The following book reviews are a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the ride side bar.
Stuart Woods will release two new books in the next few months. Out this July is Cut And Thrust, and being published in October is Paris Match. Both books have as the main character Stone Barrington with a supporting cast of recurring characters.
In many ways Paris Match is a continuation of the main plot of Cut And Thrust.
Political junkies will love the story in Cut And Thrust since it is a true “political” thriller. This novel is a realistic glimpse of the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing at a political convention where no candidate has enough delegates to secure the nomination. The First Lady and CIA Director Kate Rule Lee is trying to win the nomination while competing against the vice-president and a senator from New Mexico. This is an entertaining tale that has all the elements of political intrigue including a candidate that Americans would want as the first woman President. Although Woods says he modeled her on Hillary Clinton she appears to be the antithesis with actual accomplishments from being on the front lines.
To make sure Kate receives the nomination, Stone enlists Santa Fe lawyer Ed Eagle. However, political maneuvering is not the only problem they have to deal with since a death threat was sent to Kate’s Secret Service detail and Eagle’s murderous ex-wife, Barbara, is out to get him as well. During the course of all of this Kate announces she is pregnant. A line in the book fully explains the pandemonium that erupts, “Think of the royal baby, and multiply that by a hundred.”
The next book, Paris Match, continues the story of the Presidential election and Kate’s pregnancy as more of a sub-plot. The main story has Stone returning to Paris for business dealings regarding a hotel but encounters a group of Russian oligarchs and a jealous brother who attempt to kill him. Helping him to survive this peril is the CIA including his love interest, Holly Barker.
Unfortunately this book has more sex than action. Instead of an open marriage it appears Stone has open relationships. Readers will wonder ‘is there any female Stone will not sleep with?’ In answer to that question Woods directly commented to blackfive.net, “An ugly woman since he likes attractive ones. Each woman has an individual relationship with Stone and is not concerned about the other women in his life. I would describe him as a serial monogamist. Holly is the best thing in his life, but is pre-occupied by her CIA job.” It is interesting how Stone writes about very high powered and intelligent women except when it comes to bedtime.
He gave a heads up about his next books. They will be based on the Stone Barrington character but will always have one of the strong supporting cast members intricately involved. “Characters like Holly, Kate, Ann, and Ed will continue as an important part of the Stone books. I have not abandoned them. In the next book Kate and Holly will be included although Holly’s part is more prevalent. The plot includes Holly making a life change that will keep her very busy.”
As with most of his books both Cut And Thrust and Paris Match have very humorous banter between characters. Anyone that wants a good “political” thriller should definitely read Cut And Thrust.