Dead In The Water: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Mar 19 1998
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From Library Journal
Vacationing on the island of Antigua, New York investigator/lawyer Stone Barrington (a Woods perennial) gives up on the warm waters of the Caribbean to help someone who's definitely in hot water?a young woman accused of murder when her wealthy husband disappears from their yacht during a transatlantic crossing.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Millionaire author Paul Phillips Manning died on board his yacht while on a Caribbean cruise with his sexy young wife, Allison. She claims he had a heart attack, and due to the climate and distance from port, she was forced to dispose of the body at sea. Sir Winston Sutherland, the minister of justice on the tiny island of St. Marks, isn't buying it and charges her with homicide. The trial and the execution could both be completed within a week. Vacationing New York lawyer and investigator Stone Barrington comes to the damsel's aid and soon winds up in her bed. Now in his fourth appearance, the suave and priapic Barrington soon finds himself embroiled in a case in which nothing is as it seems, from Allison's story to Manning's death to the agenda of the Charles Laughton^-like Sir Winston Sutherland. This is a cleverly plotted, witty crime caper with a dash of sex, a likably roguish hero, and a surprising twist at the finish. Great for lightweight summer reading. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Allison Manning, young wife of millionaire writer Paul Manning, arrives in St. Marques under mysterious circumstances - her husband is missing from their yacht. Her story is that he died from a heart attack and was buried at sea. What follows are the quick paced details as she is charged with murder, investigated by police and the Ministry of Justice, and defended by a vacationing American attorney. Many questions arise, such as did she kill her husband and was he even dead at all. I found my opinion quickly changing as new elements were introduced into the plot. One exciting factor is the setting - the court system is far different on this tropical island compared to the American courts. In America, she would have never been charged. In St. Marques, she is facing an uphill battle.
The part of the book that faltered was the trial itself. The evidence and testimonies had been thoroughly researched and presented to the reader throughout the rest of the book, so the majority of the trial was repetitious. Fortunately, Woods managed to throw a few new details into the trial, and the pace of the remainder of the book resumed. Some of the conversations sounded a bit stilted, but most of the dialog was snappy and well-written. The ending of the story appears to be leading to a sequel, but at least he didn't resort to including the first three chapters of his next novel, a cheap trick so many other authors seem to resort to these days.
I wish I hadn't.
To put it bluntly, this book reeks. It stinks. To call the storyline improbable, as another... reviewer did, is to be kind. Mr. Woods has no idea how to plot, so instead he aims for a laughable and artificial breathlessness in his prose that wears thin after a few chapters. I'm also puzzled to see other reviewers praise his "snappy dialogue." The dialogue in this book was the worst I've ever read: "Hello, Tom," said Stone. "Why, hello, Stone," said Tom.
Why even document these sort of mundane banalities? I've read better dialogue in the "plays" my six-year-old niece writes, and she churns out thousands per year! One would think that Mr. Woods, a "professional" writer who must produce only a single book per year, could do better, but instead we get insipid and unrealistic exchanges like the following: "You're man enough for any woman, Stone," said Allison. "Why, thank you, Allison," grinned Stone.
Has this conversation ever taken place in the history of human interaction? I think not.
I could go on, but merely thinking about "Dead in the Water" has begun to nauseate me. Suffice it to say that I won't be reading any more Stuart Woods novels, and I urge other intelligent and discerning readers to save their money, too. What's most puzzling to me, though, is how this drivel ever got published in the first place. The back jacket informs us that Mr. Woods is a New York City area attorney, and I smell connections--along with the reeking stench of "Dead in the Water."
Stone immediately takes pity on Allison and agrees to represent her; however, since he is not qualified to try a case in the British legal system, she is also represented by an aging local barrister. The bizarre legal system assumes that she is guilty, and the penalty is death by hanging, so the stakes are very high. The local authorities are also corrupt and are eager to make an example of her. Stone knows that the case must receive lots of public attention in order to focus the eyes of the world on the grave injustice about to be done, so he calls a press conference and obtains exclusive interviews with "60 Minutes" and other news shows.
Right from the beginning, there are plenty of reasons to doubt Allison's motives and alibi, and Stone pursues some independent investigation into her background. He also falls head over heels "in lust" with her and they spend most of their time together in bed.
There are plenty of plot twists and surprises right up until the end of the book, and just when you think you've got it figured out a new angle surfaces. You'll be kept in suspense until the end of this entertaining, interesting novel.
Most recent customer reviews
... The author was effective in keeping my attention because not only was there the suspense of the sexual tension, she threaded the suspense of trying to find the real murderer... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2004 by iqhope
I was walking and reading this book on tape. It concluded with Stone hailing a cab to scuttle off to LA because his former girlfriend was pregnant and he'd gotten a call from her... Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2003 by foodlover
Let me start off by saying that I have read numerous books by Nr. Woods, with the latest being Dead in the Water, and that is exactly what this book was...Dead in the Water! Read morePublished on March 8 2003 by Christopher Berry
Stuart Woods has quickly become one of my all-time favorite authors, however, I found this Stone Barrington series to be a little bit far-fetched and not so good (as compared to... Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2003 by Mandy Morreale
I am not an avid reader, but I read a few pages and could not put it down. Does not take a long time to get started and it moves along at a very fast pace. VERY GOODPublished on Jan. 2 2003 by Christine Hartline
I had the fortune of listening to this book as read by Richard Ferrone. What a build up! What characters! What a scenario! Too bad none of it goes anywhere. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2002 by A. Clayton
This is my first novel by Stuart Woods and I have to say that I enjoyed it very much. I sat down Saturday night at 10:00 to read a few chapters only until my husband came in from... Read morePublished on July 1 2002 by Cheryl