cover image Treason


Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-08319-2

In bestseller Woods’s serviceable 52nd Stone Barrington novel (after 2019’s Stealth), CIA director Lance Cabot calls on New York attorney Stone, a part-time CIA consultant, for help in exposing a State Department mole who’s working for the Russians. Stone is soon distracted by airplane broker Callie Stevens, who persuades him to buy a private jet, an upgrade for his existing one, in a deal that goes smoothly until, in an undeveloped subplot, an act of vandalism on the new jet suggests that Callie’s ex-husband is out to get her. Stone flies his new plane to Paris, where by chance he encounters American entrepreneur Peter Grant, who may be in thrall to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Chekhov. A poisoning and a murder raise the stakes as Stone’s dealings with the shifty Grant and generic villain Chekhov start to dovetail with the original mole investigation. The witty banter among Stone and friends and his frequent bedding of willing women keep the reader turning the pages to the mildly exciting showdown on a giant yacht anchored off Martha’s Vineyard. Woods seems to be treading water. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Jan.)