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Fresh Disasters: A Stone Barrington Novel Paperback – September 4, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smooth-talking New York lawyer Stone Barrington, along with his sidekick, NYPD detective Dino Bacchetti, get dragged into an impossible case in Stone's entertaining 13th outing (after Dark Harbor). Stone's bosses at the high-class law firm of Woodman and Weld want him to sue major league Mafia don Carmine Dattila for beating up a character from earlier Stone adventures, the hapless Herbie Fisher. It's all pretty much good fun—the snappy repartee, hot sex, dinner at Elaine's, comedic Mafia hoodlums with names like Sammy Tools, Johnny Pop and Dattila the Hun—until the tale turns darker with the introduction of a psychotic sculptor, Devlin Daltry, who's the ex-boyfriend of Stone's current flame, Celia Cox, a tall, fabulously beautiful masseuse. Woods delivers few surprises, but there are plenty of laughs as the pages speed by. Series regulars and newcomers alike will be perfectly satisfied. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Woods' suave hero Stone Barrington takes on organized crime in his latest outing. Bumbling Herbie Fisher owes Mob boss Carmine Datilla serious money, but after Datilla's thugs beat him up, he decides to take Datilla to civil court and asks Stone to represent him. The cop-turned-lawyer wants nothing to do with the case, but he is strong-armed into taking it by the law firm for which he freelances. Herbie is every bit the nightmare client Stone feared he would be, and Datilla is so powerful Stone can't even find anyone gutsy enough to deliver the court summons to him. Stone does, however, find time for romance amid the chaos when he meets and quickly beds Celia, a tall and beautiful masseuse. But even this seemingly direct liaison is not without its complications. Stone is as slick as ever, yet readers may be a bit taken aback when a major development fails to elicit much of a response from him. With an unexpected and humorous conclusion, Woods' new novel will please readers looking for light escapist fare. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Stone Barrington (Book 13)
  • Paperback: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Books; Reprint edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451221656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451221650
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of forty-four novels, including the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series. The last twenty-eight of them have been New York Times best-sellers. He is an avid private pilot, flying his own jet on two book tours a year. His latest novel is Santa Fe Edge,to be published on September 21st. You may see his tour schedule and learn more about the author on his website, www.stuartwoods.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By K. Sozaeva VINE VOICE on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
While probably not the best in the Stone Barrington series, this is a fun and quick read (I went through it in just over 3 hours) and great for a light evening of entertainment.

Stone, Dino and Bill Eggers have an evening at Elaine's interrupted when Herbie Fisher stops by their table to announce he has passed the bar and is now a lawyer. A few minutes later a couple of knuckle-draggers come in, grab Herbie, haul him out the door and proceed to lay the hurt on him. Dino gets them to back off, but Herbie announces he wants to sue them for assault. Bill says he will take the case, even though Stone advises against it since the two goons are representatives of Carmine Datilla - Datilla the Hun - one of the biggest, baddest Mafia dons in the area. The next morning, apparently thinking better of the situation, Bill lays the whole thing off on Stone in such a way as to leave Stone no option but to do the suit. Of course, Herbie is a squirrelly fellow and keeps disappearing, which doesn't help matters, nor does the fact that any other witnesses keep ending up dead. . .

In the process, Stone also becomes embroiled in a divorce suit between the opposing council and his wife in an amusing side-bar, as well as a not-so-amusing stalking case with a potential new love interest, which ends badly. Woods weaves these three strands together a bit clumsily, but they still work; however, as long as this series has been going on, Stone is getting a bit unbelievable as a playboy. That, however, is my only real complaint about this story.

Overall, as I said, it was enjoyable as a light, quick read as a bit of fluff and light entertainment. There are other installments in the Stone Barrington series that are much stronger, but there is nothing wrong with this one.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Norburn on November 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Warning: There is one small plot spoiler in this review

The best I can say about Fresh Disasters is that it isn't the worst Stuart Woods novel I've read.

I can appreciate that people, on occasion, like to read a 'so-called' beach novel and that such novels can have plot holes and poorly developed characters, provided they are fun to read. This is where Woods has really lost whatever touch he once had. Fresh Disasters is decidedly `not fun'.

The most perplexing thing is the apparent fan-base that there is for the character of Stone Barrington. Stone is a shallow, superficial, misogynist. This wouldn't be a problem if he were charming, intelligent, witty, or in any way interesting - but he's not. Not only is he a complete bore, he has to be the most incompetent lawyer ever.

I won't point out the plot holes or mention any unrealistic scenes (they are numerous). I concede that these `come with the territory'. What I will complain about is the complete absence of a plot, and in particular, the fact that Stone does absolutely nothing to resolve anything that happens in this novel. His principal role is to go out to dinner, drink bourbon, and have sex with Amazon women.

The novel has two mostly unrelated story lines. Stone has a client who is suing a mob boss for having him roughed up. I won't complain about how silly this is - but I do want to point out that Stone does absolutely nothing for this client except complain about him and poorly represent him. This story line resolves itself without any help from Stone.

The second story line involves a nymphomaniac Amazon masseuse (a prototype that Woods seems fixated on) who is being stalked by a violent ex-boyfriend.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Stuart Woods is a facile writer. I suspect he turns out these Stone Barrington novels in little more than the time it takes to read them. That's not a criticism. I happen to like Woods' Stone Barrington novels because they are very light, fast, purely escapist reading.

After you've read one, you're familiar with the main characters and don't have to worry about them changing. There's Stone Barrington, former homicide detective, current lawyer and bon vivant. Barrington has the occasional lucky break that brings him a bunch of money which he needs to support his lavish lifestyle which includes a Manhattan townhouse, a Mercedes, a country home in Connetticut, another in Maine, an airplane and generally the high life. There's Dino Bachetti, a NYPD homicide lieutenant, who also has a fair degree of bucks because of his one-time marriage to the daughter of a one-time Mafia biggie who went straight. Stone and Dino share a father-in-law. There's Joanne, Stone's assistant who is forever - at least once per novel - told to take a few days off because someone is trying to hunt down Stone to kill him.

And then there's Elaine Kauffman of Elaine's, the legendary watering hole of New York's glitterati. Virtually every night, Stone and Dino are found at Elaine's, often with Elaine herself stopping by to share gossip and advice. The meetings at Elaine's provide a lot of the motive power to the interactions of Stone and Dino, which are really what the novels are all about.

In this one, a nebbish by the name of Herbie Fisher decides to sue a Mafia biggie who has had him roughed up over a past-due gambling debt. Barrington gets the case since he is "of counsel" to big time law firm Woodman and Weld.
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