Santa Fe Rules
Stuart Woods
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Buy *Santa Fe Rules* online

Santa Fe Rules

Stuart Woods
Stealth Press
Hardcover reprint
303 pages
June 2001
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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What is a mystery without a love triangle? Stuart Woods takes that well-practiced writing theory and adds to it some unknown, undefined geometric love shape. In Santa Fe Rules, it is much more than a mere three-point love triangle involved. Suspects are all over the place in this novel of deceit, greed, love and high-price cons.

One morning Wolf Willet wakes up in his large New Mexico home. He heads out for a ride in his personal airplane. After a dangerous landing, he learns that a triple homicide was committed in his home the night before. Three people were found naked and in bed together. What is more shocking is that the news accounts lists him, Wolf Willet, as one of the people murdered. The other two found dead are his wife and best friend and business partner. Willet can't remember a thing about the night before. This scares him. It gets him wondering. Who is the third victim? Could he have killed these people?

Santa Fe's best criminal attorney is Ed Eagle. Willet hires him, telling Eagle that he cannot recall anything about the night of the murders. Eagle convinces Willet to turn himself in. The district attorney appears to have a solid case against Willet. They don't buy the idea that Willet "blacked out" and can't remember anything about the night in question. They have motive: Willet found his wife in bed with two other men. They also have an eyewitness who can place Willet at the scene of the murder. They have questions: The day after the killing, why did Willet flee the state in his airplane?

News reporters dig deep into this Hollywood tragedy and reveal that Julia was not at all what she seemed. Her past, more than shady, looks charcoal-gray, a life of cons and crimes unveiled.

It's when a fourth murder occurs—Willet is the one to find the body—that he begins to fear for his life. The cliché is true: the plot thickens. Willet then learns that his stocks and accounts and 401k have been liquidated and moved to an offshore account. Desperate, he depends on an ex-con biker he met in jail, and the help of private eyes hired by Eagle, in order to find out who killed his wife and friend … and why this person so badly wants him dead.

Santa Fe Rules, originally published in 1992 by HaperCollins, is jam-packed full of what you would expect from any Stuart Woods novel: page-turning suspense, a tightly plotted mystery, captivating intrigue and heart-thumping romance. Woods does not waste words -- there is no fluff to his stories. He has a tale to tell and unleashes it with the fury of a master wordsmith. From cover to cover, chapter to chapter, word to word, Santa Fe Rules keeps you guessing. The constant twist and turns will keep you off balance; the climax will shock the system.

© 2003 by Philip Tomasso III for Curled Up With a Good Book

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