Bob Cannon
April 06, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wisecracking sleuth Stone Barrington is happier hanging out at Manhattan haunts like Elaine’s, but he’s yanked from his comfort zone in Fresh Disasters when he’s hired by hapless nebbish Herbie Fisher to sue a ruthless crime boss. Thrown into the NYC underworld, Barrington uses his wits, police connections, and seducer’s charm to work the system, even if it costs him an occasional broken bone along the way. In the latest Barrington thriller, Stuart Woods keeps the action moving, the dialogue cracking, the plot twisting, and the babes seemingly melting at the mere sound of his hero’s voice. All in all, it’s a whip-smart thriller that keeps you grinning even as the body count rises. B+

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