In "Reckless Abandon," Stuart Woods brings together two heroes from his previous series, lawyer Stone Barrington and police chief Holly Barker. They work as a team along with Dino Bacchetti of the NYPD to track down and arrest a mob hit man. Things get complicated because the killer also happens to be helping the FBI on an Arab terrorist entrapment, is in the Witness Protection Program, and is under protection of the Mafia. Soon Stone and Holly are in danger, but it is unclear if the FBI, the mob, or the terrorists are after them... perhaps it is all three. There are additional side plots involving the FBI, the CIA, and a thickheaded photographer that caused Stone problems in an earlier novel.
Not only are Stone and Holly together in this story, with the requisite romance on the side, but almost every other major character from Wood's previous books (with the glaring exception of Stone's old flame Arrington) is either part of the action or peripheral to it. It seems like Woods is running out of ideas and is delving into his previous books for material. As a result of the reintroduction of so many previous characters and cases, there are a lot of brief recaps of old story lines, and this distracts the reader from the current plot.
This latest novel is not one of the author's better ones. First, it appears to be a patchwork production into which Woods only put a mediocre effort. Second, some of the plot details are so unbelievable and the reasoning so naive that they are laughable. But in many ways, it is typical Woods: lots of glib and comical dialog, five-page chapters, meals at Elaine's, romps in the bedroom, chases, narrow escapes, and fast-paced action. I don't recommend this for readers new to Stuart Woods because of all the references to past adventures, but for the knowledgeable Barrington/Barker fan, this is an entertaining and light, though mildly lacking, read.