May 11, 1998 12:00 PM

by Stuart Woods

Page-turner of the week

Hollywood is either at your feet or at your throat. At least that’s the way it’s starting to look to Stone Barrington, a New York cop turned lawyer-sleuth. In L.A. to discreetly investigate the disappearance of journalist and former flame Arrington Carter, at the request of her new husband, superstar Vance Calder, our craggily handsome hero unexpectedly finds himself the object of flattering propositions for film work and female companionship, as well as a few other offers, of the sort that end in “or else.”

Fortunately for the plucky Arrington—and for fans won over by Woods’s earlier string of such dishy, breezy whodunits as 1997’s Dead in the Water—Stone is as hard-headed as his name. Though it’s unlikely that the plot here will have you breaking into much of a sweat, this enjoyable, star-dusted plunge into Hollywood’s dark side agreeably melds ’90s glitz with classic noir. (HarperCollins, $25)

Bottom Line: Beachy-keen

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