“SON OF STONE,” by Stuart Woods, G.P. Putnam’s Son, New York, 2011, hardcover, 306 pages, $26.95.
For the second time this year, Woods, a part-time Mount Desert Island resident, has brought back Stone Barrington.
As the title suggests, the 20th novel featuring Barrington is about the policeman-turned-attorney and general man-about-town meeting the son he only recently found out he had.
Barrington lucks out in that he becomes an instant father to Peter, a brainy, mature-beyond-his-age 16-year-old. Peter has already exhausted what his Virginia prep school has to offer, and he’s completed a polished feature film.
Barrington also gets back together with Arrington Calder, his old flame and Peter’s mom. This book definitely chronicles a time of transition for him.
There is a murder, but not a whole lot of intrigue. This novel is mostly about the changes that lead to a more stable existence for Barrington.
“Son of Stone” is more of a character study of the now extended Barrington family and as a result lacks the thriller quality of many of Woods’ best books. There were also subplots introduced and then largely left hanging, probably for use in future novels. All in all, that makes “Son of Stone” a frustrating read for Woods’ loyal fans.