A survivor of TV pitchman Nelson Knott’s ruinous presidential campaign (Below the Belt, 2017) declares war on New York attorney Stone Barrington, not realizing that in addition to being smart, tough, well-heeled, well-connected, and well-groomed, Stone is immortal.
When a well-placed bomb sent Christian St. Clair, the power behind Knott, to his reward, his lieutenant, Erik Macher, appointed himself his successor. Ensconced in the catbird seat of St. Clair Enterprises, he’s got it made until the bigger, newer yacht owned by Dr. Paul Carlsson, of the Carlsson Clinic, rams Stone’s lesser yacht in the fog, sending it to Davy Jones’ locker. Pulled from Penobscot Bay, Stone gets on so well with his rammer’s daughter, Marisa Carlsson—she being Swedish and all in her attitude toward sex—that soon after her father replaces Stone’s craft with something even better, she tells him, “I should ask our crew to run down yachts more often.” Amid all the champagne toasts, the Carlssons ask Stone’s help in fending off a hostile takeover by St. Clair Enterprises, and the battle is joined. Stone the peerless negotiator fights off the takeover bid; Stone the networker makes common cause with ex–CIA agent Charley Fox, who thinks he should have been appointed to take St. Clair’s place; Stone the lucky survives three separate attempts on his life (the head of the local NYPD bomb squad tells him, “You’re becoming our best customer, you know”); Stone the supremely confident never even wonders what’s going to become of Erik Macher and his minions. Neither does the reader.
Finally, a tale that answers that question of why Woods’ bestselling thrillers are so unthrilling: because the characters you care about are never in danger for long enough to mix a proper martini. The unusual aptness of this installment’s title is presumably unintended.