cover image A Safe House

A Safe House

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-33175-0

Edgar winner Woods’s slapdash 61st novel featuring attorney Stone Barrington (after 2021’s Criminal Mischief) finds Stone and Dino Bacchetti, his New York City police commissioner pal, dining at their favorite Manhattan restaurant when they’re unexpectedly joined by CIA director Lance Cabot. Lance has a mission for Stone, who serves as Lance’s associate director: “to provide a safe house for a person who shall remain unidentified, even with regard to gender.” Stone agrees to fly this person on his private jet to England and keep them safe at his country house in Hampshire. The next morning, Stone meets this person, who’s been smuggled onto his plane, after takeoff. She’s Jenna Jacoby, a former model who has just gotten divorced from Texas senator Wallace Slade, an obnoxious jerk. Slade, who’s not keen on Jenna’s intention to testify soon before a Congressional committee about his unsavory connections to Russia, and a murderous henchman get on Jenna’s trail, and the rest of the cartoonish plot centers on Slade’s efforts to find Jenna and kill her. Stone and friends take countermeasures amid lots of light banter, good food, and great sex. This one’s for die-hard fans only. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Mar.)