Stuart Woods Month #3: Worst Fears Realized, L.A. Dead

Stuart Woods has had a long accomplished career as a novelist with his very first novel, ‘Chiefs’, published in 1981, earning him an Edgar Award in the category of Best First Novel. The novel was then adapted for television in a miniseries that had nominations in both the Emmy Awards and the Eddie Award. The writer who is also a skilled sailor and pilot has had 29 successive New York Times bestsellers with 39 books in the Stone Barrington series, the most successful of his series yet, 6 books in the Holly Barker series, 7 in the Will Lee series, 2 in the Rick Barron series and 4 in the Ed Eagle books. The nefarious Stone Barrington who has become a favorite for Stuart Woods’ fans is known for his lavish lifestyle and for his countless exploits with women who seem to flock to him like moths to light.

Worst Fears Realized

This is the fifth book in the Stone Barrington series and it follows the story of the ex-cop now turned lawyer/investigator who is digging into the past with the help of his former partner, Dino Bacchetti who is now the head of detectives down in the 19th Precinct, as he tries to uncover the identity of the brilliant killer who is threatening the lives of those around him. In true Stone Barrington style, there is no shortage of beautiful women, all more than a little willing to jump in bed with him and the arrival of his former lover Arrington Calder, now wife to a movie star, gives a little bite to his dalliance with one of his bevy of beauties who has a connection to the mafia that could prove dangerous. The book follows the formula of the four previous books in the series with Barrington being caught in the middle of a murder that he eventually solves with the help of his former partner even as he takes several breaks to get raunchy with the beautiful women always chasing him and sometimes the sexcapades get him a helpful lead. The twist in this book is that our Lothario is the target of a revenge mission from someone from his past as a cop and the people he cares about are the collateral damage. It is not exactly a thriller but makes for a fun simple summer read.

L.A Dead

The sixth of the Stone Barrington series, it takes us to Venice where Stone and Dolce, the mafia-connected beauty, are planning their nuptials when a call from an old flame (Arrington) disrupts their plans. Arrington finds herself suspected of killing her husband after she discovers his body and Stone is the only one she can trust to clear her name as evidence mounts and the trial inches closer. The situation is complicated further as Stone’s feelings for Arrington return even as Dolce, who is utterly nuts like any true daughter of a Mafioso would be, is fired up about being left at the altar and Stone races against time to exonerate Arrington, which he does of course by sleeping with virtually all the women in her circle. The non-ending was a pretty nice twist and probably the best part of the book as the rest was a bit too predictable even as it was fun.

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