Saturday, January 30, 2010

It Was a Cold and Wintry Night

It's a cold and rainy weekend. Working on a story for a new anthology from Whortleberry Press. Also filling out forms for the VA on my claim. Reviews from Harriet follow.

Stuart Woods
Putnam, Jan 19 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399156113

Stone Barrington, of counsel at Woodman & Weld, is at Elaine’s restaurant in Manhattan when he notices beautiful Carrie Cox who is in New York with dreams of becoming an actress. After she tells Stone about a great audition she had with a director who tried to rape her afterward so she threw his dinner onto his lap at a gala they both attended separately.

Stone advises her how to handle the situation; she soon gets the part and a great agent. Stone and Carrie like each other’s company, but he has to place his personal life on hold when Bill Eggers wants him to get Hildy Parsons out of trouble. Her father is a client at Woodman & Weld and knows his daughter is involved with a gigolo who anxiously waits for her trust fund to revert back to her control. Stone learns the con artist is also dealing drugs and partnered with Larsen who is managing a Ponzi scheme. They become Stone’s problem when someone he cares about wants to bring them down. Making matters more dangerous is Carrie believes her former husband is trying to kill her; she needs protection that she wants only from Stone until they obtain proof of her assertion.

Although Stone proves there are a zillion stories in New York even in one novel, Stuart Woods provides another exhilarating Barrington tale filled with serial sex, plenty of other action, and several fun investigations. After Key West (see Loitering with Intent), Stone vows divorce cases only, but he wonders how he got so involved in so many other matters though he knows the exhausting answer is women, women, and more women. Kisser is a fun lighthearted Stone Barrington thriller as the lawyer finds the mean streets of Manhattan as both welcoming and dangerous.
Harriet Klausner

The Bone Chamber
Robin Burcell
Poisoned Pen, Dec 1 2009, $24.99
ISBN: 9781590583753

Her superior SAC Harcourt cut short her family vacation before it began so that FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick can draw in the features of a faceless corpse of a young woman. When the victim is identified as Alessandra the adopted daughter of the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Fitzpatrick accompanies FBI Special Agent Zach Griffin to Rome to assist on the investigation.

They search for something called the “Third key” mentioned to Zach by FBI forensic anthropologist Tasha Gilbert who said she has been cursed by a two thousand year old spell before she died in a suspicious hit-and-run accident in the DC area. The two Feds assume the key will lead to a map buried in the crypts of Rome or Naples. They also think that is a clue to a bioterrorist plot being concocted by Carlo Adami.

This is an exciting action packed FBI Brownian thriller. The story line is fast-paced although Sydney’s constant whine with no cheese (unlike her emotional personal previous case in Face of a Killer) becomes irritating as if she is the first person to have a vacation delayed. Still the mysterious Zach and Sydney make a strong team as they try to break the Third Key code and find out what Adami has planned. Harriet Klausner

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