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Hush-Hush: A Stone Barrington Novel

Review

Hush-Hush: A Stone Barrington Novel

HUSH-HUSH is the 56th installment in Stuart Woods’ ever-popular Stone Barrington series.

Stone is a powerful attorney who is independently wealthy. While his main residence and office are in New York, he owns several houses around the world and a plane that he flies, even though a personal pilot is on his payroll. He also has cars and a motorcycle, as well as his large Manhattan residence with an apartment attached to it. His close circle of important friends include Dino Bacchetti, the New York police commissioner, and his wife, Viv, the COO of the second largest security firm in the world. They are among other well-connected people who Stone treasures as much as his family. For example, the president of the United States, Holly Barker, is his longtime paramour and manages to sneak into New York unnoticed to be with him.

"Stuart Woods writes with a certain integrity that makes his books interesting and fun to read. The characters are expertly fleshed out, the dialogue is realistic and the plot is well structured."

Stone does consulting work for the CIA, so when an extortion threat appears on his computer demanding $1.5 million, he calls in his contacts. To unlock his computer and restore it to its former operating capacity, he reaches out to the CIA director, Lance Cabot, who sends computer expert Roxanne “Rocky” Hardwick to look into the matter. Stone and Rocky develop an intimate relationship, which is his habit when attractive women enter his life.

Together, they determine that old Russian foes of Stone’s are out to get him. The thugs even manage to detonate a bomb in his computer. No one is hurt when the explosive goes off, but Rocky is given the job of reconstructing the computer’s data with a specialized team, which includes former veteran agent Ed Rawlins, who has been asked to investigate the threat. He moves into Stone’s apartment to hide after shooting two men in the head, which Stone is unaware of at first.

One day, when Stone asks Rocky what she wants for dinner, she chooses a Paris restaurant, and off they go the next morning. This response is par for the course in how Stone lives his exciting life. But neither of them loses sight of the fact that Stone and, by association, Rocky have targets on their backs. Soon they make their way to London, where Stone has another house. When the group returns to the United States, other people enter the discussions about finding the villains and keeping Stone alive. More evidence surfaces as to who is after him, and it appears that a Russian called “the Greek” is probably the one seeking to neutralize him.

The team sets up a meeting with the Greek in a hotel. On the surface everything seems cordial enough, but both sides have a coterie of bodyguards and gun-toting sharpshooters just in case. It goes without saying that trust is not a given among these people, and in reality the meeting does not solve any problems. As the body count rises and tensions soar, Stone and company pull out the big guns.

Each entry in this long-running series may be read as a stand-alone, which makes it easy for readers to pick one up and not feel lost at sea. Stuart Woods writes with a certain integrity that makes his books interesting and fun to read. The characters are expertly fleshed out, the dialogue is realistic and the plot is well structured.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on January 8, 2021

Hush-Hush: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: December 29, 2020
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0593188357
  • ISBN-13: 9780593188354