He’s a ladies man; he’s a former police officer turned attorney to the rich and famous; he lives in a beautifully restored brownstone in New York City; he owns and flies airplanes; his sidekick is a police detective named Dino Bacchetti; the love of his life is Arrington Calder, young widow of a famous movie star; he and Arrington have a son, Peter, but everyone thinks Peter belongs to Arrington’s late husband. And, Stone’s rich.
In “Son of Stone,” Arrington has decided it’s time for Peter to know his real father, so she sends the boy to New York for the holidays for a get acquainted trip.
In the meantime, Arrington’s being hounded by an unhinged former boyfriend, foreshadowing a violent confrontation. In addition to the boyfriend, Arrington is dealing with the real possibility that her cancer has returned.
Once Arrington joins the boys in New York, Stone has an epiphany. The three of them should be a proper family. After all, the boy did walk by a photo of his grandfather and realize he looked a lot like the man in the picture frame. Within a few pages, Stone’s proposed, Arrington’s accepted, Peter’s OK with it and they settle into married life.
Does this plot sound just a little bit unrealistic and too good to be true? It gets worse.
When Arrington is ripped from their lives, neither Stone nor Peter seem to do much grieving. They just go on with their perfect lives. Peter, a film buff, continues working on his first movie deal, which will end up netting him $20 million, thanks to some pretty powerful string-pulling by his new daddy.
Stone inherits all of Arrington’s millions. What to do with all that money? Well, he becomes the merry widower, of course.
In the next book, “D.C. Dead,” set for release in January 2012, which the publisher sent me for preview, Stone teams up with his former lover, Holly Barker, to solve a double murder in the nation’s capital. Arrington’s not even cold in the ground, but Stone being Stone, you know he and Barker are doing more than looking for clues.
That Woods could dispatch a main character from a long-running series with such disregard is just one more nail in the coffin he’s been building for himself the past 10 years or so.
Save your money and your precious reading time. Strike Woods off your list. Permanently.
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