From The Stuart Woods universe.
Who is Will Lee?
Chances are, you know who is Stone Barrington. But it’s not with the former detective now lawyer that writer Stuart Woods launched his career as a writer. His first novel, Chiefs, was published in March 1981 and stars Will Henry Lee, then a police chief in Georgia. The story was inspired by the police chief’s badge belonged to his grandfather that he found stained with blood and pockmarked by buckshot. His grandfather died wearing it 10 years before Woods was born.
Chiefs was followed by Run Before the Wind, a semi-sequel that take place 10 years after the events of chief and launched the series that continues the story of the Lee family and more specifically the life of Will Lee (the son of Will Lee, the attorney in Chiefs) as he climbs the political ladder.
Will Lee Books in Order
- Chiefs — In the bitter winter of 1920, the first body is found in Delano, Georgia; the naked corpse of an unidentified teenager. There is no direct evidence of murder, but the body bears marks of what seems to be a ritual beating. The investigation falls to Will Henry Lee, a failed cotton farmer newly appointed as Delano’s first chief of police. Lee’s obsession with the crime begins a story that weaves through the decades, following the life of a small southern town and the role of three police chiefs in unraveling the crime.
- Run Before the Wind — Restless and dissatisfied, Will dreams of shipbuilding and sailing on crystal-blue waters. But an explosion of senseless violence is dragging the young American drifter into a lethal game of terror and revenge. For the fires of hatred rage unchecked in this place of lush, rolling hills and deadly secrets. Now Will Lee must run for his life from a bloody past that is not his own-and he will find no sanctuary on the rolling waves of the Irish sea.
- Deep Lie — Sifting through reams of seemingly unrelated intelligence, CIA analyst Katherine Rule discovers a chilling pattern: an ultrasecret Baltic submarine base…a crafty Russian spy-master in command…a carefully planned invasion about to be launched from dark waters. Her suspicions, however, are dismissed by those higher up; her theory, they say, is too crazy to be true. But to Katherine, it’s just crazy enough to succeed–unless she can stop it. If she’s right, an attack sub has already penetrated friendly waters. Worse yet, the enemy has penetrated deep into her own life, so deep she can touch him. And in this game, one wrong touch can mean Armageddon.
- Grass Roots — Will Lee has returned to his roots to kick off his campaign for the Senate. A prominent lawyer, he has come back to his hometown of Delano, Georgia, to plan his strategies…and to argue an explosively controversial case that could seriously damage his political career. For Delano is a town with a dark secret—a smoldering hotbed of racial hatred and moral outrage, held in the thrall of a sinister white-supremacist group called The Elect…a breeding ground for violent, evil forces that will stop at nothing to keep the candidate out of office. At first, Will Lee was running for the Senate. But now he is running for his life.
- The Run — 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. 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.
- Capital Crimes — When a prominent conservative politician is killed inside his lakeside cabin, authorities have no suspect in sight. And two more deaths—seemingly isolated incidents, achieved by very different means—might be linked to the same murderer. With the help of his CIA director wife, Kate Rule Lee, Will is facing a perilous challenge: catch the most clever and professional of killers before he can strike again.
- Mounting Fears — President Will Lee is having a rough week. His vice president just died during surgery. Confirmation hearings for the new vice president are under way, but the squeaky-clean governor whom Will has nominated may have a few previously unnoticed skeletons in his closet. And rogue CIA agent Teddy Fay is plotting his revenge on CIA director Kate Rule Lee—the president’s wife. Plus there are some loose nukes in Pakistan that might just trigger World War III if Will’s diplomatic efforts fall short. It’s up to President Lee—with some help from Holly Barker, Lance Cabot, and a few other Stuart Woods series regulars—to save the world, and the upcoming election.
Will Lee in the Stone Barrington Series
After the last book in the Will Lee series, the character appeared in a few Stone Barrington books. If you want to know more about those and see where they take place in that series, check out our Stone Barrington reading order.