Suave, sophisticated Stone Barrington is a hero destined for the big screen. (Since Cary Grant is dead, Stone will have to be played by Bruce Willis, if he can keep his smirk under control.) He's certainly got the trappings: the Armani tuxedo too well-tailored to reveal the gun beneath the drape, the sexy sports cars, the beautiful women who never fail to throw themselves at him, the confident familiarity with a complicated wine list or French menu. And he's got friends in high places, which helps when you're looking for a beautiful woman who made a big impression on the slightly nerdy but nice software billionaire who hires Barrington to find her.
Between bedding the billionaire's chef in Palm Beach, hiding from the homicidal Mafia princess he almost married in Italy, and playing games with a Hollywood beauty whose young son may or may not be his very own child, Stone hardly has time to do the job he's been hired for. But when he does, he discovers that the object of his search is still another ex-lover, a woman he thought had been executed on a Caribbean island three years ago. All these women, and all these adventures, plus Stone's old pal Dino, a New York cop, will be familiar to readers of Woods's other Stone Barrington thrillers. This one has Woods's trademark narrative punch, solid pacing, and glossy, brand-name panache. If Judith Krantz wrote thrillers, this is what she'd turn out. But don't let that stop you. Cold Paradise is the perfect book for a hot day in the hammock or a long plane ride to a ritzy resort destination. The only real surprise is why Stone Barrington hasn't made it to the big (or small) screen yet. --Jane Adams