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Grass Roots

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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 fledgling political career. For Delano is a town with a dark secret -- a smoldering hotbed of racial hatred and moral 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 fledgling 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 group called The Elect. Its violent, evil forces will stop at nothing to keep the candidate out of office. But Will Lee isn't about to back down, even though it may cost him his career -- and his life.


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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 fledgling political career. For Delano is a town with a dark secret -- a smoldering hotbed of racial hatred and moral 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 fledgling 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 group called The Elect. Its violent, evil forces will stop at nothing to keep the candidate out of office. But Will Lee isn't about to back down, even though it may cost him his career -- and his life.

30 review for Grass Roots

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike French

    Another Will Lee book by Stuart Woods that I loved ! If you have only read his Stone Barrington series, do yourself a favor and read this series ASAP. Start with " Chiefs" and read the rest of the series in order. You will not be disappointed!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darcia Cowart

    Hated it. Loose morals,( cant let it out who he is dating because it may be bad for their careers, I mean reallY???!!!!) no one cares who lives or dies or why, self centered characters, several plots that you wonder what is the point, if I read farther I will surely realize where this is going, nope. I closed it when the Author praised Carter and ragged on Regan. I will not read something written by an idiot! There is only one Pres worse than Carter and we are currently enduring his stupidity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carol Aselton Benoit

    Politics, politics, politics, how appropriate in that we are 70 days away from a presidential election. Well written, quick tempo and about 1/2 way through, it becomes a "I can't put this book down." The story was not only believable, it was extremely in with the season -- the politics, the bribery, the supremacist group, all right on. Well done Mr. Woods. I look forward to reading another one of yours.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Mercer

    Boring. The story doesn't pick up until the last 100 pages. Based upon politics and religion. I won't read another Will Lee book. I prefer the Stone Barringtons, but even with that series I think Stuart Woods wrote fantastic books early in his career and really lost his zeal later in life. I haven't been wowed by one of his books in a long time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Years ago Stuart Woods pissed me off and so I have ignored his books. Finally I decided to try again. I got to the half way mark in this one and was then smacked in the face with extremely offensive homophobia on the part of all of the characters. The end for me. Yuck.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was the first Will Lee novel I've read but I don't think it will be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and it could have been pulled from our headlines today even though it was written in 1989.

  7. 4 out of 5

    IslandRiverScribe

    For Will Lee, the Congressional Christmas break was supposed to be a time to rest and recharge. It was supposed to be a time to begin planning for his run for the junior Senate seat for Georgia four years hence. It was supposed to be a time to reconnect with his family in Delano. Well, he manages that last part just fine. It is the rest that never materializes. On the day he gets back to Delano, he is summoned straight from his plane to the courthouse. A young white male has just been arrested For Will Lee, the Congressional Christmas break was supposed to be a time to rest and recharge. It was supposed to be a time to begin planning for his run for the junior Senate seat for Georgia four years hence. It was supposed to be a time to reconnect with his family in Delano. Well, he manages that last part just fine. It is the rest that never materializes. On the day he gets back to Delano, he is summoned straight from his plane to the courthouse. A young white male has just been arrested for the rape and murder of a prominent feminist black female. The presiding judge, realizing the political sensitivity of the situation in this late 1980’s time, has requested a special prosecutor / defense attorney combination. And Will Lee is appointed to defend. The very next day, Will learns that his boss of eight years, the Senator for whom he is chief of staff, Ben Carr, has had a debilitating stroke. And Ben Carr wants Will to replace him in the Democratic primary scheduled for the following summer. In other words, Will is now drafted to run for the major Senate seat rather than the second seat and he is to run this year, not four years from now. And to top it all off, Will’s fiancée, Kate Rule, has been offered a promotion to an Assistant Deputy position within the CIA. But to take the position, their relationship will have to be shoved even further under the radar than it already is, due to Ben Carr’s position on the Senate Intelligence Committee. She chooses the job over Will but does not break off their engagement. She just stops returning his calls. But before any of this happens, there is one thing we, the readers, know that Will does not know. A paramilitary group is operating in the Atlanta area. We do not know, at first, if its ideologies are political, religious or both but we can be sure that its actions will intersect with Will’s in a major way. Stuart Woods would not have devoted the Prologue of the novel to its existence if it were to be otherwise. All we can do is follow its progress, feeling the increasing tension as we wonder just when it is going to lay Will low. That tension, coupled with factors surrounding the murder case, coupled with the complexities and intrigues of the Senate campaign make this novel an into-the-wee-hours page-turner. The fact that this story takes place in the late 1980’s adds to the tension. DNA testing is just making its entrance as acceptable to criminal investigations. The technological advances in communications, media coverage and data research are just not quite there yet. So the reader of the 2010’s must quickly ratchet down the frustration and realign with the reality of the era in question. However great the writing skill of the author, one thing about this novel angers me to my toenails. And that is the way Woods writes the character of Kate Rule. So from this point on, beware: SPOILER ALERT! Since this is the first of several series written by Woods and was, in fact, written over two decades ago, the knowledgeable mystery reader knows two things: Will Lee marries Kate Rule and Will Lee becomes not only a Senator, but the President. Even if you have never read this series, but have read others in the Woods stable, Will Lee is often referenced in those novels. So, in this entry, even though Kate leaves Will, they eventually patch things up and marry. And therein lies my problem – the way it happens. About six weeks after Kate starts her new job and with several weeks of unreturned calls, Will finally reaches Kate, but only because he wakes her up. She throws a fit, calls him a resentful child, curses him soundly and then finds herself listening to a dial tone. Will clears his calendar, flies back to Washington, and insists on a meeting. She is late and when she does get there, she reveals that almost immediately after agreeing to marry Will, she began seeing someone else. Unlike Kate, Will doesn’t hide behind excuses or answering machines; he ends the relationship and sends her away from him. Four months later, Kate has the nerve to send Will a letter saying that she was not happy with the way their last meeting ended and that she wants to remain friends. Oh, yeah – she really said that! Well, Will sends her a one-paragraph, overly jovial, politician’s response that, in current terminology, amounts to the one word “whatever.” He goes back to the life of a Senatorial candidate and even participates in a professionally risky one-night stand, destined to backfire on him later. But, at least he, unlike Kate, isn’t cheating on anyone. Then, three months later, after the trial and about one week before the November election, Kate shows up on Will’s doorstep, groveling, trying to explain why she bolted and saying that she has confessed their relationship to the Agency. She tells him that she’s never stopped loving him and she begs Will to take her back. Now, Will has essentially walked through Hell’s fire to get to this point in his life. Remember, two books ago in “Run Before the Wind,” Will comes of age and nearly loses his life more than once during his two years in Ireland when he and his yacht-building partners find themselves the target of an IRA operation. Well, this time, he gets to come of a different age, and the IRA’s tactics would practically be welcome compared to what he faces in the campaign for Senator. The night he learns of Kate’s betrayal, his campaign manager and best friend commits suicide in Will’s living room. It comes out that the campaign manager was a closet gay and Will’s political competition is quick to slanderously paint Will with the same brush. Since Will is 41 years old, has never married, hasn’t been seen in public with a woman in over four years and has been slammed sexually in a magazine article written by a reporter whose advances he politely rebuffed, Will has a huge amount of circumstantial evidence to overcome. And the religious fundamentalists attack him on the issue at every turn. Why is that such a big issue? Well, it’s the 1980’s and just about anything that is not missionary-style and heterosexual in nature is illegal in most states, that's why! The campaign manager’s secret may have put Will under the bus, but Kate drove over him with the rear wheels. Not one word of sympathy did she utter over the death of his best friend. And for six months, not one word acknowledging a past relationship comes from her mouth. All Will had to do to stop the attacks was admit to the press who his lover was, but he wouldn’t. He never compromised her position with the CIA even though she effectively hung him out to dry. Yes, Will takes her back. To him, her confession of betrayal and her reasons for it were both sincere and believable. To him, her profession of love was equally so. And to me, her groveling was emotionally dramatic, a bit nauseating, but dramatic. Every human is flawed. Therefore, every character in a novel is flawed. Will is by no means perfect, but he is honorable and self-aware. Kate, however, has cheated and betrayed and lied. She has been selfish and deliberately cruel. It will be with great suspicion that I view her words and actions in the remaining books of the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    I've enjoyed all the books I've read/listened to by Stuart Woods, but I like some characters/series better than others. I really like the Will Lee series, including this book. It's well written, exciting, and adds some important events to the arc of Will Lee's story. The characters are very believable, the dialogue is crisp and authentic, and the plot is great.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Burbank

    Loved it! Multiple storylines that eventually all weave together. I was a bit worried about all the "politics" which I usually shy away from but even that was interesting. For sure an author I would read again!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I really liked this book. Some time ago I read and liked "Chiefs" so figured I might like this one too. The main character campaigns for the Senate seat formerly held by his mentor. There is a mysterious organization somewhat like the Ku Klux Klan. It's definitely a page turner.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Diamond

    If it has one star I liked it a lot If it has two stars I liked it a lot and would recommend it If it has three stars I really really liked it a lot If it has four stars I insist you read it If it has five stars it was life changing

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Sklar

    Kept me on the edge until the last few pages. In fairness I knew this was not the last in the series so I knew Will would make it out alive. Stuart Woods is quite an author, several times this book took turns I just wasn't ready for. I loved reading it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol Lynn

    WHEN was this written????? Scary that ' s all I have to say but I have to keep blabbering on to get the right number or characters to "submit"

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Redd

    Slowly catching up on the rise to power of the Lee's.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tena A Helms

    Wonderful book kept me on edge

  16. 5 out of 5

    Toni N Traylor

    Spellbinding! I could not put it down. The twist and turns of this book kept me guessing, one surprise after another. A must read for anyone who loves a good read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    "political" stories usually can't hold my interest but this one did. Interesting mix of politics in the south, a murder trial, and the white supremacy groups. Almost a tale of today!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hudson

    I couldn't put this book down! Excellent read!! I will be looking for more from Stuart Woods.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wilfred Goodwin

    great tale.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elby

    Best Will Lee Book Yet While all fictional books include fiction, this one has more probable fiction than most and was a delight to read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lane

    Nice paced interesting mystery with a Georgia connection that continues the Will Henry story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A great story in the Will Lee series.Politics and murder go together in this story. There are also lots of twists, turns and unexpected surprises. A very entertaining read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I have read many of the Stuart Woods books. I was a big fan of the Stone Barrington books for many years. Then they started coming out book after book, seemingly only months apart. And one could tell they were just getting thrown out there as fast as they were "written"....a big cash cow. I have not bought one for some time. They were the same thing over and over. I picked up this book from Goodwill or some such place. I had forgotten that Stuart Woods can really write when he so chooses. This I have read many of the Stuart Woods books. I was a big fan of the Stone Barrington books for many years. Then they started coming out book after book, seemingly only months apart. And one could tell they were just getting thrown out there as fast as they were "written"....a big cash cow. I have not bought one for some time. They were the same thing over and over. I picked up this book from Goodwill or some such place. I had forgotten that Stuart Woods can really write when he so chooses. This book held my interest from start to finish. I wish he would do more like this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Samyann

    Narration by George Guidall, just over 12.5 hours of listening. This is a legal-political thriller, book four of a series featuring the character Will Lee. Lee is running for the Senate in this novel and is also appointed defense attorney in a trial. The defendant is a white male accused of raping and murdering a black female. Will request recusal due to his senate race and the judge insists he defend. Thus is the thrust of Grass Roots. Albeit, there are many other issues, i.e., a campaign Narration by George Guidall, just over 12.5 hours of listening. This is a legal-political thriller, book four of a series featuring the character Will Lee. Lee is running for the Senate in this novel and is also appointed defense attorney in a trial. The defendant is a white male accused of raping and murdering a black female. Will request recusal due to his senate race and the judge insists he defend. Thus is the thrust of Grass Roots. Albeit, there are many other issues, i.e., a campaign manager suicide, an unfaithful girlfriend-slash-CIA-agent, the sudden debilitating stroke of Will’s mentor. More … a bible thumping political opponent. There are many reviews out there, so I’ll simply state that the story is a good one. However … using a novel as a platform for political sniping by the author is annoying. I can listen to this stuff by the hour on any 24/7 news station, I don’t need it in a a piece of fiction that I depend on for escape! You guessed it - the democrats are the good guys - the republicans are the bad guys. Sigh. George Guidall is perfect, as usual. No issues with narration. If you can take some right vs left wing plather - have at it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cbancroft83

    Stuart Woods has written over 40 novels over the years and I guess I've read the vast majority of them. I always enjoy his Stone Barrington books as well as his other series of novels. But maybe I enjoy his Will Lee series the most because they always involve political thrillers, which is a favorite genre of mine. The most recent Will Lee novel I read is called "Grassroots". This book takes us back to when Will Lee ( SPOILER ALERT--who I happen to know will eventually become the President of the Stuart Woods has written over 40 novels over the years and I guess I've read the vast majority of them. I always enjoy his Stone Barrington books as well as his other series of novels. But maybe I enjoy his Will Lee series the most because they always involve political thrillers, which is a favorite genre of mine. The most recent Will Lee novel I read is called "Grassroots". This book takes us back to when Will Lee ( SPOILER ALERT--who I happen to know will eventually become the President of the U.S.) was a youngish Georgia attorney who is serving as the top assistant to a venerable U.S. Senator from Georgia. He becomes a candidate for the U.S. Senate when his mentor suffers a serious stroke. At the same time, Will has been appointed by a local judge to defend a young white man who has been accused of raping and murdering a young black woman. This makes this gripping novel the perfect mix of politics, courtroom drama, and terrorist activity by a Georgian white supremacist organization. In short, this just might be my favorite Stuart Woods book of all, which is saying a great deal indeed!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Will

    Will Lee's election to US Senate; meets Charlene Joiner. Will Lee's future plans go up in smoke when his mentor, SEN Carr, suffers a massive stroke just before the end of his senate term. Prematurely thrust into running, Will faces an uphill battle from the start against GA Gov Mack Dean. His long term relationship with Kate Rule goes south at the same time. A local judge forces Will to take defense counsel in a biracial murder case, tinged with white supremacist activity, and a smoking hot Will Lee's election to US Senate; meets Charlene Joiner. Will Lee's future plans go up in smoke when his mentor, SEN Carr, suffers a massive stroke just before the end of his senate term. Prematurely thrust into running, Will faces an uphill battle from the start against GA Gov Mack Dean. His long term relationship with Kate Rule goes south at the same time. A local judge forces Will to take defense counsel in a biracial murder case, tinged with white supremacist activity, and a smoking hot witness girlfriend Charlene Joiner. As Will fights campaign funds wars, his married primary opponent implodes in an adultrous divorce event. Meanwhile, Charlene visits Will at his lake cottage, skinny dips with him and proceeds to rob him of all vital bodily fluids in a 24 hour sexual rampage. His new Republican opponent is killed while jogging by the Elect, who push their boy Don Calhoun into the breach against Will in the general election. The trial turns into a simmering racial powderkeg before a prior rape case dooms Larry Moody to life in prison. Will survives the fallout as well as Calhoun in the final shootout as Willingham and Perkerson go out in a hail of lead.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frank Smith

    Sort of came to this book in a very roundabout way, read several Stone Barrington books and never knew about these other series in the Stuart Woods 'world', eventually found about them and decided to try and read them in chronological order [or as near as possible] and decided to start with this one, I loved it!! I always enjoyed the Stone Barrington books, getting into the detective style role of Stone and I always love a good detective book. I always enjoyed them and kept looking out for other Sort of came to this book in a very roundabout way, read several Stone Barrington books and never knew about these other series in the Stuart Woods 'world', eventually found about them and decided to try and read them in chronological order [or as near as possible] and decided to start with this one, I loved it!! I always enjoyed the Stone Barrington books, getting into the detective style role of Stone and I always love a good detective book. I always enjoyed them and kept looking out for other Stuart Woods books and enjoyed each, but after reading this one, my opinion of him has REALLY gone up!! It really reminded me of a John Grisham novel and not only in the setting, but the characters, the storyline and even the politics displayed. Great book and will definitely keep plowing through the Stuart Woods world, only slight regret is that although I LOVE the Stone Barrington [and other] books in the wider Stuart Woods world, think I'd be VERY interested to see what sort of books he would of written if he kept writing in this John Grisham like style, really think he could of given him a run for his money!!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Early Stuart Woods book Will Lee main character. First published in 1989. Later the Lees play a prominent roles in Stone Barrington novels starting about #20. This Will Lee is WL IV. His daddy is former Georgia governor Billy Lee WL III. This book, Lee #4 covers the period of time when Senator Ben Carr, senior senator of Georgia, had a disabling stroke. He is Will Lee's boss and his sudden disability causes Will to run for for the office much sooner than he had planned. The plot includes a sudden, Early Stuart Woods book Will Lee main character. First published in 1989. Later the Lees play a prominent roles in Stone Barrington novels starting about #20. This Will Lee is WL IV. His daddy is former Georgia governor Billy Lee WL III. This book, Lee #4 covers the period of time when Senator Ben Carr, senior senator of Georgia, had a disabling stroke. He is Will Lee's boss and his sudden disability causes Will to run for for the office much sooner than he had planned. The plot includes a sudden, unexpected involvement with a local trial, a regional conspiracy of a militant secret society trying to elect their own man. And a few more minor subplots. Will Lee has an on-going relationship and his girl friend is about to be appointed deputy director Central Intelligence so she wants to end all communication during the difficult period ahead. Like Stone Barrington, Will Lee pilots his own plane. Otherwise his life at this point is not nearly as flamboyant.

  29. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    I've read most of Woods' books, but somehow missed this one. I was familiar with the Will Lee and Katherine rule characters from the Stone Barrington books, so was interested to "see" them at their character beginnings. Since I've read so many of Woods' later books, I found myself wondering if this is the type of book he was capable of writing before he became so successful he was forced to write in fast motion (or with a helper-writer). This book may have its flaws, but it is MUCH better than I've read most of Woods' books, but somehow missed this one. I was familiar with the Will Lee and Katherine rule characters from the Stone Barrington books, so was interested to "see" them at their character beginnings. Since I've read so many of Woods' later books, I found myself wondering if this is the type of book he was capable of writing before he became so successful he was forced to write in fast motion (or with a helper-writer). This book may have its flaws, but it is MUCH better than most of the Barrington books, and I really enjoyed it. I see Grisham comparisons in other reviews, but I mostly see a commonality between the authors' complete works, where the quality took a huge downturn as their publishers demanded rapid releases of new books. Grisham's latest books are pretty good, as are his early ones, while the huge middle is just mediocre at best. Woods isn't showing any signs of recovering, though, but it's good to know he was once a decent writer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mardel Fehrenbach

    This was the first Will Lee novel I have read, although I have encountered Lee in several of Woods' other novels. It was actually a bit more compelling than I expected, although some parts of the story line did seem incredibly far-fetched, and I enjoyed reading it. It took me a little longer than my other weekend-reading, perhaps it was a bit more absorbing, and I finished it up yesterday afternoon. I would say it was better than most of what I have read recently from Woods, but then it is not This was the first Will Lee novel I have read, although I have encountered Lee in several of Woods' other novels. It was actually a bit more compelling than I expected, although some parts of the story line did seem incredibly far-fetched, and I enjoyed reading it. It took me a little longer than my other weekend-reading, perhaps it was a bit more absorbing, and I finished it up yesterday afternoon. I would say it was better than most of what I have read recently from Woods, but then it is not that new, and I just noticed that it was written 20 years ago, so that may be the explanation right there, but perhaps I will read some of the other Will Lee novels when I get my next entertainment itch.

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