This latest installment in Woods's Stone Barrington thriller series finds the lawyer/sleuth from New York back in Los Angeles on a murder case in which everyone, even the accused, lazes along, enjoying life in sunny Southern California. In his sixth outing (following 1999's Worst Fears Realized), Barrington is surrounded by his usual cast of friends, acquaintances and casual sex partners. The biggest change here is that his ex-lover, Arrington Calder, stands accused of murdering her husband, movie star and renowned man-about-town Vance Calder, found dead of a gunshot wound in the couple's Bel Air mansion. Upon hearing the news, Barrington, in Italy for his imminent wedding to the lovely but unpredictable Dolce Bianchi, rushes to L.A. to take over Arrington's defense. Not much of substance happens next; there's plenty of rambunctious sex, lots of light banter, a few tiffs and a minimal bit of sleuthing. Barrington checks out who left the size-12 shoe imprint near the murder scene and does his best to avoid Dolce, who took exception to her fianc 's sudden departure from the nuptials and is now stalking him. The whole case ends abruptly and with little suspense, and everyone goes along his or her merry way. Woods's desultory plottingDit is never made entirely clear who really killed Vance CalderDand chatty dialogue may not suit hardcore thriller or mystery readers, but Barrington's fans will likely welcome the detective's newest California-chic adventure. Mystery Guild main selection; BOMC and Literary Guild featured selections. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2000 Release date: 11/01/2000 Genre: Fiction
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