cover image Grass Roots

Grass Roots

Stuart Woods. Simon & Schuster, $19.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-66739-9

Three compelling plot lines are woven into a tautly drawn suspense novel by the author of Chiefs ; not a whodunit or a howdunit, but a how-does-it-all-connect. After years as chief of staff for a venerable Georgia senator, Will Lee decides to run for the seat himself when a stroke cripples his mentor. Standing in his way are an ambitious governor in the Democratic primary and, possibly, a far-right fundamentalist in the general election. In addition, Will must interrupt his campaign to serve as the defense lawyer in a controversial race-murder trial, while elsewhere, a dedicated ex-cop pursues the head of a Klan-like vigilante group that's been carrying out gangland-style killings. Woods builds these plots to reach their climaxes--an election, a verdict and a shoot-out--simultaneously, and links the stories with an ingenuity that runs out of steam only in the final few chapters. Nonetheless, his headlong storytelling style is stoked with enough sex and violence to ignite a TV miniseries. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.)