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Thursday, February 24, 2011

STRATEGIC MOVES - Stone Barrington Series No. 19

by Stuart Woods - available in bookstores or as an eBook

Stuart Woods is back with a new Stone Barrington mystery.  As usual, money just seems to fall into attorney Barrington's lap.  He now has an offer for a partnership plus a million dollar bonus from the law firm he's of counsel to for bringing in a major new client, Strategic Services. He's just inherited a small jet from the deceased former CEO of Strategic Services, and all of this on top of the apartment and house he's inherited in past Stuart Woods' novels.  Barrington is joined by his former NYPD partner Dino Bachetti, and Lance Cabot of the CIA for his almost nightly dinner at the very upscale Elaine's Restaurant in NYC.  There's never any mention of a check, so one can only assume that Stone pays for everyone every night.  Has Woods stretched the credibility factor far enough for you yet?   No, you say?  Then just wait until you get to the plot of STRATEGIC MOVES.

Stone finds himself in the middle of what appears to be a Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme as well as flying with members of Strategic and the CIA on a whirlwind trip to Iraq and Europe to covertly extract an arms merchant, which trip ends in the extractee escaping from the CIA by parachuting from the jet at 18,000 feet while sitting inside of a Mercedes sedan!  To top it off, the Mercedes conveniently smashes down into someone's pool, damaging some landscaping.  I would have thought that an object weighing just shy of 5,000 pounds would do a lot more damage than a little displaced water.  Almost forgot, through all of these escapades, the CIA learns the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.  All along the way, Barrington picks up stray clients and stray lovers.

Despite the incredible fantasy life Mr. Woods has invented for Stone Barrington, I thoroughly enjoyed STRATEGIC MOVES.  It was easy-peasy reading and a nice way to spend an afternoon.

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