on 20 September 2005
This is a Stone Barrington novel, and appears to have received critical acclaim, largely reinforcing my long-held view that the more complimentary the quotes on the cover, the worse the book inside. In fact, it's not actually that bad, though quite why the author insists on giving some of the principal characters bizarre names - one of the female leads is a woman called Arrington, for example - is something of a mystery.
The dialogue, on the whole, is somewhat clumsy, characters making speeches rather than conversation, but my biggest problem was Stone Barrington himself, who ambles through the book, leaping into bed with any available woman - including the most elusive of Hollywood film stars - despite having just got married and leaving his new wife, for whom he's taken an apparently instant and irrational dislike, almost literally at the altar. And, of course, he's an enviable sexual athlete, making love half a dozen times or more in a single night.
There are minor plot inconsistencies, like Barrington knowing something despite the fact that the only person who could have told him was already dead, and sometimes acts in unusual ways, immediately broadcasting to all and sundry information given to him in the strictest confidence.
I think the biggest problem with this book is that Barrington isn't really much of a hero. Things happen around him, but he doesn't do a lot to make them happen. I also got a bit tired of what might be termed the 'James Bond syndrome', Barrington living on an almost exclusive diet of lobster and expensive wine, flying everywhere in private jets, driving around in a Bentley, and being instantly recognised by almost everyone. This aspect did nothing to counter the book's inherently unrealistic flavour.
on 17 November 2000
I am sooo glad Mr. Woods has brought back the Character Stone Barrington. This book is much better than his last book 'The Run.' Stone Barrington is in Italy getting ready for his marriage to Dolce, the daughter of a Mafia kingpin. At the last minute, he gets a call from the police in Los Angeles, saying that Vance Calder, Arrington's new husband, has been murdered and that Arrington is the main suspect. (If you don't know who Arrington is at all, then you need to start with the earlier Stone Barringon novels or you will be confused!) Stone dashes out of Italy and arrives in Los Angeles. Stone along with Dino Bachetti, his old partner and friend, must prove that Arrington is innocent and discover who the killer is before someone else dies. The only problem is that Dolce, Stone's fiance, is incredibly mad at Stone and she even gets a little violent. You will be shocked by the ENDING!
Also recommended: 'A Tourist in the Yucatan' Thriller/mystery, fun read!