Thursday, February 4, 2016

FFB: Unintended Consequences by Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods has been a favorite writer of mine since reading his first novel Chiefs.

Other Woods novels, while nicely done mysteries, were light reading and really did not live up to the promise of Chiefs.

That said, Unintended Consequences is a thoroughly enjoyable outing with his series character Stone Barrington.

The book kicks off with an intriguing mystery. Stone wakes up in the U.S. Embassy in Paris and has no idea how he got there, how he got to France, or what happened to him over the previous four days. The last thing Stone remembers is being at a party in New York, his home town.

Stone is a lawyer who became fabulously wealthy. But he was not always rich. After law school, he joined the New York Police Department. Later, he left the department and joined the law firm of a classmate. In the meantime, Stone's former police partner and good friend, Dino Bacchetti, rose through the ranks of the NYPD and during this story is named Chief of Detectives.

In Paris, Stone discovers he has some kind of business to conduct with a man named Marcel duBois, who is described as the Warren Buffett of France. Marcel owns hotels and companies and his latest venture is the development of a ridiculously expensive sports car that sounds a bit like the DeLorean.

Some Russian gangsters are after Marcel and Stone gets caught in the violence.

The plot twists and turns and takes Stone from Paris to New York and to his mansion in rural Connecticut with his group that includes Marcel, Dino, a statuesque Swedish beauty, and others, all trying to elude the baddies.

The pace is swift, but this 2013 novel feels oddly retro. The sex is a throwback to the freewheeling, no-consequences 1970s, and the conspicuous consumption (sports cars, fine suits, vintage wines) feels like the 1980s.

But for a fun read, Unintended Consequences is a smooth ride.

(For more reviews and forgotten books, please go to Patti Abbott's blog.)


  1. Sounds great - I've never read anything from him, though I may have 1 book I think.

    1. The setup in this one grabbed me and I just had to see how it came out.

  2. Elgin, I have not read a Stuart Woods yet though I see his books at nearly every exhibition I visit. I will pick up one next time.

    1. I can’t vouch for every book of his, but the ones I’ve read were enjoyable. If you find an old copy of CHIEFS, grab it.