Dark Harbor (Stone Barrington Series #12)

( 41 )


Stuart Woods's newest bestseller, Dark Harbor, brings us the perfect mix of sexy intrigue and swift suspense that have earned him legions of fans over the years. In this latest thriller, Stone enters the picturesque town Dark Harbor off the coast of Maine, where the shocking deaths of three people have cast a long shadow over this island haven-a locale as mysterious as it is exclusive.

Stone Barrington hasn't heard from his cousin, Dick Stone, in years-though he has fond ...

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Dark Harbor (Stone Barrington Series #12)

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Stuart Woods's newest bestseller, Dark Harbor, brings us the perfect mix of sexy intrigue and swift suspense that have earned him legions of fans over the years. In this latest thriller, Stone enters the picturesque town Dark Harbor off the coast of Maine, where the shocking deaths of three people have cast a long shadow over this island haven-a locale as mysterious as it is exclusive.

Stone Barrington hasn't heard from his cousin, Dick Stone, in years-though he has fond memories of a teenage summer spent at his house in Maine. Then, Lance Cabot of the CIA interrupts an otherwise pleasant meal at Elaine's with news of Dick's death-apparently by his own hands. It seems that Dick Stone, a quiet family man who doubled as a CIA agent, methodically executed his wife, daughter, and then himself-or did he? What would cause a loving father and husband to murder his family as they slept? Before his death, Dick had appointed Stone executor of his will, giving him full control of the disposition of a sizable family estate. Was Dick preparing for his suicide, or forewarning Stone of his murder?

With the help of his ex-partner, Dino, and his friend Holly Barker, Stone must settle the estate and piece together the elusive facts of his cousin's life and death as a CIA operative. At every step Stone knows he is being watched by Dick's family-and one of them just may be a killer.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Stone Barrington inherits a Maine vacation house, but like almost everything else in the life of this New York lawyer, the gift has murderous complications. The island home had been willed to Barrington by a relative, the central actor in an apparent multiple homicide/suicide. Stone can't believe that sweet cousin Dick has the making of a mass murderer, so he begins his own investigation. Aiding him are series regulars NYPD detective Dino Bacchetti, CIA agent Lance Cabot, and love interest Holly Barker. A pulsing sex and crime caper.
Publishers Weekly
Ex-cop/attorney Stone Barrington travels to the isolated island community of Dark Harbor, Maine, to handle the estate of his late cousin Dick, who was found dead in his home along with his wife and daughter. The police initially think it's a murder-suicide, but Stone disagrees and launches an investigation of his own. Roberts reads with a confident and assured voice, using a variety of subtle accents, ranging from Stone's mild upper-crust New Yorker to Dino Bacchetti's somewhat hammy New York Italian and the Eastern New England drawl of most of the island's residents. He also shifts skillfully between male and female characters; the combination of this and his skill with accents leaves the matter of which character is speaking never in doubt. There is one aspect of the performance that was a bit beyond Roberts, however. In a crucial scene toward the end of the novel, a kidnapper speaks to his victim through a voice modulator, and Robert's attempts to duplicate the mechanical altered voice comes off as silly-ruining the atmosphere of the scene. But aside from this quibble, the adaptation is proficient and should satisfy most audiophiles. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 30). (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Woods's 12th Stone Barrington mystery finds the New York cop-turned-lawyer on an isolated island off the coast of Maine. Stone's cousin, a CIA agent, and his family have been murdered, and Stone has inherited a house on Dark Harbor. Then a retired agent is killed, and more deaths follow in a tight-knit milieu reminiscent of the privileged secretive world of Charles McCarry's spy novels. Stone is soon joined by NYPD detective Dino Bacchetti, CIA agent Lance Cabot, and Holly Barker, Stone's lover. Dark Harbor is weaker than earlier entries in the series because Stone has too little to do, and, despite some red herrings, it is relatively easy to figure out who committed the crimes. Nevertheless, Tony Roberts keeps the often farfetched events moving along breezily. Roberts excels at Down East accents as well as the vacuous arrogance of teenagers. Recommended for popular collections.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Stone Barrington takes a break from recent rounds of overscaled intrigue for an old-fashioned whodunit, his first since L.A. Dead (2000). Although the jet-setting attorney has seen his cousin Richard Stone only once in the past 20 years, this is clearly the week for news of Dick. First, Stone receives a package containing Dick's new will and a $1,000 retainer as executor of same; the following day, he learns that Dick is dead, shot along with his wife and teenaged daughter in an apparent murder-suicide. Even though the little Maine island where the Stones had been summering was so hard for strangers to reach that the locals think Dick must have killed his own family before turning the gun on himself, Stone's not convinced. After all, Dick had reason to be happy (he'd just nailed a promotion to Deputy Director of Operations at the CIA) and just as much reason to be wary (he's disinherited his older brother, and a foreign spy calls too late to warn him of grave danger). Flying his divorcing ex-partner, NYPD Lt. Dino Bacchetti, and his sometime lover, federal agent Holly Barker, up to Islesboro, Stone soon vindicates his late cousin-but not soon enough to prevent a rash of new homicides. The island is so dangerous, in fact, that in no time Holly's been replaced in Stone's smiling bed by Arrington Calder, the mother of his six-year-old son, who makes the trip from Virginia after Stone intimates that violent death has turned the island into an open house. In the hands of a lesser writer, some of these plot strands would eventually lead somewhere. Here, they tail off into more murder and a single kidnapping. Bet you can't guess who's kidnapped. Earnest and inept, although at least it lacks theheroic scale of such recent outings as Two Dollar Bill (2005).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451218704
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Series: Stone Barrington Series , #12
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 137,436
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 7.42 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods is the author of fifty novels, including the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.


Stuart Woods was born in 1938 in Manchester, Georgia. After graduating from college and enlisting in the Air National Guard, he moved to New York, where he worked in advertising for the better part of the 1960s. He spent three years in London working for various ad agencies, then moved to Ireland in 1973 to begin his writing career in earnest.

However, despite his best intentions, Woods got sidetracked in Ireland. He was nearly 100 pages into a novel when he discovered the seductive pleasures of sailing. "Everything went to hell," he quips on his web site "All I did was sail." He bought a boat, learned everything he could about celestial navigation, and competed in the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) in 1976, finishing respectably in the middle of the fleet. (Later, he took part in the infamous Fastnet Race of 1979, a yachting competition that ended tragically when a huge storm claimed the lives of 15 sailors and 4 observers. Woods and his crew emerged unharmed.)

Returning to the U.S., Woods wrote two nonfiction books: an account of his transatlantic sailing adventures (Blue Water, Green Skipper) and a travel guide he claims to have written on a whim. But the book that jump-started his career was the opus interruptus begun in Ireland. An absorbing multigenerational mystery set in a small southern town, Chiefs was published in 1981, went on to win an Edgar Award, and was subsequently turned into a television miniseries starring Charlton Heston.

An amazingly prolific author, Woods has gone on to pen dozens of compelling thrillers, juggling stand-alone novels with installments in four successful series. (His most popular protagonists are New York cop-turned-attorney Stone Barrington, introduced in 1991's New York Dead, and plucky Florida police chief Holly Barker, who debuted in 1998's Orchid Beach.) His pleasing mix of high-octane action, likable characters, and sly, subversive humor has made him a hit with readers -- who have returned the favor by propelling his books to the top of the bestseller lists.

Good To Know

Some fascinating facts about Stuart Woods:

His first job was in advertising at BBDO in New York, and his first assignment was to write ads for CBS-TV shows. He recalls: "They consisted of a drawing of the star and one line of exactly 127 characters, including spaces, and I had to write to that length. It taught me to be concise."

He flies his own airplane, a single-engine turboprop called a Jetprop, and tours the country every year in it, including book tours.

He's a partner in a 1929 motor yacht called Belle and spends two or three weeks a year aboard her.

In 1961-62, Woods spent 10 months in Germany with the National Guard at the height of the Berlin Wall Crisis.

In October and November of 1979, he skippered a friend's yacht back across the Atlantic, with a crew of six, calling at the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands and finishing at Antigua in the Caribbean.

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    1. Hometown:
      Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 9, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Manchester, Georgia
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Georgia, 1959
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 41 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    better than what many say though not the best

    This novel, in the Stone Barrington series, is better than many reviews would lead one to believe. Tony Roberts does a fine job of reading the book and providing a variety of voices to the characters. The story isn't bad. It may not be Mr. Woods's best novel but it keeps a fair amount of suspense, as one wonder's if Holly (one of the characters) is going to be found alive or dead. is also good.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    This is a pleasant enough read, but the plotline is pretty simple. Better writers create stories with numerous twists and turns, hidden clues, surprises, and clever writing. You won't find any of that here. You just go to the Dark harbor, meet some nice people, learn who the bad people are, and then live happily ever after.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2006

    A Great Easy Read

    I've never read this author before but this was an easy, quick murder mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Great mystery writer

    Highly recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008


    I have read about every book Mr.Woods has wrote. This one is okay, but has some very slow parts in it. Repeats the same thing time and time again. As Mr. Woods ages, so does his sex scenes.......big snoozer's!! (and they never get up and wash afterwards...yuck!) but, all in all, I am still a fan of his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    The last two have been dissapointing

    I'm sad to say it, but it appears that Stuart Woods is on 'auto pilot'. His last two efforts have been dissapointments. I don't know if it has anything to do with it, but I'm not a big fan of bringing the characters from three separate series together. A slight nod or acknowledgement is clever, but co-mingling has lost any appeal to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2006

    Below Par

    What a disappointment! Storyline weak and choppy - very predicatable. I have read all his previous books and this one was well below par.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2006


    I have read all of the Stone Barrington series and this is one of his worst yet. The plot was uninteresting and he should just retire Stone Barrington! Add in Holly Barker and Lance Cabot and it becomes a mish mosh of his book series. It was a fast read which was a plus since I could not wait to finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2006

    Great disappointment

    This book appears on the NY Times best seller list? Let me let you down gently. The book has about as may curves and twists as the NJ pike. Don't even know if the author has ever been to the area as Rockland ME has no airport. Owl's Head is the closest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    A Great Disappointment

    I waited eagerly for Stuart Woods next Stone Barrington novel but was highly disappointed. First, my Stone would never end a phone conversation with 'bye-bye' especially in light of a murder of family and the kidnapping of his bed mate Holly. Arrington had no business in this novel. Her character has become very shallow and no six year old uses a vocabulary that Peter did in this book. Second, Stone requested that Dino bring Holly's dog to the Maine compound. I'm sure that all readers figured that his intent was to help find Holly but when Ham suggested that they use the dog for this purpose Stone slapes his head and wonders why he didn't think of that first! The ending was very predicable with little intregue. I love Stuart Woods books and will buy the next one but hope that he gives me back my 'macho man' Stone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    Mr. Woods, Tear Down This Wall!

    Mr. Woods would have us believe that rudimentary historical accuracy is no concern of ours when he has a high-ranking CIA officer refer to some clandestine meeting and an overheard conversation that occurred at a card game 'last week in East Germany.' Huh? Thinking this was just some weird time warp thing that would all be explained later, this reader let it pass. But, whoops, there it was again a few pages later. East Germany. As some history buffs will no doubt remember, The Wall came down in 1989. In 1990, East Germany and West Germany were united. There is no East Germany today. Full stop. We don't need to get the thread counts on the sheets right, but, c'mon, a CIA guy says this? Beyond the pale. Some editor is taking way too much Ambien.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    This makes the 12th in author Woods popular Stone Barrington series - each one better than the last. Woods has the ability to add new dimensions to this character we thought we knew, thus continually piquing our interest in Barrington, a high priced lawyer in the Big Apple. Actor Tony Roberts has read several of the Barrington books. Can't say that each narrative is better than the last because they've all been first-rate. What else would we expect from this stage and film veteran and two time Tony nominee? With Dark Harbor Barrington temporarily exits the concrete canyons of New York for a small town on the Maine coast. Barrington hasn't visited the town, Dark Harbor, in years nor has he had contact with his cousin, Dick Stone, a CIA agent. Now, he suddenly finds that he has inherited a house from his cousin. He's told that Dick Stone has murdered his wife and daughter then killed himself. A tidy package? Barrington doesn't believe a word of it. So, with the help of his former partner, Dino Bacchetti and Lovely Holly Barker Barrington sets out to discover the truth about his cousin's death. Poking around Dark Harbor proves dangerous - especially for Holly as she is kidnaped. Barrington believes a psycho may be on the loose but what is the tie with his late cousin? Once again, Woods weaves a suspenseful tale and Roberts delivers it with panache. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2006


    Outstanding read, I kept turning the pages and actually put the book down several times so I could savor the read only to find myself with the book back in my hands and reading feverishly! I feel like the charaters are my personal friends! What a fantasic read! Thanks Stuart Woods, a master!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2006

    Woods is always worth reading

    Not his best book, but still enjoyable. I'll always read anything Woods writes and hope for more Stone Barrington books. I don't know why he had to bring boring Arrington into this book. It was a waste of pages and added nothing to the story line. I thought maybe Peter copying the writing from the diary might help them, but it went nowhere. I thought for sure Stone brought Daisy to the island to help in finding Holly. If not for that reason, why would he have wanted her? Some unanswered plots....why were the the two housewives killed...just to add to the story? This book was still worth reading and I look forward to Stone and Dino being back in NY and at Elaine's.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful police procedural

    Attorney Stone Barrington dines with his former NYPD partner Dino Bachetti when CIA operative Lance Cabot and Agents Holly Barker arrive at the restaurant. Lance asks Stone what he knows about his first cousin Dick Stone, Jr. Stone says not much as they have seen each other once in the last two decades and that was eight or nine years ago. He said that following graduating high school he spent a summer with Dick and his family, but that was about it except for a package he received this morning. Lance informs Stone that the Isleboro sheriff department and the Maine State police believe Dick, recently appointed the CIA Deputy Director for Operations, murdered his wife Barbara and their eighteen years old daughter Esme before killing himself. Stone and Lance are to uncover the truth.----- They start with the package, which contains a letter of instruction, two wills, and a finance statement. From there the quartet travel to Dick¿s home in the village of Dark Harbor on Isleboro, an isle in Penobscot Bay, Maine. As they dig deeper into what happened, the evidence piles up that a double murder suicide occurred, but Stone finds it too perfect and wonders if his cousin¿s work as an operative or his estrangement with his brother Caleb led to what he believes is the homicides of three people.------ This delightful police procedural with espionage overtones hooks the audience from the moment that Stone and Lance discuss his cousin and never slows down until the final twin confrontation. The long running series is refreshed with Stone explaining aspects of his past but smoothly as part of the present investigation. This tale is a must for series regulars while newcomers will understand why the accolades for this very talented writer.---- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

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    Posted March 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2009

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