BEL-AIR DEAD by Stuart Woods


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Stone Barrington (Lucid Intervals, 2010, etc.) fights to protect a Hollywood studio from a takeover bid that goes way beyond hostile.

Arrington Calder, the most durable of Stone’s former lovers, wants the father of her son to come to La-La-Land to vote the shares in Centurion Studios her late husband, six-time Oscar-winning star Vance Calder, left her. By the time Stone and his NYPD ex-partner, Lt. Dino Bacchetti, land in L.A., Arrington’s changed her mind, in the first of many plot complications that go nowhere. As Stone settles into Arrington’s guest house and the battle lines form, it becomes clear that investor Terry Prince’s bid to purchase a controlling interest in Centurion from Arrington and its other leading shareholders—ancient Centurion CEO Rick Barron, Hollywood heiress Jennifer Harris and Jim Long, currently sitting in jail accused of conspiring to murder Santa Fe attorney Ed Eagle (Santa Fe Edge, 2010, etc.)—is seriously bad news. For one thing, Terry’s plan to build a hotel on Centurion’s land would gut the studio. For another, his money is coming from Mexican and Colombian drug lords. Finally, his determination to close the deal crosses the line to murder, as Jennifer Harris discovers to her sorrow. Remaining cool throughout (his reaction when his Mercedes is blown up: “I guess we’d better take the Bentley”), Stone helps Centurion fend off this unwanted suitor while he thwarts equally aggressive subplots from Terry’s beautiful, frigid executive assistant Carolyn Blaine and Ed Eagle’s homicidally resourceful ex-wife.

Redoubtable Stone not only beds the best women and corrals the best lifestyle perks but succeeds so well in his job that he’s rewarded with a full partnership in his law firm and a large share of control over Centurion himself. What a guy.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-15736-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2011


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