Mediocre Woods, at best.
In the wake of a personal tragedy, former CIA operative Teddy Fay—now a successful Hollywood film producer known as Billy Barnett—takes a leave of absence to travel and grieve, and lands in Santa Fe in the company of his friends Stone Barrington and Ed Eagle. There, fate hands him an unexpected opportunity to exact quiet revenge for his recent loss, from a man who helped to cover up the crime.
But when his enemy wises up to Teddy’s machinations, a discreet game of sabotage escalates to a potentially lethal battle. From the arid splendour of the New Mexico desert to the glamour of Hollywood’s rolling hills, it will take all of Stone Barrington’s diplomacy and skill to maneuver for Teddy’s advantage while keeping innocents out of the crossfire.
No, no, no….this is not a Stone Barrington story. Stone is an ancillary character in this story, mentioned a few times, with an occasional bit of dialogue. He has a very minor role in this book, a mere excuse to enable Woods to claim it belongs in the Stone Barrington series. It does not.
As for the story itself, meh. A plain old-fashioned despicable villain, likeable protagonist, protagonist is justified for being opposed to the villain, villain attempts acts of aggression, protagonist defends self successfully, ultimately bringing the entire conflict to a logical end by eliminating the villain.
Woods likely whipped this book off between cocktails in a few days. There is no real depth to any of the characters, Barrington has a very minor and insignificant role in the story, the plot is predictable and unfolds without any surprises or twists.
It’s a book that deserves the ‘between cocktails’ effort on the part of any reader as the author likely made in writing it.