The Run (Will Lee Series #5)

The Run (Will Lee Series #5)

by Stuart Woods

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A respected senator from Georgia, Will Lee has aspirations of more.But a cruel stroke of fate thrusts him onto the national stage well before he expects, and long before he's ready, for a national campaign.

The road to the White House, however, will be more treacherous -- and deadly -- than Will and his intelligent, strikingly beautiful wife, Kate, an associate director in the Central Intelligence Agency, can imagine.A courageous and principled man, Will soon learns he has more than one opponent who wants him out of the race. Thrust into the spotlight as never before, he's become the target of clandestine enemies from the past who will use all their money and influence to stop him -- dead. Now Will isn't just running for president -- he's running for his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061828126
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Will Lee Series , #5
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 2,932
File size: 457 KB

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

The Run

Chapter One

United States Senator William Henry Lee IV and his wife, Katharine Rule Lee, drove away from their Georgetown house in their Chevrolet Suburban early on a December morning. There was the promise of snow in the air.

Kate sipped coffee from an insulated mug and yawned. "Tell me again why we drive this enormous fucking car," she said.

Will laughed. "I keep forgetting you're not a politician," he said. "We drive it because it is, by my reckoning, the least offensive motor vehicle manufactured in the state of Georgia, and because Georgia car workers and their union have shown the great wisdom to support your husband's candidacy in two elections."

"Oh," she said. "Now I remember."

"Good. I'm glad I won't have to put you in a home right before Christmas." He looked in the rearview mirror and saw another Suburban following them. "They're there," he said.

"They're supposed to be."

"How did they know?"

"Because I called them last night and gave them our schedule."

The week before there had been a terrorist attack on CIA employees as they had left the Agency's building in McLean, Virginia, and certain Agency officials had been given personal protection for a time; Kate Rule was the deputy director for Intelligence, chief of all the CIA's analysts, and was, therefore, entitled.

"Oh," Will replied, sipping his own coffee and heading north toward College Park, Maryland, and its airport. "They're not going to follow us all the way to Georgia, are they?"

"I persuaded them that wouldn't be necessary."


"It's a little like having Secret Service protection, isn't it?" she nudged. "Does it make you feel presidential?"

"Nothing is going to make me feel presidential, at least for another nine years."

"What about the cabinet? If Joe Adams is elected and wants you for Defense or State or something, will you leave the Senate?"

Joseph Adams was vice president of the United States and the way-out-in-front leader for the Demo-cratic Party's nomination for president the following year. "Joe and I have already talked about that. He says I can have anything I want, but he doesn't really mean it."

"I always thought Joe was a pretty sincere guy," Kate said.

"Oh, he is, and he was sincere with the half-dozen other guys he told the same thing. But I don't really have the foreign-policy credentials for State, and while I think I really could have Defense, I don't want it. I don't want to spend eight or even four years doing battle with both the military and Congress; the job killed James Forrestal and Les Aspin, and it's ground up a lot of others."

"What about Justice? Your work on the Senate Judiciary Committee should stand you in good stead for that."

"I think I could have Justice, if I were willing to fight for it tooth and nail, and there's a real opportunity to do some good work there."


"I think I'll stay in the Senate. Georgia's got a Republican governor at the moment, and if I left, he'd get to appoint my replacement, and we don't want that. Also, if Joe's elected, three or four top senators will leave to join the administration, among them the minority leader, and I'd have a real good shot at that job. And if we can win the Senate back, then the job would be majority leader, and that is very inviting."

"It's the kind of job you could keep for the rest of your career," she said.

"It is."

"But you don't want to spend the rest of your career in the Senate, do you?"

"You know I love the Senate."

"Will, you've been awfully closemouthed about this, but I know damned well you want to be president."

"One of these days, sure," Will replied.

"You mean after Joe has served for eight years?"

"I'd only be fifty-seven. Why not? I might even appoint you director of Central Intelligence."

"Yeah, sure," she said. "The world would fall on you."

"If Jack Kennedy could appoint Bobby attorney general, why couldn't I appoint my wife to be head of the CIA?"

"Well, it's a nice thought, anyway," she said.

"Listen, here's a thought; Joe's going to owe me after the election, and if I'm not going to ask him for a cabinet job, I could ask him to appoint you DCI."

"Would you really do that?"

"Let's just say that I know the candidate well and have the highest confidence in her. It's not as though you're not supremely well qualified."

"Mmmmm. I like the sound of it."

"Of course, I'd want my back scratched a lot if I pull this off, and I mean that in the literal, not the figurative sense."

"I'll start growing my nails now." She laughed.

"Promises, promises."

"I think about it sometimes," she said.

"Scratching my back? Less thought, more action!"

"No, I mean your being president."

"And what do you think when you think about it?"

"Mostly about what a huge pain in the ass being first lady would be."

"Oh, it might have its up side—weekends at Camp David, travel on Air Force One, that sort of thing."

"I'd have to make a lot of speeches, and you know how I hate doing that."

"Well, how about this? If Joe has already appointed you DCI, I could reappoint you. Then I could hire a first lady."

"Just run an ad, you mean?"

"Why not?"

"Well, I must admit, the idea of being appointed and then reappointed has its appeal, but the substitute wife doesn't."

"I'm glad to hear it." Will turned into the entrance of the little airport at College Park, which had been founded by the Wright Brothers and was located on the grounds of the University of Maryland. He drove down the taxiway to where his airplane was tied down, got out of the car, and unlocked the cabin door. The airplane was new, a Piper Malibu-Mirage, a six-seat, pressurized single-engine aircraft, loaded with the latest equipment. Will had traded his elderly Cessna for it a couple of months before, and it made trips back to Georgia a lot faster and more comfortable.

The Run. Copyright © by Stuart Woods. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Run 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
ginnyPA More than 1 year ago
enjoyed it very much
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed Stuart Woods...Stone Barrington series is wonderful, and the first couple books in the Will Lee series seemed great. However, this series has degenerated into little more than a platform for republican bashing and Mr. Woods political beliefs. It's a shame he can't just continue to write good books and leave the rest to the politicians! I'll always be back for Stone, but I don't know that I'll be bothering with any more of his series in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all I should state that I am a dedicated Stuart Woods reader. I have read and enjoyed all of his previous novels. However, The Run is a novel in which Author Woods uses fictional characters to promote his political opinions. The good guys are the current Democratic Vice-President and the front runners for the Democratic nomination, Senator George Kiel and the main character Democratic Senator Will Lee. The bad guys are: 1) The Republican Govenor of GA - He commuted the sentence of a rapist after sleeping with the prisoner's former girlfriend. Her previous affair with Senator Will Lee when he was her boyfriend's lawyer appears to be of little ethical consequence. 2) A Republican Senator from South Carolina who had two illegitimate black children with his secret mistress. 3) Republican Senator Efton who opposed Senator Will Lee. In the final chapter Author Woods states that 'He (new Democratic President Will Lee) has a twenty-two vote majority in the House of Representatives, a result he knew, of the reaction of voters to the disgraceful Republican conduct of the Clinton-impeachment proceedings.' There is nothing wrong with writing a political biased book but let it be clearly stated so that those of us who disagree with Democratic liberal ideals can pass and wait for the next Stone Barrington Novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big Woods fan, but this one left me feeling betrayed. The book has none of the great style that is Wood's trademark, and seems as if it was thrown together over the weekend to make it on the shelves for this election. Wood's political views color every page using spin we've been hearing for the past 7 years, and it is indeed wearing thin. I won't forget this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, the fourth with this line of characters from the Lee family, was not up to the standards we are used to in Stuart Woods' books. There was no tension in it, a lot of loose ends and far too much of the author's personal political beliefs. Most characters had little depth to their personalities... many of the readers who are familiar with this series of books might not have as much of a problem as a first time reader would in developing some rapport with Will Lee and his family. THE RUN barely skips the surface.
jepeters333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Senator Will Lee is encouraged to run for president but there are conspiracies to stop him.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hate it when authors invent a situation or a character that is used solely for convenience and then dropped. Woods does it a lot in this book. First, Woods invents Ed Rawls ¿ former CIA bigwig now in prison for life because he was a double agent. He summons Kate (funny how wives are always stunningly or strikingly or achingly beautiful) to him in prison because he knows the secret about the Vice President. No one besides the doctors who discover the Alzheimer¿s, Will, Kate, the VP and his wife are supposed to know. So Kate goes and gets called on the carpet for it. There is a scene that sets up some guy in the CIA as very hostile to the gorgeous Kate but she is vindicated in the 5-minute conversation. The nasty guy is never seen again. Ed Rawls on the other hand pops up one more time to keep an evil Senator from leaking a semi-nasty story about Will. You see, Ed wants a Presidential Pardon from Will. It¿s the only thing that will get him out of jail. If Will isn¿t elected ¿ poof ¿ up in smoke. After the threat is quelled (a truly nasty secret about the evil Senator is made public), Ed Rawls quietly disappears, apparently forgetting about his Presidential Pardon.Another device used and then disposed of without adequate explanation is the President himself. He is found unconscious on the bathroom floor and taken to a hospital where he later dies having never woken from his coma. What actually killed him? Wouldn¿t the FBI be crawling over everything in a search for conspirators, terrorists or whatever? Not in this Washington, DC.Now there is one part that is rather sudden but I had a feeling it was coming. The right-wing wacko Zeke who is trying to kill Will has a kid. Each time he leaves his mountain cabin, he tells Danny that he might not be coming back. The first time he leaves, Danny is willing enough, but the second time Danny says something about maybe wanting a University education and perhaps joining the Navy. Looks like daddy¿s brainwashing about the inherent evilness of the US government and similar establishments, has fallen on deaf ears. In the end when Zeke is discovered and tracked to his secret residence and Danny shoots him himself rather than risk his mom & siblings, I wasn¿t overly surprised. I suppose less astute readers would classify this as coming from nowhere. Luckily it was enough for me even though I feel the ending was too pat.If Woods had eliminated the annoying bit about the brief affair w/an up and coming Hollywood actress, and concentrated on making these plot elements work better, the book would have been much more interesting. But I suppose that would be too much for Woods to keep straight. The book is loosely tied to the Stone Barrington books ¿ I recognized the name of the actor Vance Calder but couldn¿t place it. Then his wife Arrington was introduced and I got it. It¿s a continuation of Deep Lie from 15 years ago (see Book Journal 1). Katherine did not make Director at the end of that book and I think Ed Rawls was the guy feeding the Russians information about the subs. Of course Will is elected as the Democratic Party nominee and of course he is elected president. To show how gracious he is, he selects his defeated rival to be his running mate. Sigh. And Kate is appointed head of the CIA with nary a whimper from the Senate or anyone else concerned. The nest of terrorists is destroyed without breeding more. And all of the potentially sticky people who were used as a means to an end are conveniently quiet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some of the events are not realistic and unbelievable.
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My first read of a Stuart Woods novel was a disappointment. Little more than a thinly veiled political polemic, this one wasn't even written well or with much care. My first Woods novel will be my last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just started reading Woods' books this year and have taken on all of them. My best are the Stone Barrington series. I enjoy the Run but was looking for more twists and turns. Will lee was too much of an untarnished political hero, he practically had the Presendency handed to him on a gold platter. A bit more work needed with the plotting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently redisovered Stuart Woods and I'm very happy that I did. The Run is a first rate, suspense-filled novel which brings back one of my favorite characters -- Will Lee. It grabbed me from the first sentence and held me all the way to its exciting end. One of the best political suspense novels I've read in a long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to get a new Stuart Woods book to read. I couldn't be more disappointed. No twists and turns and excitement that most of Mr. Woods books have had.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who likes Stuart Woods at all just has to love this book. It keeps you up on the Lee family and also has an air of suspense as to just what will happen next as Will Lee is almost forced to run for president before he wants to. I love the way that he has brought some characters from some of his other books into this. It brings them back to the front of your mind and that is like having old friends around again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I felt compelled to write a review of The Run after reading several reviews of Worst Fears Realized where readers claimed that Mr. Woods was losing it, and not writing as well as he has in the past. I was fortunate enough to have gotten a copy of The Run several weeks before its release to the public. (I have an issue with waiting.) For those that claim Mr. Woods is not writing up to par, you MUST read The Run. He is at his very best here, and I believe he is setting us up for something wonderful in the future. In the Run, Mr. Woods uses characters from other stories (Swimming to Catalina, Grass Roots) and incorporates then into The Run. Something is brewing and I can't wait to find out what it is! (perhaps we will find out in L.A. Dead?) Thanks Mr Woods, I had a blast!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will Lee (a character introduced in the novels 'Run Before The Wind' and 'Grassroots') returns. Will is now a senator in Georgia with hopes of one day running for president, until fate pushes him closer to his dream. This opportunity comes too soon, and as Will begins his campaign, he will learn there are people behind closed doors looking to destroy him. Stuart Woods has created a suspenseful political thriller, that will keep you turning the pages. I finished the book in one sitting. Great entertainment!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Everyone in the Democratic Party assumes Vice President Joseph Adams will be the nominee to replace the current incumbent. However, Joe does not plan to run as he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer¿s. He asks highly regarded Georgia Democratic Senator William Henry Lee IV to make a run for the presidency and he will publicly support him. Though he has some doubts as he fears to be elected he will have to give up much of his ethics, William decides to run. However, the current PROTUS suffers a stroke and Adams as acting president delays his support.

Will¿s primary run is filled with nastiness even as he and his campaign team take the moral high road. A South Carolina Republican arranges a dirty campaign to insure unelectable Senator Kiel becomes the Democratic nominee. Will¿s past ignites headlines when his lover from ten years ago movie star Charlene Joiner demands he file a Death Row appeal on behalf of a murderous rapist he once defended; both try to pressure him to acquiesce to their wishes. Even his wife, the Deputy CIA Director¿s past, intrudes on the run. Finally an assassin who failed to kill him years ago is back for a second attempt.

Though the timing is a bit late as the campaign is over, the reprint of this exciting political thriller remains a fun read even if Will¿s run for PROTUS goes off the plausibility scale; than again when Obama started he was even further off the scale. Will is an intriguing lead character as he insists on an ethical run though his staff places their values on what that means; while his stereotypical opponents prefer disinformation taking events out of context. Although health enables Will to run was also used in GRASS ROOTS to make him a senator, fans of Stuart Wood¿s Lee saga will enjoy his presidential campaign.

Harriet Klausner