Review

Fresh Disasters: A Stone Barrington Novel

by Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods has the perfect job. Writing novels featuring
Stone Barrington must be the most fun an author can imagine. Stone
is classy, humorous, sarcastic, well dressed, well educated, rich,
handsome, single and well heeled. It is a given that Stone will get
into deep trouble without asking for it.

In FRESH DISASTERS, Stone puts himself in harm's way more times
than I can count. A bonus is that we have the opportunity to eat
and drink with the stars at Elaine's, and with Elaine herself,
almost nightly at Stone's expense. Stone owns a boat, a plane, a
special armored car, an island in Maine, an apartment in New York
and a getaway country home in Washington, Connecticut. What a
life!

The main plot features the nephew of a friend of Stone's. Herbie
Fisher owes the mob $24,000 in gambling debts, and crime boss
Carmine Datilla's underlings try to recover their "loan" in myriad
ways, none of which are gentle or subtle. At one point, Stone's ego
gets him in trouble as he attempts to serve a warrant to Datilla
and manages to get himself thrown out a plate glass window. He
doesn't take rejection well and seeks revenge. When Bernie Finger,
Datilla's lawyer, gets involved, Stone really shows what he's made
of. 

Massage also plays a relevant role here. Stone meets two masseurs,
and they both provide interesting subplots. He becomes acquainted
with one of them at Elaine's over dinner. When he schedules a
massage and she doesn't show up, Stone starts looking into her
credentials. Seeking a replacement masseur, he comes across a more
interesting and alluring (as well as statuesque) woman, Celia, with
whom he develops a relationship. Of course, there is more to Celia
than meets the eye. Her former boyfriend, an art gallery owner, is
relentlessly fixed on hurting anyone who associates themselves with
Celia. Stone feels his wrath in the form of a car bumper, though he
does manage to get his revenge in a very funny scene in
Connecticut.

The first masseur, Marilyn, offers to alleviate Stone's pain from
his plate glass window adventure. Unbeknownst to Stone when he
hired her, she turns out to be the mistress of Bernie Finger, the
mob lawyer. Looking to be the second Mrs. Bernard Finger, Marilyn
keeps Bernie very happy. Her Bernie-paid penthouse has a balcony,
which can be seen by anyone in the vicinity who has a higher
vantage point. Apparently, Bernie and Marilyn like to frolic
outdoors occasionally. Stone takes advantage of this opportunity to
help Bernie make up his mind about the lawsuit on his client,
Carmine Datilla. It's amazing what a few well-shot photos can
produce!

This is vintage Stuart Woods. He has developed Stone Barrington so
well that readers who are acquainted with his writing appreciate
him more with each book.

Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on January 22, 2011

Fresh Disasters: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Signet
  • ISBN-10: 0451221656
  • ISBN-13: 9780451221650