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Cold Paradise (Stone Barrington Series #7)

Cold Paradise (Stone Barrington Series #7)

4.2 64
by Stuart Woods

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Cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington has the street smarts and debonair charm his fans love, and Palm Beach, the setting of his new adventure, is his most glamorous scene-of-the-crime yet.

Allison Manning, the woman Stone defended against a murder charge in Dead in the Water, mysteriously reappears to request his help with problems she has never resolved,


Cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington has the street smarts and debonair charm his fans love, and Palm Beach, the setting of his new adventure, is his most glamorous scene-of-the-crime yet.

Allison Manning, the woman Stone defended against a murder charge in Dead in the Water, mysteriously reappears to request his help with problems she has never resolved, which involve millions of dollars. She fears, too, that somebody might be stalking her. She knows of no one better than Stone, who has both the legal experience and the investigative instincts to guarantee her safety today and make sure she survives tomorrow as well.

Stone and his partner, Dino, begin to suspect that more than one person might be after Allison: one so clever he manages never to show his face, but even more frightening, another person everybody has long forgotten. In a search that ranges from the boardrooms of Manhattan to the sumptuous villas lining the Gold Coast, Stone uncovers a sly and greedy plan to steal millions of dollars - and reveals the crafty killer.

Editorial Reviews

This time, Woods's variations on a homicidal theme include gold diggers, an angry husband who fakes his own death, a gullible computer billionaire, several ex-lovers, and a fistful of Palm Beach mobsters. As usual, lawyer Stone Barrington manages to sort it all out just by the very last page.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the seventh thriller featuring cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington and his old sidekick NYPD Lt. Dino Bacchetti, the prolific and urbane Woods is at the top of his consistently bestselling form. In the middle of a New York City blizzard, Thad Shames, a wealthy computer tycoon, offers Stone a small fortune and the opportunity to escape the arctic cold if he will fly to glitzy Palm Beach, Fla., and find a femme fatale Shames knows only as Liz. With the help of Callie Hodges, Shames's sensual young Girl Friday, Stone wastes little time finding Liz, but discovers she is really Allison Manning, a woman he saved from the gallows a few years back (Dead in the Water, 1997). Now known as Elizabeth Harding, she fears her first husband a murderer who Stone believed had been executed is alive and may be stalking her. Not to be deterred from wooing and wedding Liz, Shames asks Stone to protect her. Stone himself is besieged by women: first, the delectable Callie, then his old girlfriend Arrington Calder (L.A. Dead, 2000) and finally, Liz, who suggests a m nage trois with Callie. In the midst of these amorous adventures, Stone consults Dino back in New York, trying to ID a man who fits the stalker's description, and Dino flies in just in time to be involved in a shootout in a Worth Avenue restaurant. Loaded with perfumed sex, sleek jets and yachts, lavish homes, boutiques, gourmet cuisine, quirky twists and nonstop action, Woods's pulpy pedestrian plot is grand fun. Simultaneous audio. (Apr. 23) Forecast: As frothy as ever, but more carefully plotted than L.A. Dead, Woods's latest should scale the charts, given a hefty boost by the book clubs (Doubleday and Mystery Guild main selections; BOMC and Literary Guild alternate selections), a national ad/promo campaign and a 15-city author tour. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Woods's cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington finds himself in beautiful Palm Beach, FL, during the winter season becoming reacquainted with a case he thought he closed years ago. It all started when Thad Shames, a wealthy dot-com tycoon, hires Barrington (for a considerable remuneration) to find the girl of his dreams, a girl he knows only as Liz. Barrington finds her, only to discover that she is really Allison Manning, a client he defended against murder charges several years ago (Dead in the Water) and whom he believed to be dead. Now very much alive and involved in an insurance fraud scheme as well as coping with an elusive stalker, she is delighted to meet Barrington again and request that he look into her troubles. The suspense leading up to the d nouement is excellent. In the unabridged version, well read by Dick Hill, the character development, the involvement of Palm Beach local color, and Barrington's attraction to Callie, Shames's beautiful assistant, is very good and nicely detailed. Tony Roberts's abridged set keeps up with the suspense and some of the character development; his talent with voice inflections is very entertaining. But this listener missed the total picture that Woods provides in his detailed, well-developed story, thus preferring the longer version. A good choice for audio collections. Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Welcome back to Stone Barrington's world of felony glamour, where the pantry's always well stocked with beluga caviar, 9-mm. ammo, quality sex, and perps with more lives than Wile E. Coyote. The leading retread is Allison Manning, the ex-lover Stone last saw when he was getting her acquitted of killing her husband Paul (Dead in the Water, 1997). When Stone jets down from New York to find the mysterious "Liz" who entranced computer billionaire Thad Shames in Palm Beach-a job that would hardly be worthy of a man as well-dressed as Stone if Thad weren't dangling a fat block of stock from his latest IPO-of course she turns out to be Allison with red hair. There's a problem, though: Paul still seems to be alive too, and gunning for the wife who cleared $12 million on their conspiracy to fake his death. Allison's convinced that she saw Paul only recently-or did she? Glimpsing the supposed Paul again, she seems a lot less certain that graphic designer Paul Bartlett really is him. While Stone's struggling to protect Allison, or Liz, from Paul and from the insurance company she defrauded while making sure his latest inamorata, Shames chef Callie Hodges, doesn't get jealous of his past with her, complications from earlier seasons keep popping up again like summer reruns. Stone's former true love Arrington Calder makes a strategic appearance just in time to make Callie jealous of her, and Stone's estranged wife Dolce Bianchi, the Mafia bride from hell (L.A. Dead, 2000), is rumored to be on her way too. Will Thad's nuptials be broken up by murderous Paul, glamorous Arrington, or Dolce-armed, as in Stone's nightmares, with two brandy snifters and a pistol? Environmentalists rejoice:Thisproduct contains 80% recycled characters and storylines. And since nobody important gets killed, they'll all be available for next season's installment, just in case you misplace your copy of this one.

From the Publisher
"A delightful tale of sex and violence...'Sopranos'-style...Slick, sophisticated fun." —Washington Post

"Woods delivers his most riveting and glamorous arrington novel yet." —Press Journal (Vero Beach, FL)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Stone Barrington Series , #7
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Elaine's, late.

    Stone Barrington finished his osso buco as Elaine wandered over from another table and sat down.

    "So?" she asked.

    "'So?' What kind of question is that?"

    "It means, 'tell me everything.'"

    Stone looked up to see Dino struggling to shut the front door behind him. Dino was his former partner, now a lieutenant, head of the detective squad at the 19th Precinct.

    Dino came over, sloughing off a heavy topcoat. "Jesus," he said, hanging up his coat, muffler and hat. "There's already six inches of snow out there, and there's at least thirty knots of wind."

    "How are we going to get home?" Stone wondered aloud.

    "Don't worry, my driver's out there now, putting the chains on the car." Dino now rated a car and driver from the NYPD.

    Stone shook his head. "Poor bastard. It's tough enough being a cop without drawing you for a boss."

    "What do you mean?" Dino demanded, offended. "The kid's getting an education working for me. They don't teach this stuff at the academy."

    "What, how to put chains on a lieutenant's car?"

    "All he has to do is watch me, and he learns."

    Stone rolled his eyes, but let this pass. They drank their champagne in silence for a moment.

    "So?" Dino asked,finally.

    "That's what I just asked him," Elaine said.

    "So, I'm back." Stone had returned from an extended stay in LA a few days before.

    "I knew that," Dino said. "So?"

    "Can't either of you speak in complete sentences?"

    "So," Dino said, "how's Mrs. Barrington?"

    "Dino," Stone said, "if you're going to start calling her that, I'm going to start carrying a gun."

    "I heard," Elaine said.

    "I'm not surprised," Stone replied. "Dino has a big mouth."

    "So, how is she?" Dino demanded.

    "I talked to Eduardo today," Stone said. "Her shrink doesn't want me to see her. Not for a while."

    "That's convenient," Dino said.

    "You bet it is," Stone agreed.

    "You feeling guilty, Stone?" Elaine asked.

    "Sure he is," Dino said. "If he had just taken my advice ..."

    "Mine, too," Elaine echoed.

    "All right, all right," Stone said. "If I had only taken your advice."

    "Arrington is for you," Elaine said.

    "Arrington isn't exactly speaking to me," Stone said.

    "What does that mean?"

    "It means that if I call her, she's civil, but if I try to reason with her, she excuses herself and hangs up."

    "How's the boy?" Dino asked.

    "Peter's fine."

    "Does he know who his father is yet?"

    "Look, Dino, I don't know who his father is. It could just as well have been Vance as me. Not even Arrington knows. Nobody will, until we do the DNA testing."

    "And when does that happen?"

    "Arrington won't discuss it."

    "Keep after her."

    "I don't know if it's worth it," Stone said wearily. "I'm not sure it would make any difference."

    "Give her time," Dino said. "She'll come around."

    "You're a font of wisdom, Dino. Know any other relationship clichés?"

    "Every eligible man in the country is going to be after her," Elaine said.

    "What?" Stone asked.

    "She's Vance Calder's widow, dummy, and as such, she's very, very rich. Not to mention gorgeous. You'd better get your ass down to Virginia and win her back."

    "She knows where to find me," Stone said.

    Elaine rolled her eyes.

    Another blast of frigid air blew into the room as the front door opened again.

    "It's your pal Eggers," Dino said, nodding toward the door.

    Bill Eggers came over to the table. He didn't unbutton his coat. "Hi, Elaine, hi, Dino," he said, then he turned to Stone. "I've been calling you all evening. I should have known I'd find you here." Bill Eggers was the managing partner of Woodman & Weld, the extremely prestigious law firm with which Stone was associated, in a very quiet way.

    "My home away from home," Stone said. "What's up?"

    "I've got a client in the car that you have to see tomorrow morning."

    "Bring him in. I'll buy him a drink."

    "He won't come in."

    "Who is he?"

    "No names, for the moment."

    "You have secrets from us, Bill?" Elaine asked.

    "You bet I do," Eggers replied. "Ten o'clock sharp, Stone?"

    "Ten o'clock is fine; sharp depends on the snow. Your office?"

    "Penthouse One, at the Four Seasons. He doesn't want to be seen with you."

    "Tell him to go fuck himself," Stone said.

    "Stone," Eggers said, "get this thing done and get it done right, and you could end up a rich man."

    "Ten o'clock, sharp," Stone said.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A delightful tale of sex and violence...'Sopranos'-style...Slick, sophisticated fun." —Washington Post

"Woods delivers his most riveting and glamorous arrington novel yet." —Press Journal (Vero Beach, FL)

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than sixty novels. 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 Florida, Maine, and New Mexico.

Brief Biography

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

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Cold Paradise 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
jdavidlister More than 1 year ago
Great series.
fellowmysterywriter More than 1 year ago
Heard him speak at a writer's convention. Wish he could write as funny as he speaks. His work is great escapism -- clear writing, without the depth of Grisham or "heavier" murder mystery writers... but great fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just discovered Stuart Woods books. In particular, I have enjoyed his Stone Barrington character most of all. Lots of action and always a surprise on the next page. His books are hard to put down and get some work done or go to sleep. He has kept me up several nights, but I'm not complaining.
KayTN More than 1 year ago
Stevie_Jo More than 1 year ago
I didn't know when I first picked up the book that was part of a series. I guess. There's a lot of back-story that isn't really explained thoroughly. Not the way it would be if this were the first time the reader learned about it. So, if you want to read this book--and I think you should--be aware of that. It didn't take long for me to figure out that was the way this story was going to be. A lot of characters that I felt I should know, but didn't. They were briefly explained, though, and I was glad for it. Although it appears I've picked up in the middle of Stone Barrington's life, I'm at least acquainted with him and those around him. But that's about all I felt: acquainted. I didn't feel as though I really knew anyone. Not even the characters I know were new to Stone. Really, it felt as though this entire book was written as a screenplay first, then converted to a novel by added a few more details. But not many. There were only details and descriptions where it seemed desperately required. The rest of the story consisted of explanatory dialogue, sex, random dialogue, and single sentences denoting where, what, or who the characters were doing/going. Still, I had a good feel for the story and all that was going on. It was simply written: no fanciful words where they weren't needed; no extended descriptions of a coffee table or something like that. I began and finished it in the same day, so that tells you it was a page-turner. There wasn't any hardcore suspense, but there was just enough of it to keep you interested in what was going to happen next. Just when one event seemed to come to a close, something else happened to open it wide up again. It moved rather quickly, which I enjoyed. It wasn't too quick, though, that I could not understand what was happening. A good deal of back-story was given to fascilitate it. It was well-played as a sexy mystery. I enjoyed trying to figure out "who done it," and I will admit that I already figured out part of the mystery about halfway through the story. I think other readers will, too. Still, the ending--while not a complete shock--was a mild surprise. It was a solid ending with things wrapping up in a nice way, but not so nice that the story had a "happy" ending. It actually did well at leading into the next installment (there's an excerpt at the end) and making me want to continue it. Very well played.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good book by Stuart can't wait to read the next one. Short forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
woods never disappoints with a stone barrington book GREAT audio
pm1190 More than 1 year ago
All of the Stone Barrington serie have kept me instrested. Can't wait to start the next novel
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What can I say another great read from Stuart Woods on my favorite bad boy Stone Barrington!
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MJ6 More than 1 year ago
One of his best.
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