by Stuart Woods
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Pub Date 11 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 11 Oct 2022
PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons
During an intense storm in Dark Harbor, Maine, a perplexing murder lands a dead man on Stone Barrington's doorstep. As secrets swirl around this mystery man's identity, Stone quickly sets out to unravel a web of cunning misdirections and lies.
Soon enough, he is embroiled in an elaborate game of cat and mouse between the CIA and nefarious foreign forces, including a bewitching new companion who comes under his protection. But when Stone's actions draw the attention of an old enemy, one who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from getting out, Stone realizes he may have finally met his match.
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Average rating from 25 members
Distant Thunder was a fun and easy read.=ad. I have read all of the Stone Barrington series from the beginning. Stone Barrington is at his house in Dark Harbor, Maine with his girlfriend, Holly Barker, President of the United States. There is a bad storm which has kept them there. He is notified by his friend, Ed Rawls that there has been a murdered man found on the ferry shot twice. The man is John Collins, CIA. Holly calls Lance Cabot, head of CIA and asks him if he knew John Collins and is he suppose to be in Maine and that he has been killed. Lance says to put the body in Stone's garage. A helicopter comes to pick up the body. Joan Robertson tells Stone she thinks Lance knows more than he is saying.
A Vanessa Morgan comes to see Stone saying that she is John Collin's widow, She wanted to hear directly from Stone what he knows about John's death. She was told by a member of the CIA and given an envelope with information on how to claim John's insurance and pension. Stone's card was also in the envelope. The next day after having dinner with his friends, the Bacchettis, he was surprised to see John Collins widow paying for her dinner a the same restaurant, He invites her to his home for a night cap. Her business is seeing people's home for her magazine Indoors and Out. They discuss her situation, Stone's driver drives her home.
The next day two men from the F.B.I. come and ask questions about John Collins. Stone informs them that he has been murdered which they did not know. At this point the reader feels that it is some of Whose on First with the back and forth about who is John Collins. Through out the book there is much talk about John's background and Lance Cabot's evasiveness.
Stone,s boss, Bill Eggers calls Stone about the ad in the paper about John Collins death. He informs Stone that he and John had both attend NYU.
When discussing John Collins with Lance they decide that he was probably killed by the Russians, The man who they think is behind everything is Valery Majorov who is back in the United States.
Vanessa meets Stone at Patroon for dinner with Dino and Viv Bacchettis for dinner. Stone tells them that he received the ME's report on John saying that he was drunk. Vanessa was surprised as she said he never drank.
After dinner Vanessa comes back to Stone's house for a night cap which turns into an evening of pleasure
Because Lance thinks that the Russians might also be angry at Stone he suggests that he get away for awhile. Stone decides to go to England where he has a house and asks Vanessa if she would like to go. Also Lance decides to come. They stay there as well as go to London, When they go back to the states Stone meets Dino at P.J. Clarks. While waiting for Dino at the bar a beautiful woman sits down next to him. She introduces herself and sits with him and Dino. She excuses herself and goes to the ladies room. Dino tells Stone that the woman is a Russian is going to try to kill Stone. When she gets back to the table Dino arrests her but she escapes.
Vanessa meets him for dinner and tells him that John is alive. but they want to continue with his being dead. After meeting John he suggests that he go to Maine at his house there. He does until the Russians try to kill him and he leaves and goes into hiding.
Lance suggests again that Stone again go away. He decides to go to his home in Palm Beach. Dino and Vivian will be going as well as Vanessa.. When picking Vanessa up they see her luggage but she is not there. They go to her apartment and find a bloody body in the bathroom which they think is Vanessa. After dealing with the police Stone, Dino and Viv decide to still go to Palm Springs,
At this point the reader is bouncing back and forth with all that is going on It is a little slap stick with Lance Cabot in and out of the action The ending starts with Dino, Viv. Stone on board his boat. Stone discovers Vanessa's bag that must have been put in with their luggage. He has Viv open it and they find under some clothes they find money, a gun with a silencer and a bomb. Also a tracker. Lance arrives at the boat and he drugs Stone. When he wakes up he believes that he has seen Vanessa. Dino and Viv think he is hallucinating but to their surprise they see that she is alive. Stone believes that the dead body in her apartment was the Russian named Anna. Lance suggests that for their safety that they should be moving instead of remaining anchored. As they head back to Palm Beach they notice a trawler following them. The ending is slapstick with the Russians and Dino and Stone fighting each other with Stone using the bomb that blows up the trawler. When they get back to New York and debark Vanessa has already left. When Stone gets back to his house Lance gives him a letter from Vanessa telling him goodbye and that she will cease to exist. The ending mentions a date and Washington, CT. Is this a clue for the next book in the series?
Thank you NetGalley and G.P. Putnam's Sons for this ARC.
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