Friday, August 29, 2014

Review of Unintended Consequences

Book #34. Unintended Consequences, by Stuart Woods. Unabridged audio. 

I am a few books behind (Woods has been strangely prolific the last few years), but have read all of his novels up through this one. I have reviewed a number of them on this site, such as here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

This novel starts with a scenario I have seen before but am still a sucker for. Stone Barrington awakens in the US embassy in Paris with no knowledge of how he got there, or why he is there. He has lost nearly a week of his life – it is a total blank to him. But while he is moving in the rarified air of Europe’s super-rich, he finds that he is also traveling in the circles of their top spies.

Most of the supporting cast of the Stone Barrington stories are only briefly mentioned in this one, as Stone and the CIA crowd take center stage. And that’s a fun part of Stone’s cast of characters, and the character moments were strong.

The problem is that once the mystery of what happened to get Stone to Paris is explained, the rest of the novel becomes a lot less interesting. There just are not the page-turning moments that Wood’s novels usually possess. To be fair, that’s a high standard – I am a fan of the vast majority of these novels. This one just didn’t quite measure up, despite getting off to a great start.

I mentioned the large number of books that Woods has produced in the last few years, and I do wonder if he has turned some of the writing duties over to others. If so, I hope that this particular ghost-writer is not employed to write any more of Barrington’s novels.

source: public library

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