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Class Act: A Stone Barrington Novel


Class Act: A Stone Barrington Novel

Stuart Woods can always be trusted to deliver a fast-paced thriller featuring his reliable cast of characters.

In CLASS ACT, book #58 featuring Stone Barrington, the fabulously wealthy attorney finds himself and his friends embroiled in a complicated case involving an old client who pops back into his life. As the novel opens, Stone is summoned to a private hospital where Jack Coulter is recovering from an attack made at the hands of retired police detective Michael O’Brien, who left the force under mysterious circumstances.

"The rising suspense keeps readers riveted, as does the body count. Through it all, Stone remains mostly calm."

It turns out that “Jack Coulter” is an assumed name, taken by ex-con John Fratelli, who went to see Stone a long time ago, the day he was released from Sing Sing. When asked why he never applied for parole in the 23 years he spent locked up, he said he was protecting another prisoner from any kind of violent attack. Upon the man’s death, he left Fratelli “a reward for his fealty.” The two had stayed in touch, and Stone was invited to Fratelli’s wedding to Hillary Coulter, a wealthy woman from a rich family. The gift that Fratelli received was invested wisely and had grown into quite a fortune.

One individual who had Coulter in the crosshairs was mob bookie Manny Fiore, who is now in Florida. At first Stone does not become too involved, but soon he meets a hit man’s daughter, Hilda Ross, a jazz singer who is also a mob assassin assigned to take down Manny after she has an affair with him. Stone is a ladies’ man and of course is attracted to her. His closest friend, the police commissioner Dino Bacchetti, warns him about Hilda’s avocation, but Stone is much too interested in her to listen to him.

This makes Hilda’s mob boyfriend, Sal Trafficante, jealous, and he sets out to destroy Stone, who flees from New York City, where his main house and office are, to his other residence in England. Stone’s wealth has given him the opportunity to own several houses around the world. He also has more than one car and a luxury airplane with a private pilot, even though he usually sits next to her so he can fly it himself. As the plot unfolds, Hilda must return to Florida where she claims her father has fallen ill.

Stone later finds out from Dino that O’Brien is a gambler who is good at losing and having his mother, a restaurant heiress, bail him out. Dino has information on his behavior just before and after his retirement from the NYPD. He sends copies of the files to Stone’s office where his speed-reading secretary can provide him with a quick summary of what they contain.

The rising suspense keeps readers riveted, as does the body count. Through it all, Stone remains mostly calm. But fans of Stuart Woods should be prepared for more sex than he usually portrays and a taste of salty language.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on August 13, 2021

Class Act: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: April 26, 2022
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0593331680
  • ISBN-13: 9780593331682