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Contraband: A Stone Barrington Novel

Review

Contraband: A Stone Barrington Novel

Amazingly, CONTRABAND is the 50th installment in the long-running series featuring wealthy New York City attorney Stone Barrington. Stuart Woods writes Stone’s privileged and racy lifestyle with panache. Readers can identify with “wish lists” from the elegant surroundings that Stone enjoys on a daily basis: an elaborate apartment in Manhattan with lavish furnishings, a jet airplane, multiple residences in vacation locales and the affluence to afford them. Single since the untimely death of his heiress wife, he is easily attracted to beautiful women, with whom his sexual desires can be explored.

Stone’s close friend, Dino Bacchetti, and Dino’s wife, Vivian, are with him on his yacht, Breeze, off the Florida Keys near Fort Jefferson. Their sunbathing is interrupted by a strange sound, as they witness a Cessna in trouble and attempting to land in the harbor about 30 yards from them. Ultimately the aircraft cartwheels and overturns in the water, sinking fast. Without a second thought, Stone jumps in and drags the pilot to safety.

"CONTRABAND will hold [the] attention [of fans], whetting their appetite for intrigue, romance, travel and intense drama."

Shortly thereafter, a Coast Guard helicopter arrives with help. A rescue diver named Max Crowley lands on the yacht and checks the pilot’s condition before hoisting him up to the plane. Low on fuel, the rescue team leaves their diver on board the Breeze. Max is in fact a voluptuous girl in a scanty yellow bikini. Back on board, Stone offers his hospitality to Max, who turns to him and says, “I like your outfit.” Stone realizes that he is still naked from the rescue. A somewhat rocky relationship quickly forms.

During the night, all on board the yacht hear engine noise; they talk about it but dismiss it. Later, in the dark, Stone eyes a bright light dancing close by, but turns over and goes back to sleep. Morning comes with Stone, Dino and Max anxious to dive down to the wreckage and check out the contents. Oddly, two black aluminum baggage cases that Stone spotted at the scene of the accident are nowhere to be found.

Along with the missing cargo, the case takes a shocking turn when the injured pilot is the apparent victim of an attempted murder. He has been injected with a toxic compound and lies comatose in the hospital.

Stuart Woods knows his aircrafts, watercrafts and land vehicles, and describes them with authority. His multi-talented lead character drives the plot with daring and a zest for the high life. Fans undoubtedly get a “reading rush” when following Stone in his quest for solutions. CONTRABAND will hold their attention, whetting their appetite for intrigue, romance, travel and intense drama.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on October 11, 2019

Contraband: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: August 13, 2019
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 059308313X
  • ISBN-13: 9780593083130