cover image Barely Legal: A Herbie Fisher Novel

Barely Legal: A Herbie Fisher Novel

Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall. Putnam, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1723-2

New York lawyer Herbie Fisher, the hard-luck hero of this cleverly plotted comic thriller from Edgar-winner Woods and Hall (Smooth Operator), gets called in at the last minute to defend David Ross, a college kid accused of selling drugs at a party near Columbia University. David is the son of a New York City councilman who incurred the wrath of a ruthless real estate developer by refusing to approve a height variance for one of the mogul’s buildings. The case against David is meant to send a message to the council- man from the developer. David refuses to accept the plea deal he’s under pressure to take, because he’s innocent. Meanwhile, a loan shark who believes that Herbie owes him $90,000 is getting impatient. Stone Barrington, Woods’s main series lead, lends minimal support as Herbie manages to stumble his way to the exciting, satisfying climax. The courtroom scenes are convincing, and a host of inept crooks will resonate with fans of Donald Westlake’s caper novels. [em]Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug.) [/em]