UNNATURAL ACTS by Stuart Woods


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Now that everything in New York super-lawyer Stone Barrington’s life is perfect, it’s time to start grooming a successor: ex-loser Herbie Fisher, now a junior associate at Woodman & Weld.

Although he’s willing to listen to billionaire Marshall Brennan’s tale of woe about his son Dink’s piddling $200,000 gambling debt, Stone’s too big a player to give the problem his personal attention. So he recommends it be turned over to Herbie, who’s had plenty of personal experience dealing with loan sharks. It’s a good choice. In short order Herbie rouses Dink, gets him to sign a power of attorney, reads him the riot act and packs him off to rehab. Even after Dink jumps out of the van taking him to Winwood Farm and escapes, Herbie promptly tracks him down again and makes sure he’s properly checked in. Meanwhile, Shelley Bach, the deranged serial killer Stone and Lt. Dino Bacchetti identified but didn’t lock up in D.C. Dead (2011), has come to New York and rekindled Dino’s sex life. Not to be outdone between the sheets, Stone, fresh from a quick tumble with U.S. Attorney Tiffany Baldwin (“he knew he was not going to make it through the evening without feeding her pleasure”), picks up theater director Marla Rocker at P.J. Clarke’s and sets about sweeping her off her feet—a job that’s made both easier and more complicated by the fact that publicist Ed Abney, who’s been sending her candy and flowers, just won’t take no for an answer. As Herbie’s star rises at Woodman & Weld, he reflects that he’s overdue for some trouble of his own, and he’s absolutely right. But nothing very bad will happen to Herbie or any of the regulars, though several members of the supporting cast end up rather the worse for wear.

More coherent than most of Stone’s recent adventures, with actual resolutions for the major plot lines instead of the usual annoying to-be-continued signs.

Pub Date: April 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-15886-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2012


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