cover image Shoot First

Shoot First

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1720-1

At the start of bestseller Woods’s smooth 45th Stone Barrington novel (after Unbound), business takes the wealthy New York lawyer to Key West, Fla., where he meets Silicon Valley entrepreneur Meg Harmon, whose company has recently developed software for a self-driving car. Unfortunately, a former partner of Meg’s, Gino Bellini, feels she cheated him out of his fair share of the profits from the software design, and sets a pair of assassins on her trail. In between dodging bullets first on a golf course and then on a beach, Meg and Stone find time to get to know each other and have great sex. They later retreat to Stone’s Manhattan townhouse, though trips on Stone’s private plane to his place in Maine and his house in the English countryside also prove necessary for their safety. No surprise, Stone and his allies thwart Gino and assorted other bad guys with relative ease. As usual, the principal pleasure lies in watching the suave, resourceful Stone maintain his good humor and high lifestyle through- out all his travails. Author tour. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)