cover image Standup Guy

Standup Guy

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-16415-6

A misunderstanding leads Stone Barrington to take on ex-con John Fratelli as a client at the start of bestseller Woods’s polished 28th outing for the suave New York City attorney (after 2013’s Doing Hard Time). Fratelli put his 25 years in Sing Sing to good use by protecting fellow prisoner Eduardo Buono, who rewarded his service by telling Fratelli how to retrieve $2 million in stolen but now technically legal money from a safe-deposit box. Stone’s advice to Fratelli causes complications that Stone isn’t able to handle with the ease fans have become accustomed to, though he continues to enjoy the considerable perks of good friends, fine food, and beautiful women. Alluring illustrator Henrietta “Hank” Cromwell gives Stone’s love life a boost. Fratelli’s bumpy transformation into a wealthy, retired entrepreneur amuses. Stone fences with federal agents, tangles with thugs, and faces the problem of dealing with $5 million in small bills in the liveliest Barrington novel in some time. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Jan.)