As a long time fan and some one who has read each and every one of Woods' books, I found "Strategic Moves," his latest work, to be very disappointing and an annoying waste of $12. A long time admirer of Woods' "Stone Barrington" charachter I found this book to be nothong more than a male mastaabitorial treatise as Woods demolished his once lovable Barrington charachter in favor of a shallow, sophmoric, pig Barrington that lacks all credibility with respect to reality. The old Stone Barrington character was a womanizer, sure, but Barrington was an interesting, intelligent, respectful, loveable womanizer. A character that smart women would enjoy dating and men would like to aspire to. Now he is a ridiculous specimen of the male gender that no self respecting female would ever date and that only a foolish and stupid man going through a midlife crisis would want to be.
Over the years I witnessed a commonality among writers, both print and television, in that the fall prey to trying to out do themselves. Perhaps 5 Barrington novels back I worried that Woods had fallen on to this path when he brought many of his charaters together (Stone, Holly, Lance, etc.) in a book I referred to as the "fantastic four." I was delighted when I bought the next Barrington novel and found Woods had reigned his characters back in (not typical). Hopefully this new Barrington charater will be reigned back in too as this new Barrington reminds me of sad little men who buy jaguars and/or wear their wallets on their foreheads in an efforts to capture as many women as possible during a midlife crisis. It's not attractive to watch, it's just sad, and only the most pathetic women find this type of man alluring.
I hope and pray to see a return of Stone's character in Woods next book but I hold out little hope as Woods seems to have lost perspective with respect to his character development and is likely off the deepend forever.