by Bruce TierneyApril, 2006
Skeletons in the family closet
Dark Harbor, Maine, an exclusive village on the island of Isleboro in Penobscot Bay, holds memories for Stone Barrington, not all of them fond the summer after his senior year of high school, his parents shipped him off to stay with his mother's relatives. Here, for the first time, Stone met his cousins: Dick, amiable and destined to become a seldom seen but well-liked friend; and Caleb, spoiled rotten and a bully to boot, with little prospect for improvement. Barrington has moved on to a career as a successful lawyer, and only rarely thinks about his less than idyllic days on the Maine coast. Then, twice in the space of a day, he receives word from the frozen north: the first, a message from his cousin Dick, requesting Barrington's legal services as executor of his estate; the second, scant hours later, notification that Dick has killed his wife and daughter, then taken his own life. Nothing is as it seems, however; it turns out that Dick, a career State Department functionary, was in reality a highly placed CIA administrator/operative. As you might imagine, the chances of his death being a suicide plummet to near zero. Dark Harbor is, by my count, the 11th in Stuart Woods' popular Stone Barrington series. Well-liked by reviewers and the reading public alike, the Barrington novels continue to impress, with likable characters, fast pacing and original storylines.