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Review: Severe Clear

March 21, 2013

Severe Clear

When a super-posh resort hotel opens on the grounds of Stone Barrington’s late wife’s mansion in Bel-Air, it is quite an event filled with movie stars, politicians, billionaires, and even the presidents of the United States and Mexico.  When the CIA intercepts some messages that mention the hotel, they pull out all the stops to investigate them.  Since Stone is there for the opening, he becomes involved and, when he’s not drinking or womanizing, he helps solve the case.

Severe Clear is the 24th book in Stuart Woods‘ Stone Barrington series but it’s the first one I’ve read.  Even though I found the book to be a quick read, I thought it was a little over the top – for instance, a CIA agent walked in on the President and the First Lady in the shower together.   I do think I might have enjoyed the book more if I’d read others in the series since there were a lot of characters and not a lot of character development and I had a little trouble keeping some of them straight.

I listened to the audio version of Severe Clear and Tony Roberts’ narration is outstanding.  I think he kept me invested in the story and even enhanced it for me.  I liked the book (but didn’t love it) mainly because of his narration.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2013 7:20 am

    I’ve never read any of his books.

  2. March 21, 2013 7:42 am

    I keep meaning to try one of his books but there are so many! :–)

  3. March 21, 2013 8:41 am

    I haven’t read any of his books but isn’t it wonderful when a narrator can keep you listening when you otherwise might have skimmed or skipped?

  4. March 21, 2013 8:55 am

    I’ve never read the Stone Barrington series either. The only Stuart Woods book I’ve read is a standalone called Chiefs. And I have to say that I really liked it. But I’ve never been motivated to read any others.

  5. March 21, 2013 10:22 am

    I’ve never read any of his books but I do not care for over-the-top plots. Not for me but definitely for my FIL.

  6. talesofwhimsy permalink
    March 21, 2013 10:36 am

    Great honest take.
    BTW, my hubs and I have started Insane City. We love it so far! 🙂

  7. March 21, 2013 10:44 am

    I never read any of his books, good honest review.

  8. March 21, 2013 11:02 am

    I’ve listened to several of the Stone Barrington books and feel the same way. They are almost campy at times and if I’m in the right mood, they’re an ok read. Tony Roberts’ narration really does make it work, especially his voice for Dino.

  9. zibilee permalink
    March 21, 2013 11:37 am

    It does sound as if this one is a little far-fetched, what with the hero finding the president in the shower with his wife! I do applaud you though for taking on a book so far into the series, and managing to stay invested, despite the fact that the background info wasn’t there.

  10. March 21, 2013 12:29 pm

    This does sound a bit over the top! Excellent review, as usual, Kathy! 🙂

  11. March 21, 2013 12:29 pm

    I read them all up to a point, back before blogging when I would go on these series-reading binges (like Sue Grafton or Lee Child) and really enjoyed them for awhile. Then…I don’t know, it got a little smarmy, I started not to like Stone, and it started to feel like an airplane book. There is a comfort to going back to characters that you know, but I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll jump back on this bandwagon.

  12. March 21, 2013 2:58 pm

    I’ve never read one of these books but it might not be a bad listen while running.

  13. Patty permalink
    March 21, 2013 3:09 pm

    Wow…I have not read a Stuart Wods book in ages…he must be about a 100 years old!

  14. msbookishreviews permalink
    March 21, 2013 4:27 pm

    This is a series I’ve been meaning to start. I’ll probably give it a try in audio now!

  15. March 21, 2013 5:51 pm

    I haven’t heard of this series but it sounds fun. I should check it out.

  16. March 21, 2013 6:26 pm

    I used to love Stuart Woods but I have not read any of his books in years! I will definitely have to check this one out

  17. March 21, 2013 8:31 pm

    I’m not big on listening to books, and I’m not so keen on Stuart Woods. Thanks for your review.

  18. March 22, 2013 5:49 am

    Funny. I liked the followup to this book even though I was a little lost because the story begins immediately after this one ends.

  19. March 22, 2013 11:29 am

    I haven’t listened to this one because it’s intimidating to start so late in the series. But your review gives me hope that I’d kinda be able to follow along. The right narrator does make all the difference!

  20. boardinginmyforties permalink
    March 22, 2013 4:36 pm

    I’ve never read anything by this author before and always seem people with his book on airplanes. I’ve been curious about him. This may not be the first one I pick up, based on your review but I won’t hesitate to give one a try.

  21. March 24, 2013 7:04 pm

    I’ve never read any of his books before. Probably won’t but I loved your thoughts on this one! And I agree, doubt anyone would walk in on the President and the first lady in the shower 😀

  22. March 26, 2013 3:14 pm

    I’ve heard good things about this series but it’s too far along for me to start now!

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