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Black Dog: A Stone Barrington Novel

Review

Black Dog: A Stone Barrington Novel

The release of BLACK DOG is bittersweet as the passing of Stuart Woods in July is still fresh in so many minds.

At the start of this 62nd installment in the Stone Barrington series, Stone’s loyal secretary, Joan Robertson, introduces him to her aunt, the fabulously wealthy Annetta Charles. The widow of the recently deceased multimillionaire Edward Charles would like to change her will to disinherit her stepson, Edwin Charles Jr. She is willing to set up a generous trust for the young man but will not leave him anything else as she wants him out of her life completely. She tells Stone that she is hiring him to be the executor of her will and to handle Eddie’s trust.

"The tension reaches a fever pitch as the narrative unfolds. Secrets and red herrings are revealed, forcing readers to speculate about who murdered whom."

Readers learn more about Joan, who is the sole beneficiary of Annetta’s vast fortune and properties. At first, she can’t believe that she is going to be richer than she ever could have imagined. But with Stone’s support and the reality of the situation setting in, she takes over the main residence and moves into her aunt’s staggeringly immense house. Joan also has inherited Annetta’s staff and begins to make the house her home. Meanwhile, Eddie wants Stone to represent him but is turned down every time the topic is brought up. Still, he continues to tell anyone who will listen that Stone is his attorney.

Annetta is a gorgeous 60-year-old woman who could pass for 40 and is quite attracted to Stone. When he visits her, she tries to seduce him. He is not interested in that kind of a relationship with her, despite having a well-earned reputation as a womanizer. Not too long after he leaves, he finds out that she has been murdered. Eddie is the prime suspect, but he eludes the police for a long time. However, Stone and the authorities are not deterred by his antics and keep a sharp eye out for him until he is finally arrested. He manages to make bail, though, and keeps trying to talk Stone into representing him until he meets attorney Bridget Tierney.

Dino Bacchetti is New York City’s police commissioner and Stone’s closest friend. They are always covering each other’s backs, which does not change here. They dine regularly at their favorite restaurant, Patroon, and agree to meet one evening while Eddie is at large. When Stone arrives, Dino is talking to a woman who turns out to be Bridget. Stone moves right in on her, and they spend the night together. Bridget admits that she represented Eddie at his bail hearing.

Despite possibly having more charges hanging over his head, Eddie is able to stay under the radar and avoid capture by Stone, Joan and the police. The tension reaches a fever pitch as the narrative unfolds. Secrets and red herrings are revealed, forcing readers to speculate about who murdered whom. Fans of Stuart Woods and Stone Barrington will not be disappointed in this action-packed adventure and will be happy to know that book #63, DISTANT THUNDER, will be available in October.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on August 19, 2022

Black Dog: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: August 2, 2022
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 059354000X
  • ISBN-13: 9780593540008