cover image Fast & Loose

Fast & Loose

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-57419-1

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. [em]Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.) [/em]