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HomeNewsArchives'L.A. DEAD' IS WICKEDLY AND LUSTILY ALIVE

'L.A. DEAD' IS WICKEDLY AND LUSTILY ALIVE

"L.A.Dead"
by Stuart Woods
G.P. Putnam's Sons
338 pp., $24.95
This detective mystery is a fast-moving jaunt through the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and homes in the world. Vicariously, the reader can drive in a custom Mercedes, fly to Italy in a huge private jet owned by a Hollywood film studio, and attend a bridal luncheon at a hotel on an island in Venice.
Stone Barrington, a handsome lawyer (and former NYPD detective), is marrying the lovely daughter of an Italian Mafia chieftain, the type whose name inspires instant courtesies from the most elegant maitre d' in any world capital. Another thing: No one ever disagrees with him.
The wedding is to take place twice – first officially in the Venice mayor's office, then again the next day in St. Mark's Cathedral in the city's square of the same name, where a cardinal is to perform the ceremony.
The first part goes according to plan, but then the story explodes with a murder and off we fly to Los Angeles, there to check into the Bel-Air Hotel. Stone has said "Sorry!" to Dolce, his half-bride of a day, and flown to L.A. to stand by the side of an old love newly charged with shooting her movie-star husband.
The cast of characters is sketched in acid and ranges from classy to tacky — a lot of the latter going around. Sitting poolside over lunch with a beautiful star in half a bikini has even our cool stud, Stone, opening his baby blues very wide. One also gets used to having the front door answered by a famous beauty totally naked and quite at ease.
"L.A. Dead" is the sixth in a series (including "Swimming to Catalina" and "Dead in the Water") featuring Stone and friends jet-setting through the haunts of the rich and famous. Author Stuart Woods enfolds the reader so skillfully in this fast company that you feel perfectly comfortable in high luxury, flying from L.A. to N.Y. and back in a day. It's tough choosing between the Bentley and the Mercedes convertible, but one adjusts quickly.
The murder, the possible witnesses, the police procedures, the lawyers and the court all fill in the plot and give it weight. It's a tough assignment, especially given that Stone never meets a woman who doesn't want to leap into bed with him, and leap they do, in living color. Where his heart lies is anybody's guess, but he certainly isn't lonely while he decides.
"L.A. Dead" is wickedly alive with a sensual heat and an intriguing cast. And what's more, the equivocal ending would appear to make a sequel certain to follow.
"L.A. Dead" is available at Dockside Bookshop in Havensight Mall. To check out other Dockside favorites, click here.

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"L.A.Dead"
by Stuart Woods
G.P. Putnam's Sons
338 pp., $24.95
This detective mystery is a fast-moving jaunt through the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and homes in the world. Vicariously, the reader can drive in a custom Mercedes, fly to Italy in a huge private jet owned by a Hollywood film studio, and attend a bridal luncheon at a hotel on an island in Venice.
Stone Barrington, a handsome lawyer (and former NYPD detective), is marrying the lovely daughter of an Italian Mafia chieftain, the type whose name inspires instant courtesies from the most elegant maitre d' in any world capital. Another thing: No one ever disagrees with him.
The wedding is to take place twice – first officially in the Venice mayor's office, then again the next day in St. Mark's Cathedral in the city's square of the same name, where a cardinal is to perform the ceremony.
The first part goes according to plan, but then the story explodes with a murder and off we fly to Los Angeles, there to check into the Bel-Air Hotel. Stone has said "Sorry!" to Dolce, his half-bride of a day, and flown to L.A. to stand by the side of an old love newly charged with shooting her movie-star husband.
The cast of characters is sketched in acid and ranges from classy to tacky -- a lot of the latter going around. Sitting poolside over lunch with a beautiful star in half a bikini has even our cool stud, Stone, opening his baby blues very wide. One also gets used to having the front door answered by a famous beauty totally naked and quite at ease.
"L.A. Dead" is the sixth in a series (including "Swimming to Catalina" and "Dead in the Water") featuring Stone and friends jet-setting through the haunts of the rich and famous. Author Stuart Woods enfolds the reader so skillfully in this fast company that you feel perfectly comfortable in high luxury, flying from L.A. to N.Y. and back in a day. It's tough choosing between the Bentley and the Mercedes convertible, but one adjusts quickly.
The murder, the possible witnesses, the police procedures, the lawyers and the court all fill in the plot and give it weight. It's a tough assignment, especially given that Stone never meets a woman who doesn't want to leap into bed with him, and leap they do, in living color. Where his heart lies is anybody's guess, but he certainly isn't lonely while he decides.
"L.A. Dead" is wickedly alive with a sensual heat and an intriguing cast. And what's more, the equivocal ending would appear to make a sequel certain to follow.
"L.A. Dead" is available at Dockside Bookshop in Havensight Mall. To check out other Dockside favorites, click here.