Manhattan attorney Stone Barrington (Loitering with Intent, 2009, etc.) gets dragged back onto the police force to close the books on his 17th case.
Stone prides his ability to turn on a dime. When Georgia peach Carrie Cox walks into Elaine’s, he wastes not a moment in introducing himself and inviting her to the table he shares with former NYPD partner Dino Bacchetti. Learning that she’s an actress turned lip model who’s just fended off a seriously crude casting-couch come-on, he offers his professional services, and in a flash Carrie has followed Stone home, made peace with the offender and been cast in the starring role. She’s apparently headed for happily-ever-after until ex-husband Max Long attacks her. Stone quickly gets an injunction against Max and provides bodyguards to keep him at arm’s length. That plotline peters out, replaced by the far more prosaic dilemma of gallery owner Philip Parsons, who’s worried about his wild child. Hildy, 24, is involved with Derek Sharpe, a sleazy, talentless painter who may also be dealing drugs. Indeed, Stone learns from his erstwhile father-in-law, mob boss Eduardo Bianci, that Sharpe is moving such large quantities of dope that his life is in considerable danger. Further danger to Hildy is posed by Sharpe’s financial advisor, Sig Larsen, poised to snare her in a Ponzi scheme. Once Stone has been drafted into the force by eager-beaver Lt. Brian Doyle, who’s determined to keep the lawyer under his personal control, neither dangers nor complications arise. You’d wonder why Stone thought it worth his while to be involved with the whole affair, if it weren’t for the quality sex: with Carrie, with undercover cop Mitzi Reynolds, with Mitzi and Parsons’s gallery assistant Rita Gammage—but not, readers will be reassured to hear, with the client’s daughter or with Larsen’s willing “wife.”
Competent, routine work less notable for suspense or sleuthing chops than for what goes on, early, often and satisfyingly, between the sheets.