Stuart Woods Month #4: Cold Paradise and The Short Forever

Cold Paradise

The street smart and witty, ex-NYPD lawyer turned investigator, Stone Barrington, is back with a bang. Stuart Woods’s 7th fiction novel in the Stone Barrington series brings the charismatic detective to Miami, Florida.

The avatar of swanky lifestyle is out on a dangerous assignment in the Caribbean. In Cold Paradise, Barrington comes across a case he thought was buried years ago. A woman, whom he assumed to be dead, has a surprising assignment for him. Palm Beach café, a world of glamor and money is the backdrop against which the story is played.

An ace storyteller, Stuart Woods has crafted an attractive plot in Cold Paradise. He has perfected the art of narration and story-telling through his vast experience. The east coast of USA is painted colorfully with vibrant and eventful descriptions. It does get a little predictable, being the 7th one in the series, but it leaves a lot of room for new characters and changes. The whole book is a bit shady compared to his earlier ones and is indeed a cold and dark paradise. The choice of the sunny beaches of Miami is brilliant, as it provides a subtle irony.

The plot flows well with interesting characters and fascinating locations. But somewhere along the line, there is quite a departure from reality. All of Barrington’s clients are filthy rich and always gift him with yachts, sports cars, and private jets. The initial novels in the series where Stone was an NY cop, with good old buddy Dino as his partner were more believable. The down to earth Barrington sure seems to enjoy the luxuries of good life.

Book Title: The Short Forever.

In The Short Forever, written by Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington, a former cop turned investigator flies to London to work for an odd client. A storm brews with two love-hungry lovers fighting for Barrington, and three high-profile murders. As the intelligence services of three countries converge in, he prepares for the disastrous storm.

Stuart Woods has continued from where he left off in Cold Paradise. It is by no means a classic literature, but a light read for a long journey. Engaging, as usual, the characters are the heart and soul of the whole fiction. Stone and Dino are bound to become the heartthrob of many fans of the series.

The swanky and sexy fell is well maintained throughout the novel, with interesting plots on money and sex filling a major portion. The Concorde Jet ride to Europe or the stay at the splendid Connaught Hotel, all speak volumes on the intriguing world of the rich.

The novel is a bit naively repetitive, with respect to the general plot of earlier ones in the series. It doesn’t bore the readers but has become rather an interesting trait that only the likes of Stuart Woods can master. The charm of the series as a whole is giving out a subtle hint of what to expect, yet fill it with thrilling twists and turns.

With strong characters, pleasant flow and unexpected twists, this is a great addition to the Stone Barrington series. You won’t have a problem devouring its 300 pages, as the world it manages to create, is both fascinating and captivating.


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