Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book #34

Son of Stone, by Stuart Woods. Unabridged audio.

I wonder if Stuart Woods is laying the groundwork to end his long-running Stone Barrington series in the near future.  I say this because with this latest novel another supporting character (no spoilers) dies. The author is in his mid-seventies, and it seems like the character is reaching the pinnacle of his career.

Arrington Calder returns, and what readers suspected about her son Peter's parentage (that Stone is the father) is confirmed. He and Dino's son hit it off, and the two make plans to attend college together, as preparation for a career in film production. They meet a female musician who joins the team, and who later becomes Peter's girlfriend. These character development moments are the strength of the novel.

When tragedy strikes, Stone and Dino jump into the fray, and this is where the action plot takes off. Woods is skilled at writing actions scenes that make sense in the context of story. The eventual conclusion of the plot is not necessarily a surprise, nor are the specifics of the crime being investigated. But the pace is strong, as are the character moments.

The oddest thing about this series is that in the last few novels, it seems like every tragedy in Stone's life leaves him more powerful and more wealthy. But that quirk aside, these novels are usually fun reads, and Son of Stone was certainly  a fun read.

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