Prather’s Pick: A Stone Barrington novel
If you enjoy reading novels with a storyline about corporate takeovers, business dealings involving millions (even billions) of dollars and the sometimes deadly games sometimes deadly associated with big business deals, this week’s novel is for you. “Fast & Loose” is a new thriller written by Stuart Woods and published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Woods has written more than 60 novels (I counted), plus a novel he co-authored, a memoir and a travel guide. His novels include a number of series, such as the Holly Barker novels, the Ed Eagle novels and three others. This week’s novel is a Stone Barrington Novel.
The novel is part of a series and, yet, can be read alone. Woods has expertly crafted it in such a way that the reader is reminded who Stone Barrington is. In one of the book’s chapters, Barrington tells a female friend about himself.
Barrington is a lawyer. His Barrington Practice is at Woodman & Weld, where he started working after he took a crash course, then the bar, after leaving the police force. He had served as a homicide detective until he was injured. His partner was Dino Bacchetti, who still works with him on cases. Barrington also serves on several boards, including the Board of Strategic Services, which deals in protecting individuals.
Barrington’s wife was murdered, and he has a son, Peter, who is a film director in Los Angeles. His live-in family is a labrador retriever named Bob.
As the novel opens, Barrington is aboard his yacht, enjoying a cruise along Maine’s Penobscot Bay. He is so content he dozes off, but he awakes to a thick fog, the thickest he’s ever seen. It isn’t long before another yacht collides with his, and Barrington is hit on the head by the boat’s boom. When he wakes, he’s in bed on another yacht. Fortunately for him, it’s owned by Dr. Paul Carlsson. Dr. Marissa Carlsson, Paul Carlsson’s daughter, is there, too.
Barrington has a mild concussion, but he’s up and around. He invites the Carlssons to dinner. One thing leads to another, and Barrington and the reader discover that Dr. Marissa Carlsson own the Carlsson Clinics, with locations in several cities.
Meanwhile, the reader learns that a multibillionaire, Christian St. Clair, and his protégé,
Nelson Knott, have been killed. With support of corporate counsel Eric Macher, St. Clair’s right-hand man, has been appointed CEO of St. Clair Enterprises. He can also replace board members and has inherited S. Clair’s personal property. His goal is power.
Before St. Clair’s death, he was working on a takeover offer for the Carlsson Clinics. Now, Dr. Paul Carlsson tells Barrington that he and his family own only 40 percent of the clinics. Through the years, they have given the other stocks to nurses and doctors. Now, these nonfamily members are eager to sell their stock interests.
The take-over is now in Eric Macher’s hands, and his offer is insufficient.
In the end, Barrington offers to represent the Carlssons, which ruffles Macher’s feathers. He’s out for revenge and will stop at nothing to get the clinics. What follows is entertaining and, sometimes, rather humorous reading. I really enjoyed this novel.
You can find this week’s novel at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries. It costs $28 in hardcover.
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