Black Dog
July 19, 2022

Book Review

Black Dog

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Stuart Woods brings danger and suspense to book sixty-two in the Stone Barrington series. Stone’s secretary, Joan Robertson, introduces him to Annetta Charles who wants to make a new will.

This socialite has a staggering inheritance and wants Stone to take care of it and she will consider giving him all of her legal business. Annetta has some unusual ties and an enemy that is threatening her.

By this time in the series, Stone’s character is well developed. The great thing about this novel is that Joan plays a large role in the story. Readers gain a greater understanding of how she responds to danger and how her outlook changes as events occur. There are always several new characters as well as some visits from characters from previous books giving the series even more continuity. Reconnecting with these old friends was effortless. The person thought to be the antagonist is very unlikeable and irritating, but smart. However, is he the villain or a red herring?

This riveting mystery keeps readers flying through the pages from start to finish. I found myself wondering which truths and lies would be revealed next. The dialogue feels natural and flows well. It pulls readers into the inner world of the characters. It’s well-plotted with characters that feel real and who respond to situations realistically. Unpredictable moments in the story keep readers on their toes. I enjoyed the subtle humor that was interspersed within the novel.

I only had two quibbles. The first relates to the house search, and what is found and not found. I can’t say more without spoilers. The second relates to the ending. I wanted a tad more closure through perhaps a short epilogue. Despite this, Woods continues to deliver exciting and well-written crime thrillers. He is a great storyteller, and this installment weaves murder, death, greed, jealousy, friendship, and family into a tale that pulls one in and keeps readers hooked to the end.

Overall, this was tense and exciting novel with danger, action, and the possibility of romance. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series. If you enjoy crime and murder mysteries, then I recommend that you check out this series. If you enjoy quality drama that’s packed with suspense, this was it. While the series is best read in order, the crimes within this one are self-contained. However, readers would be missing a lot background and character development.

PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Stuart Woods provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for August 2, 2022.

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