Monday, March 5, 2012

Santa Fe Edge

Santa Fe Edge by Stuart Woods

Ed Eagle—the six foot seven, take-no-prisoners Santa Fe attorney—is no stranger to murder, corruption, or organized crime—both north and south of the border. His home in Santa Fe, a picturesque desert town where the wealthy enjoy the good life, seems like a welcome retreat from the grit and crime of the big cities.

But looks can be deceiving.

A puzzling murder in a golfer’s hacienda brings in a new client for Ed, but while his time is spent unraveling a complex web of sex, money, and false identity, a much more dangerous threat lurks. A ruthless and implacable enemy who has proved more than a match for him in the past has returned to Santa Fe, and this time she wants nothing less than all-out retribution.

--Santa Fe Edge
by Stuart Woods
Copyright © 2010 by Stuart Woods

My Review

Hmmm…that’s the book I would like to have read.

A more appropriate synopsis of Santa Fe Edge would read: Barbara Eagle, Ed’s ex wife, escapes from her Mexican jail and finds her way back to Santa Fe. She still has murder on her mind with Ed as her target. But when her hired hit-man fails his task, she figures she’ll finally have to take matters into her own hands and do the deed herself. A call from her lawyer, however, changes her plans. Will she finally give up her vendetta against Ed now that she’s inherited a fortune?

Okay, on with the review of the actual story…

Ed Eagle takes on a new client, a golfer whose wife is found dead in their bed. He was out of town, playing in a tournament, so it seems pretty cut-and-dried. And it is. The golfer’s story continues, but without Ed’s involvement. Oh, and the new secretary he hires—and beds—is out to steal his money.

Barbara Eagle returns and continues her machinations. She’s pretty busy throughout this story but only has one encounter with Ed, and that’s through a hit-man she hires. The rest of the time she’s bouncing from house to house and bed to bed. The truth about her now-deceased husband’s will comes out and she’s set to inherit a fortune, one that may just make her give up her murdering ways.

Cupie Dalton and Vittorio, investigator friends of Ed’s, are on Barbara’s trail, trying to keep Ed safe and alive.

Teddy Fay—a refugee from another Stuart Woods series—and his girlfriend Lauren Cade set up housekeeping in Santa Fe, all while successfully dodging one of Lance Cabot’s agents.

And…that’s about it. Nothing much else really happens in this novel. It felt more like a placeholder, something to read while you’re waiting for the next book in the series to come out.

Simple and concise like all Stuart Woods novels, this one left me scratching my head. Not because I couldn’t figure the story out…I was wondering exactly why someone wasted paper printing it and wondering why I spent my money on it.

I give this story TWO STARS.

The Sixth Man

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci

Edgar Roy-an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered.

It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered: Is Roy a killer? Who murdered Bergin? With help from some surprising allies, they continue to pursue the case. But the more they dig into Roy's past, the more they encounter obstacles, half-truths, dead-ends, false friends, and escalating threats from every direction. Their persistence puts them on a collision course with the highest levels of the government and the darkest corners of power. In a terrifying confrontation that will push Sean and Michelle to their limits, the duo may be permanently parted.

--The Sixth Man
by David Baldacci
Copyright © 2011 by David Baldacci

My Review
Imagine, if you will, a wall. Not just any wall, but a wall of data. Data that informs the viewer of everything—yes, everything—that is going on in the world in regards to the country’s security. Now imagine absorbing all that data, analyzing it, and coming up with strategies to ensure the country’s safety. All without losing your mind.

That was Edgar Roy’s job before he was arrested for murder. Housed in a federal Supermax facility in Maine, he awaits trial. His lawyer, Ted Bergin, calls on his friend Sean King and his partner, Michelle Maxwell, to come and assist him in the case. But on their way to meet him, Sean and Michelle find Ted murdered on the side of the road.

Anxious to work the case, plus find out who murdered Ted, they sign on with Ted’s associate to work on Edgar’s case. Only, as is the usual for them, things are not as cut-and-dried as they may seem. They never are when the power players of D.C. get involved.

The main characters, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, seemed a little flat in this story. They have the same drive and energy as usual, but because they’ve ostensibly put their romantic feelings aside for the duration of the story, they’ve lost some of their depth, only to gain it back at the very end. It leaves the story a little lacking, but despite that, it’s still a great story.

The plot contains the usual deep twists and turns you’d expect from a David Baldacci novel, including one I never saw coming until the end. I figured out the twist pretty much at the same time Sean did, which is great because as a reader, you never really want to figure out whodunit half-way through the story. You want there to be a surprise waiting for you and in this novel, it definitely is waiting for you, lurking, gun in hand, ready and willing to move in for the killshot.

I love the character of James Harkes, though. Someone who could pull off what he did in this story without getting his feathers ruffled catches my interest and makes me want more. I would definitely like to see him again, perhaps in his own series? And perhaps even with Kelly Paul (Edgar’s half sister)? Just a thought…

I give this story FOUR STARS.