With his forty-second Stone Barrington novel, Stuart Woods gives longtime fans enough to chew on but offers little for potential newcomers who haven’t read earlier books in the series.
Woods’ Barrington novels, for the most part, have always been slow-burning thrillers. But he takes that to a new level in Indecent Exposure. The one highlight, and main reasons his fans will enjoy this book, is that Woods spends a significant amount of time developing the relationship between Barrington and his former lover, Holly Barker.
Barker–who was recently appointed to Secretary of State after Kate Lee, the sitting Democratic president, is granted a second term by voters–and Barrington, the suave New York-based attorney, finally give their relationship a real chance to blossom. However, Barrington quickly realizes that being with Barker means spending more time in the spotlight than he’s used to.
Stone does an interview with Gloria Parsons, not knowing that she’s secretly cozying up to New York Governor Benton Blake, who was recently forced to resign after a scandal involving him and his now divorced wife. From there, Blake’s political aspirations cause a problem for Barrington, who somehow gets dragged into a deeply intertwined behind-the-scenes battle for a coveted Senate seat.
At best, the plot is confusing, as many readers will legitimately struggle to keep pressing on with so little to be excited about. In many ways, Woods’ series reads like a long-running television show, and this is just another episode. Nothing too exciting happens, but it’s nice to spend time with the characters again, assuming you’re already interested in them prior to starting this book.
Again, dedicated fans will find some pleasure in Woods’ latest Stone Barrington novel, while everyone else may feel left out and underwhelmed by Indecent Exposure‘s linear, slow-moving plot.
Author: Stuart Woods
Series: Stone Barrington #42
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 5/10