Stone Barrington survives a number of close calls, starting with a collision between his yacht and another, larger boat in Maine’s foggy Penobscot Bay, in Edgar-winner Woods’s enjoyable 41st novel starring the successful New York City attorney (after Below the Belt). Fortunately, this accident results in Stone’s becoming friends with the other boat’s owners, a family of doctors named Carlsson, of the Carlsson Clinic, “a famous hospital, with locations in several cities, like the Mayo Clinic.” Stone ends up helping the Carlssons thwart a takeover of their clinic, thereby antagonizing the schemer behind the takeover attempt, Erik Macher. The ruthless, hot-headed Macher and his henchmen try to blow up Stone with plastic explosives they’ve managed to hide in the lawyer’s Manhattan townhouse, but the timely intervention of a bomb-sniffing dog saves the day. A series of tit-for-tat exchanges leads to an exciting showdown between Macher and Stone at a Virginia farmhouse. Series fans will be pleased to learn that a major career change looms for Stone in his next outing. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)
This is the second of four Stone Barrington novels coming your way in 2017, following January's Venus Flytrap. No plot details yet, but with over 1.2 million Woods novels sold in 2015, it probably doesn't matter.
A survivor of TV pitchman Nelson Knott's ruinous presidential campaign (Below the Belt, 2017) declares war on New York attorney Stone Barrington, not realizing that in addition to being smart, tough, well-heeled, well-connected, and well-groomed, Stone is immortal.When a well-placed bomb sent Christian St. Clair, the power behind Knott, to his reward, his lieutenant, Erik Macher, appointed himself his successor. Ensconced in the catbird seat of St. Clair Enterprises, he's got it made until the bigger, newer yacht owned by Dr. Paul Carlsson, of the Carlsson Clinic, rams Stone's lesser yacht in the fog, sending it to Davy Jones' locker. Pulled from Penobscot Bay, Stone gets on so well with his rammer's daughter, Marisa Carlsson—she being Swedish and all in her attitude toward sex—that soon after her father replaces Stone's craft with something even better, she tells him, "I should ask our crew to run down yachts more often." Amid all the champagne toasts, the Carlssons ask Stone's help in fending off a hostile takeover by St. Clair Enterprises, and the battle is joined. Stone the peerless negotiator fights off the takeover bid; Stone the networker makes common cause with ex-CIA agent Charley Fox, who thinks he should have been appointed to take St. Clair's place; Stone the lucky survives three separate attempts on his life (the head of the local NYPD bomb squad tells him, "You're becoming our best customer, you know"); Stone the supremely confident never even wonders what's going to become of Erik Macher and his minions. Neither does the reader. Finally, a tale that answers that question of why Woods' bestselling thrillers are so unthrilling: because the characters you care about are never in danger for long enough to mix a proper martini. The unusual aptness of this installment's title is presumably unintended.
Praise for Fast & Loose
“Enjoyable...A series of tit-for-tat exchanges leads to an exciting showdown.”—Publishers Weekly
More Praise for Stuart Woods
“Stuart Woods is a no-nonsense, slam-bang storyteller.”—Chicago Tribune
“A world-class mystery writer...I try to put Woods’s books down and I can’t.”—Houston Chronicle
“Mr. Woods, like his characters, has an appealing way of making things nice and clear.”—The New York Times
“Woods certainly knows how to keep the pages turning.”—Booklist
“Since 1981, readers have not been able to get their fill of Stuart Woods’ New York Times bestselling novels of suspense.”—Orlando Sentinel
“Woods’s Stone Barrington is a guilty pleasure...he’s also an addiction that’s harder to kick than heroin.”—Contra Costa Times (California)