I'm not sure why this is classified as a Stone Barrington novel instead of the next installation in the Holly Barker series. Until a little more thanI'm not sure why this is classified as a Stone Barrington novel instead of the next installation in the Holly Barker series. Until a little more than halfway through the book, one would think that Holly (a CIA operative) was the protagonist since Stone only shows up to have sex with her (and once to remind us that he's a pilot, lest we forget). Stone finally shows up, but then he's usually Holly's tag-along as she conducts Official CIA Business, which apparently consists of exchanging stilted dialogue with people (e.g., when approving a new restaurant design at Langley, "It looks great. How soon?" "All the fixtures are available ready-made. Three days?" "Go. Now I have to take a call."). Heck, Stone's best friend Dino (to whom he's usually attached at the hip) doesn't even appear until the tail end of the book, and it's a cameo appearance at best.
For anyone who's read a Stuart Woods book before, bad dialogue is not new. Unfortunately, neither are absurd plot points, which I won't go into here so as to avoid a major spoiler. Just know that what should be most exciting part of the book ends up being laughable. My best guess (from reading all the prior books in the series) is that Woods wrote himself into a corner and had to come up with something absurd to get him out of the situation he was in.
Frankly, I keep reading Woods' books because they're so bad I can't believe that one person can sustain such a poor level of writing. However, Woods continues to prove me wrong with each book he churns out. Stone Barrington is a one-note character who has experienced no growth at all since the series began; he's the most clever attorney who ever lived, he's a pilot, he's extremely sexually active (with multiple partners and absolutely no sign of safe sex precautions), and he has friends in high places (POTUS, CIA contacts, MI6 contacts, etc.). It's clear that Stone is a thinly veiled fictitious version of Stuart Woods -- or at least who Woods wishes he could be.
Woods' books cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be called "good." However, this book was poor by even the low standards one measures such books....more
The first sex scene is on page 16. The protagonist has sex with three different women, and absolutely no mention of condoms or anThe usual from Woods.
The first sex scene is on page 16. The protagonist has sex with three different women, and absolutely no mention of condoms or any other method of birth control is ever mentioned.
There are way too many lines spent describing all the flight stuff, because we're supposed to impressed with how much Stuart Woods knows about flying and jets.
For some reason, Stone Barrington and his BFF are called to Washington DC at the behest of the First Lady (who is also the head of the CIA) to re-investigate an FBI investigation. I mean, why wouldn't you ask an attorney and a homicide detective to look into a closed FBI investigation?
I would write more about the inanity of the plot, but I some people would say that I'm divulging spoilers. I'm not sure how that's possible since I figured out whodunit about a third of the way through the book, but there it is....more