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Cold Paradise [Hardcover]

Stuart Woods
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 17 2002
Cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington, he of street smarts, dry wit, and debonair charm, becomes reacquainted with a case he thought was buried years ago, and must settle romantic entanglements that haunt him still. Allison Manning, the beautiful and enigmatic woman Stone defended against a murder charge in Dead in the Water, mysteriously reappears to request his help with a set of problems she has never resolved, which involve millions of dollars. She fears, too, that somebody might be stalking her, but she's not sure who - or why. She knows of no one better than Stone, who has both the legal experience and the investigative instincts to guarantee her safety. Stone is happy to enjoy a few days in Palm Beach - and to have left frigid New York and the tempestuous Dolce Bianchi behind - but before he can dig into this latest case, he comes face to face again with Arrington Calder, the one woman who still holds a key to his affections. Stone and his partner, Dino, comb the glittering streets of Palm Beach and 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 man everybody has long forgotten. In a search that ranges from the boardrooms of Manhattan to the sumptuous villas that line the Gold Coast, Stone uncovers the sly and greedy plan to steal millions of dollars - and reveals the crafty killer behind it - in this electrifying thriller.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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From Amazon

Suave, sophisticated Stone Barrington is a hero destined for the big screen. (Since Cary Grant is dead, Stone will have to be played by Bruce Willis, if he can keep his smirk under control.) He's certainly got the trappings: the Armani tuxedo too well-tailored to reveal the gun beneath the drape, the sexy sports cars, the beautiful women who never fail to throw themselves at him, the confident familiarity with a complicated wine list or French menu. And he's got friends in high places, which helps when you're looking for a beautiful woman who made a big impression on the slightly nerdy but nice software billionaire who hires Barrington to find her.

Between bedding the billionaire's chef in Palm Beach, hiding from the homicidal Mafia princess he almost married in Italy, and playing games with a Hollywood beauty whose young son may or may not be his very own child, Stone hardly has time to do the job he's been hired for. But when he does, he discovers that the object of his search is still another ex-lover, a woman he thought had been executed on a Caribbean island three years ago. All these women, and all these adventures, plus Stone's old pal Dino, a New York cop, will be familiar to readers of Woods's other Stone Barrington thrillers. This one has Woods's trademark narrative punch, solid pacing, and glossy, brand-name panache. If Judith Krantz wrote thrillers, this is what she'd turn out. But don't let that stop you. Cold Paradise is the perfect book for a hot day in the hammock or a long plane ride to a ritzy resort destination. The only real surprise is why Stone Barrington hasn't made it to the big (or small) screen yet. --Jane Adams

From Publishers 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, Inc.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Convoluted Plot In a Flashy Setting April 27 2014
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Attorney Stone Barrington has a rather unusual case. Billionaire Thad Shames wants him to find a woman he spent an evening with in the Hamptons a month earlier. Thad thinks her first name is Liz but he’s not even sure about that. All he knows is that he’s in love and wants to be with her. Stone’s only lead takes him to Palm Beach, where finding Liz is fairly easy, but also troubling. Liz turns out to be a woman named Allison Harding and she has quite a past. Stone believed that she had died and that her husband had been hanged for murder. He was wrong on both counts. Adding to Stone’s growing complications is his attraction to Thad’s assistant and the news that his former wife, Dolce, has escaped from an institution. She her own score to settle with Stone.

To me, there’s a difference between a complex plot and a convoluted plot. A complex plot has layers, plenty of twists and angles, but the story is told clearly enough to follow. A convoluted plot also has plenty of twists and angles, but they somehow become muddled, which makes it tough to keep characters, threads, and motives straight. Given that Stone is or has had romantic relationships with female characters was simple enough to keep straight, but the false and mistaken identity situations became confusing.

As I’m unfamiliar with the Palm Beach setting, I was curious to learn more; however, it didn’t take long to realize that a playground for the rich and famous held no appeal. Although Stone and his cop pal, Dino, are likeable characters, I’m not sure I’ll read another installment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Saw it coming . . . but that's OK April 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'd like to hang around with Stone Barrington for a couple of weeks, buy $150 dollar shirts for my friends, $50 dollar socks when I need the right shade, know what kind of an engine goes in a Bentley, and get $25,000 dollar watches from ex-lovers as a thank you. And the women. As Dino would say, "Marrone!"
It's good to be Stone. And that's why we go to read him, for the same reason we read Spenser and go see old Sean Connery movies as "Bond. James Bond." So what's wrong with that?
I like to read Stuart Woods. I don't expect to remember any quotes, won't laugh too hard, never shed a tear, chuckle at Bacchetti's New York humor, and try (hard to do) to keep track of the women. So many women, so little time Stone might quip. You kind of saw this one coming in the third inning. Still good to read. 4 Stars. Larry Scantlebury
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, but not the best Barrington novel March 1 2004
Format:Hardcover
After having read Wood's latest Stone Barrington novel, "Dirty Work" (and loving it) I wanted to go back and read the earlier novels in the series, which brought me to "Cold Paradise". It's a very fast-paced story, and definitely keeps you entertained for all of its 300+ pages. Here are some thoughts to help you make up your own mind.
Though this is I think the sixth book in the series with his main character Stone Barrington, I did not feel at a loss at all for not having read the first few. That alone impressed me, but then add on top of that a story that grabs you and does let go.
Unfortunately, of the ones I have read, this one seemed the least plausible. A real suspension of disbelief is required while reading. While I usually have no problem with that, I don't want to recognize while reading that I am having a difficult time thinking the story is realistic.
Still, it is a fun read if you take it with a grain of salt and just allow yourself to be entertained by it. Woods combines characters that are cops, ex-cops, lawyers, hit men, international thieves, and mafia and does it all masterfully. Pick this book up and you likely won't be able to put it back down until its over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Its hot in Palm Beach! June 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a huge fan of S. Woods, and I LOVE Stone Barrington. He's one of my most favorite continuous characters to read. I have to say I did thoroughly enjoy this book. The humor between Stone and Dino keeps the reader involved. I have to say that I would love to see the Arrington and Stone relationship a little more explored (I guess I'm just the true romantic, you know wanting to see the impossible happen)but I loved the conflicts between him and Dolce and Allison/Liz. I can't wait to read The Short Forever, its on my list NEXT!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good... Feb. 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It took me a bit to read this book. I am not one to sit and read books in one sitting, like some people. But anyway, this book was good. I enjoyed the plot, the characters blended great! The climax was what I expected...at the end of your seat kinda ending...I have read a lot of Woods work, and I will continue to do so in the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Paradise Gave Me Chills Jan. 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Stuart Woods book, and I really enjoyed it. Having grown up in Palm Beach County, I decided to give the book a chance. I always think it is so funny when an author writes about Palm Beach because they make it so ritzy as if that is really the way it is. The plot line moves along at a very fast pace and this book is quite a page turner. After reading, I started to seek out other Stone Barrington novels to get more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars SUSPENSFUL Oct. 10 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK I READ AND LET ME TELL YA, I LOVED IT!! I REALLY ENJOYED HIM BRINGING SOME OF THE CHARACTERS BACK FROM PREVIOUS BOOKS(WHICH I DIDN"T KNOW AT FIRST BEING AS I READ THE BOOKS OUT OF SEQUENCED). STONE IS SUCH A HERO, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. I LOVE THE FACT THAT HE "GETS" EVERY BEAUTIFUL GIRL THAT HE ENCOUNTERS. I ALSO LIKED THE WAY THE PLOT GOES IN THIS BOOK, RIGHT WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT FIGURED OUT ANOTHER SURPRISE HAPPENS AND YOU HEARTRATE JUMPS UP AGAIN AND IT KEEPS YOU WRAPPED UP. THIS WAS ANOTHER ONE I JUST COLUDNT PUT DOWN. I LIKE THE MOOD THIS BOOK PRESENTS, THE YACHET, THE RICH AND THE FAMOUS, AND ALL THE MAYHAM IT BRINGS. IT BRINGS THE READER IN TO THIS LIFESTYLE, THAT I BELIEVE TO MOST OF US IS A FANTASY, BUT IF ONLY WE WERE RICH, OUR LIFES WOULD BE SO EASY. THEN AS THE PLOT THICKENS, WE LEARN BEING RICH AND HAVING POWER BECAUSE OF YOUR MONEY WILL ALSO BRING YOU HARDSHIPS, DECITE AND LIES.
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