cover image Jackpot


Stuarts Woods and Bryon Quertermous. Putnam, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-18845-3

Bestseller Woods and Quertermous’s busy fifth Teddy Fay novel (after 2020’s Bombshell) takes the former CIA operative to Macau, where Centurion Studios owners Peter Barrington and Ben Bacchetti, who employ Teddy in his guise as movie producer Billy Barnett, need his help. Someone is threatening to blackmail Peter and Ben, who are in Macao for a film festival, with a fake video showing them cheating at a local casino. In his search for the culprit, Teddy crosses paths with American billionaire Arrow Donaldson, the head of a casino conglomerate in China; Li Feng, the CFO of China’s largest telecom company, whose testimony could affect an impending trade deal between China and the U.S.; and CIA agent Millie Martindale, who’s been part of “a task force in one of Arrow’s Chinese casinos to identify Chinese government workers with gambling problems and recruit them as U.S. spies.” Keeping track of the many players and their various schemes isn’t easy, and Teddy has fewer opportunities to use his disguise skills than in his previous outing. Series fans will enjoy the ride, but this isn’t the place to start for newcomers. [em]Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (June) [/em]