cover image Foul Play

Foul Play

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-33169-9

At the outset of bestseller Woods’s enjoyable 59th Stone Barrington novel, attorney Stone welcomes a new client, Shep Troutman, whom he first rescues from an assailant near his Manhattan townhouse. Shep, who’s staying at the Carlyle Hotel and recently sold his family’s design and manufacturing business for $260 million, needs Stone’s advice. The morning after their meeting, Shep is mugged in Central Park. While Shep is being treated for minor injuries at the hospital, someone leaves the dead body of a prostitute in his apartment at the Carlyle. Shep finally admits to Stone that he suspects the shady buyer of the family business, Gregor Kronk, has reason to be dissatisfied and is behind the mayhem. Stone puts his own life in peril as he tries to protect Shep and fend off Kronk. Woods throws in more than one surprising twist and a tantalizing hint of future developments in Stone’s relationship with his paramour, U.S. president Holly Barker. In the end, Stone devises a clever and fitting way to take care of Kronk. This is a good entry point for newcomers to this long-running series. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Oct.)