Sunday, December 22, 2013

“Severe Clear” by Stuart Woods – Stone Against Terrorism

Severe Clear by Stuart Woods – Book Cover
In recent years it seems that Stuart Woods has lost his touch, with his novels having noticeably dropped in quality. His fans have been yearning for a comeback for some time now, and lo and behold, it seems they might get what they were asking for. Severe Clear is a return by Stuart Woods to the Stone Barrington series, bringing to us virtually the whole case, including Stone’s son, Holly Barker, Mike Freeman, Kate Lee, Herb Fisher, Dino, and some others. The whole plot revolves around the opening of a new ultra-luxe hotel called the Arrington, built on the grounds of Barrington’s deceased wife’s mansion. As it happens, Stone is in charge of overseeing the opening, and he may very well have his work cut out for him for the NSA has information suggesting that the event has attracted the attention of international terrorists.

The last few book released by Woods were complained about by many of his fans, having the impression that they became too formulaic and littered with filler content… in other words, people accused him of simply milking the popularity he created. Though there is certainly some filler content in this book as well as a share of predictability, I have to say that they weren’t noticeable enough to significantly detract from the book as a whole.

I haven’t really had the chance to get into Woods’ writings yet, but from what I have seen in this one, he enjoys using a simpler style to tell suspenseful stories, even if they are a tad unbelievable or unrealistic. As far as the entertainment factor goes, the book succeeded quite well at keeping my eyes glued to the pages; even in those instances where I knew what was coming, I had to read on through to see it for myself.

From what I gathered, this book isn’t exactly on par with most of Woods’ early works and some of his more hard-core fans are displeased… however, if you aren’t seeking a ground-breaking masterpiece that will shatter your world, then you probably won’t find much wrong with this work.

It’s a solid thriller done by the book, flowing rapidly, keeping most of the answers shrouded until the right moment, and providing a suspicious cast of characters who advance the story as much as they provide insight and even the occasional comic relief. All in all, if you are looking for a good terrorist thriller to keep yourself busy these holidays, Severe Clear would be a great choice for that in my opinion.

Stuart Woods (January 9, 1938)

Stuart Woods

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Stuart Woods is an American novelist who began his career after serving in the military, publishing his first book, Blue Water, Green Skipper in 1977. Much of his books draw from his experiences as a sailor, being centered around the sea and its many perils.

More of the Stuart Woods' book reviews:
Doing Hard Time

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