Book Review of Shakeup by Stuart Woods – Usual Page Turning fare
My Rating – 3.5 out of 5
Plot Summary – Shakeup
Many a times, I promise myself not to read a Stuart Woods again but struggling to find a book, I pick one up again. But it must be said that he is extremely prolific and at the same time, his books are surefire page turners. even if those pages contain convenient coincidences and leaps of faith a la James Bond. So here it is, his first Stone Barrington from 2020, at a series number 55! which goes up by about three books every year. So for first timers, let’s start with a rather banal introduction to the protagonist of the series – Stone Barrington, the suave, playboy, multimillionaire lawyer cum ex-cop cum investor.
His wealth comes from investments, inheritances, and very little from working – that’s what it seems. he has houses (read mansions) in New York, Miami, London, Paris etc. to name a few. Has a private jet, is friends with three US presidents – sleeps with one. The heads of CIA and MI6 are his bosom buddies and the Police Commissioner of New York city, Dino Bachetti, almost lives with him and is more on leave throughout the year than he’s working!
Stone is of indeterminate age, insatiable carnal appetite and always at the center of some mischief or the other. All said and done, the narrative flows like a mountain river and one can go along for the ride, if you leave your sense of literature and logical reasoning behind!! He sleeps with numerous women during the course of one novel, sometimes together also, and suffers no pangs of guilt or belonging (or love for that matter), it’s all lust for the flesh, as far as Stone is concerned.
In this, Stone’s kind of long term partner, Holly Barker, is elected as the next President of the US and Stone, along with the Bachettis, attends the inauguration Balls. Upon their return to the hotel (thankfully not for a tryst at the White House), they discover a body of Patricia Clark, the ex-wife of would be Secretary of Commerce, Donald Clark. Now, till the end of the novel, it is not clear what set it off, as a few more murders take place, and the murderer is known around halfway through the novel. Why was Patricia murdered? Why in Stone’s room? Not clear…
Now, Police departments from NYC and Washington D.C., the FBI, MI6 all get involved and at one time, things get quite complicated as to motives and reasonings. There are some moments of deductive brilliance (if I may call it that) but they are few and far between and since the original crime that starts off this novel, in itself, is never explained as to the why, it leaves one with the feeling of incredulity. It all comes together in the end though, except the loose ends that are bound to leave you scratching your heads.
Conclusion – Book Review of Shakeup
Fast, pacy and moves smoothly from page to page and I would assume you may have read some of his other works as well, which is why you may have picked up this one. But the more I read of him, the more exasperated I feel, then some compulsion or the other makes me pick up the next! But at the same time, one does have to acknowledge that to come up with 5-6 book ideas a year – few of which make it to the NYT bestsellers list also, is no mean task and 99% authors struggle to do that in three years what Stuart Woods does in one!!
So, in wrapping up, let me tell you that if you are a bookworm like me and cannot do without a book for even one day, you make pick up Shakeup, only to pass your time till the next one on your TBR comes along!
* I hope you have liked reading this book review, as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *