cover image Class Act

Class Act

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-33166-8

Bestseller Woods’s disquieting 58th novel featuring New York attorney Stone Barrington (after Double Jeopardy) finds Stone representing an ex-con just released from Sing Sing with a lot of enemies who are criminals, including Manny Fiore, “the mob’s big-time bookie” in Florida. Stone remains on the sidelines until he crosses paths with nightclub singer Hilda Ross, a hit man’s daughter and a mob assassin herself, as becomes clear when she follows orders to gun down Manny after a brief fling with him. Sal Trafficante, Hilda’s mob boyfriend, becomes jealous of Stone when Sal realizes Stone is attracted to Hilda. Fearing for his life, Stone takes temporary refuge at his house in England to avoid Sal’s wrath. Back in New York, Stone’s police commissioner pal, Dino Bacchetti, warns him Hilda is a killer, but the smitten Stone can’t resist pursuing her. A lot of people die in the twist-filled ending. The breezy banter between Stone and friends and the scenes of perfect, guilt-free sex sit uncomfortably in a plot that contains some disturbing violence. This is not the place to start for readers new to the series. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc.