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Fast and Loose: A Stone Barrington Novel

Review

Fast and Loose: A Stone Barrington Novel

FAST AND LOOSE, the new Stone Barrington novel, is a product of Stuart Woods’ own background with sailing and powered sea vessels. He is an experienced sailor, having enjoyed the sport for years, with time in competition.  

Woods has concocted a unique way to introduce Stone Barrington to Dr. Paul Carlsson and his daughter, Marisa, also a physician. Their larger, more expansive and expensive yacht has collided with Stone’s boat, leaving his at the bottom of the water. He discovers that his rescuers are owner-founders of the world-famous Carlsson Clinic, with a reputation akin to the Mayo Clinic. Later, over dinner at his place, Stone is informed that the Carlssons will reimburse him for the loss of his yacht with an elaborate replacement. He quickly bonds, both intellectually and sexually, with the charming Marisa. The relationship takes off at a rapid pace, and she reminds him often that her Swedish background is a liberal one in the relationship realm.

"FAST AND LOOSE lives up to its title in raw action, complications and educational information about luxury yachts. Stone’s exploits hardly resemble those of an average American attorney, and Woods gives his fans a magic carpet adventure ride."

FAST AND LOOSE would be but a soupy love story were it not for a complication that develops between a client of Stone’s law firm and his newfound friends. St. Clair Enterprises, the client company, has suffered the loss of its CEO and owner, Christian St. Clair, to a bomb blast. Stone had represented the owner of the locked case that eventually ended up in St. Clair’s hands, ending his life. 

The St. Clair company, now run by his successor, Erik Macher, is active in property acquisition, management and sales, accumulating millions in profit from its ventures. Dr. Carlsson contacts Stone for help when Macher’s company moves to buy out his medical business. The doctors have been generous with employees for years, allowing for stock acquisitions in the corporation. If the owner/employees can be persuaded to invest their holdings in ownership, the takeover can be avoided.

The situation appears simple enough, but Macher puts his ruthless techniques to work early on. Not only has Macher assumed management of St. Clair as CEO, he has acquired the entire personal financial and property items owned by St. Clair, except the amounts left to the dead man’s wife in the will, which was presented to the company’s board of directors as proof of Macher as beneficiary. 

Macher begins an assault on the Carlssons with a phony news item about Legionnaires’ Disease found in their hospital. The scare should drive patients away from treatment, which would allow him to step in with a low-ball offer to scoop up the business. However, Macher underestimates the tenacity of Stone and his good friends, Dino Bachetti, New York City’s police chief, and Ed Rawls, the purveyor of underground news. Events spin toward Macher’s death spiral with “fast and loose” intensity. The man’s deviant behavior escalates from one near-miss to the next, with no apparent ending. The Carlsson Clinic ownership becomes an obsession that drives him to commit multiple crimes.

Meanwhile, Stone’s relationship with Marisa remains “fast and loose” as well. Although she continues to give out the message that she is a true Swede, liberal in love matters, Stone feels a comfort with her approaching a deeper level. In past novels, his romantic trysts have come nowhere near the love shared with his late wife. This time, though, he visualizes what a future might look like married again. 

FAST AND LOOSE lives up to its title in raw action, complications and educational information about luxury yachts. Stone’s exploits hardly resemble those of an average American attorney, and Woods gives his fans a magic carpet adventure ride.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on May 5, 2017

Fast and Loose: A Stone Barrington Novel
by Stuart Woods

  • Publication Date: April 18, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0399574190
  • ISBN-13: 9780399574191