Shelley's Reviews > Bel-Air Dead

Bel-Air Dead by Stuart Woods
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011-releases, mysteries-thrillers
Read on July 09, 2011

*Rating 2.5 Stars*
*Genre: Mystery/Suspense


Here it is 3:00am and I’ve just finished the twentieth Stone Barrington novel and I really wonder if I am stupid or maybe brain damaged. Truly, there must be some obsessive gene in my body that forces me to borrow these books and continue to read them right? Oh yes, 2.5 as a rating for this story is truly being generous and that’s only because the twisted ending to this book.

So, once again Stone and Dino are sitting in Elaine’s for their usual meal and drink when Arrington Calder calls up and asks for Stone’s help in selling her shares of stock in Centurion Studios. Seems as though someone is trying to take it over and bulldoze the buildings and land for other reasons. Of course, Stone drops his socks and runs off to Bel-Air where his former fling and mother of his child, Peter, has a home. Arrington, of course, is richer than Bill Gates after she was left all of Vance Calder’s money and shares of stock.

Dino Bacchetti, who by the way is still with the NYPD but refuses to be promoted to Captain or in charge of the Homicide Division, has become a playboy just like Stone. He just drops everything he is doing and flies off with Stone without a care in the world for his so called job. Really? A NYPD Homicide cop can just pick up and run across the country on a whim anytime he wants to without getting into trouble or fired? Dino is like the robin to Stone’s batman. He is there, but not really doing anything special until the end.

Mr. Woods then decides that he needs to try to upsell his other series, minus Holly Barker and Will Lee, by having them put in appearance throughout this story. So, yes, you will read about Rick Barron and Ed Eagle along with Ed’s psychotic ex-wife Barbara who has been on the loose and nobody knows how to stop her. I think this reason alone is why I get so mad and frustrated at Woods writing. He doesn’t know when to say enough with the villains.

Maybe I’m getting angry at this series because things seem to fall into Stone’s lap so easily now that he has become a major player in Strategic Services and Woodman & Weld. (view spoiler) Whereas previously stories had Stone and his secretary Joan Robertson struggling mightily to pay their bills and taking any case he could find.

Or maybe I don’t understand what it feels like to all of a sudden fall into millions of dollars and become a shareholder of a major movie production studio. Of course I can’t since us middle class broke as hell folk have no idea what any of it truly means since we continually struggle monthly to pay our bills and feed ourselves while others are laughing in the lap of luxury.

So, in summary, the bad guy is working with the Columbian and Mexican cartels in order to scuttle Centurion Studios. Bad guy is determined to also purchase the Calder estate from Arrington so that he can build a hotel in Bel Air. Naturally, Barbara comes along with her former lover and tries to undermine the entire thing. Bad guy tries to kill Stone, and anyone else who stands in his way of taking over the studio. Good buys somehow manage to get enough votes to scuttle the takeover and bad buy is arrested. Bad guy gets double crossed by his executive assistant who is actually a murderer and scoundrel. Scoundrel somehow manages to escape like her mentor Barbara when the police finally grab her for the previous murder she committed.

The only place left for this story to go is to have Stone finally meet Peter and introduce himself as his father. That won’t happen anytime soon. Trust me!

On the sex scene: Stone only sleeps with two women. One of them being Arrington.
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Reading Progress

07/09/2011 page 103
34.0% "I have no clue why I continue to read this series. Glutton for punishment I guess. Now, Woods is tossing all his characters from his other series into the story line like Arrington, Rick Barrons, Will Lee and Ed Eagle. The only one missing, so far, is Holly who works for the CIA. Maybe it is gratuitous upselling of his other series. Whatever the reason, I’m seriously considering writing and saying END THIS SERIES!!!!"

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