Friday, February 17, 2017

The Short Forever: A Review of the Stuart Woods Novel

Stone Barrington finds himself on foreign soil in Stuart Woods’s The Short Forever (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2002, $24.95 hardback), and gets tied up with smugglers and dark government agencies, while getting in touch with his old girlfriend and meeting a lovely new one in the bargain.

The Short Forever is the eighth in the series about the adventurous lawyer Stone Barrington, which has stretched to forty-one books as of this writing. Woods is the author of over sixty novels and currently produces four to five per year. He has also received critical acclaim, winning the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America.

Hired to retrieve a runaway niece, Barrington discovers his employer’s clandestine identity. His errand was a ruse, but the real purpose remains a mystery. Not willing to butt out, Stone hangs around, living on his client’s dime, and runs into his old girlfriend who is getting married. It does not take him long to locate the missing niece, but a new target comes into view in her enigmatic beau. The investigation involves secret airfields, numbered Swiss bank accounts, multiple intelligence agencies, all tied to Barrington’s client.

A page-turner with foreign intrigue, The Short Forever is a good way to wile away a few evenings or a Saturday as winter rolls in. The London setting adds an exotic backdrop for American readers. A word of warning to sensitive mystery-lovers: Woods usually includes a brief sex scene or two in his novels, and there is a particularly graphic one in this book. You can also expect some casual language, par for the course with this author. Otherwise, enjoy another quick read from Stuart Woods.

Read more Davis Falk Reviews