cover image Skin Game

Skin Game

Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall. Putnam, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1916-8

At the start of bestseller Woods and Edgar finalist Hall’s breezy third Teddy Faye novel (after 2018’s The Money Shot), Lance Cabot, the head of the CIA, orders the ex-CIA operative, who knows disobeying Lance isn’t a good idea, to leave his Hollywood home immediately for Paris, where he’s to uncover a mole in the CIA’s Paris station. Meanwhile, scheming Syrian strongman Fahd Kassin, who has bugged Lance’s phone, starts to monitor Teddy’s calls. Fahd orders his henchmen to kill Teddy before he reaches Paris, but the resourceful Teddy manages to turn the tables on all his assailants. Once in Paris, Teddy sets about identifying the mole, but news of a rare animal convention in the city, which is to be attended by Fahd, distracts him from his mission. Disguised as a loudmouthed Texan, Teddy attends the convention, where he soon gets wind of a plot that’s far more sinister than the illegal sale of endangered animals. The ingenious ways in which Teddy outwits his adversaries is a large part of this entry’s appeal. Series fans will hope he has a long career. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (June)