman turned actor. This makes it difficult for gangster Gino Patelli, who blames Billy for his uncle's murder, and Gino's henchmen to locate Billy, who keeps disappearing on the set of a new movie featuring actresses Viveca Rothschild (aka the Blonde Bombshell) and Tessa Tweed. Viveca and Tessa have become friendly, but they're also competing against each other at the Academy Awards. The stakes rise when Viveca's boyfriend, an Afghan war veteran with PTSD, murders a gossip columnist Viveca has a problem with, and it becomes clear that more than one villain is plotting violence at the Oscars ceremony. Readers will cheer as Teddy thwarts anyone who dares to try to kill him. Realism isn't the authors' strong point, but they know how to tell a fun, exciting story. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (May)

Kirkus Review

Think the competition among Oscar nominees is a blood sport? You have no idea. Desperation at Dawn has snared Academy Award nominations for writer/director Peter Barrington; his wife, composer Hattie Barrington; lead actress Tessa Tweed; supporting actor Mark Weldon; and Tessa's husband, Ben Bacchetti, who, as head of Centurion Studios, would bask in the award for best picture. Tessa's nomination is nice for her, but it grates on Viveca Rothschild, the blonde bombshell who, determined that her own third nomination will be the charm, resolves to do whatever it takes to undermine Tessa, beginning with getting hired on Trial by Fire, Tessa's aptly named new film, and planting snippy items about her in gossip columns. But that's far from the biggest problem lurking beneath the tinsel. Viveca's boyfriend, Iraq War vet Bruce, has PTSD and a much less nuanced approach than his girlfriend to stopping Tessa in her tracks. Even worse, crime boss Gino Patelli, suspecting that his uncle and predecessor, Carlo Gigante, was offed by Centurion producer Billy Barnett, hires a series of variously hapless underlings to find and kill him. As Billy tells his attorney, Peter's father Stone Barrington, when he's arrested for a rare murder he didn't commit, "It seems to be open season on Billy Barnett." But the predators' job is considerably complicated by the fact that Billy, like Mark Weldon, is an alter ego of former CIA operative Teddy Fay, who effortlessly spots every Patelli employee early on, switches identities in a flash to escape them, and shoots them when he can't. So the suspense in this enjoyably weightless tale is focused on the climactic Academy Award ceremonies. Who wants to bet that Tessa or Teddy will get killed or that Desperation at Dawn won't sweep the categories in which it's nominated? The perfect bonbon to pick up for distraction during those long production numbers at the actual Oscars. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.