Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hot Mahogany by Stuart Woods

One night at Elaine’s, Stone Barrington—back in Manhattan after chasing down the bad guys in the Caribbean—meets Barton Cabot, older brother of his sometime ally, CIA boss Lance Cabot. Barton’s career in army intelligence is even more top secret than his brother’s, but he’s suffering from amnesia following a random act of violence. Amnesia is a dangerous thing in a man whose memory is chockfull of state secrets, so Lance hires Stone to watch Barton’s back. As Stone discovers, Barton is a spy with a rather unusual hobby: building and restoring antique furniture. The genteel world of antiques and coin dealers at first seems a far cry from Stone’s usual underworld of mobsters, murderers, and spies. But Barton also is a man with a past, and one event in particular— in the jungles of Vietnam more than thirty years earlier— is coming back to haunt his present in ways he’d never expected. Stone soon finds out that Barton, and some shady characters of his acquaintance, may be hiding a lot more than just a few forged antiques.

I enjoyed this Stone Barrington book much more than Shoot Him if he Runs. The characters seemed much more together, and not quite as goofy. This is another very quick, fun read, but with all the non-fiction I have been reading lately this is just what I was looking for.

The mystery is a little stronger than the last book, but it is written in such a way that everything falls together for Stone with very little work. He doesn't so much follow the clues, as he just seems to be in the right place at the right time. Even though I haven't loved the last few books in the series it is still one I will continue to follow. The characters still make me laugh with the scrapes they get into and the mysteries are decent. 3.5 stars

1 comment:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I haven't read this Stone Barrington novel yet, but am a follower of the series. I just wrote a post about why I can't get through my TBR books...because of these crazy crime novel series!!! Whether they are good or bad, I feel compelled to follow them. If I were to meet Stone on the street, I'm not sure I would like him. However, I know that if I pick up one of these books, I will be entertained and probably get some steamy sex scenes to boot.