Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods is the award-winning author of the cop-turned-lawyer Stone Barrington series.

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Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods


  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.16 x 6.75 x 4.18
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; (May 2003)
  • ISBN: 0061013412

    Talk about a bad first day. Major Holly Barker thought she was getting out of a mess when she left the army. She'd been sexually harassed by her superior, but the exigencies of the military legal system wound up wrecking her career. Orchid Beach seemed like the perfect place to start over. Though Chief Marley, an old family friend, was worried about some local increases in the drug trade, the Florida barrier island was not a crime mecca. As the new deputy police chief, Holly would be stepping on the toes of a few Orchid Beach P.D. regulars who were being overlooked for the job, but she would prove her worth in short order. After installing her trailer in Riverview, though, the bad news started to flood the Beach. The chief was found along the side of highway A1A with a bullet through the head, and his closest friend just had his skull blown apart with the chief's shotgun. Now, Holly is the acting chief in a town she hardly knows and with a police force that's full of animosity towards its newly minted leader. Just about the only consolation is that Holly has inherited Daisy, a Doberman who's about the best and most faithful friend a troubled gal could ask for; Daisy's a fierce defender of her master and she knows how to retrieve a beer on command.

    Holly is a new character for Stuart Woods, and the author wastes no time getting readers into the thick of the mystery. This means that character takes a bit of a back seat to plotting in Orchid Beach, but with a mystery this fast-paced, the tradeoff is worthwhile. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Book Description

    A Woman's Best Friend--and Most Lethal Weapon

    New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods delivers a riveting thriller that introduces an exciting addition to the pantheon of fictional sleuths.

    Forced into early retirement at thirty-seven, smart, attractive, and fiercely independent Major Holly Barker trades in her bars as a military cop for the badge of deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida. But below the sunny surface of this sleepy, well-to-do island town lies an evil that escalates into the cold-blooded murder of one of Holly's new colleagues. An outsider, Holly has little to go on for answers and no one to help her--except Daisy, a Doberman of exceptional intelligence and loyalty that becomes her companion and protector. The closer she gets to the truth, the more Holly knows that it'll take one smart dog with guts to sniff out this killer--before he can catch her first.

    Reader Reviews
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful: Woods does it again, September 9, 2002 Reviewer: David W. Nicholas from Montrose, CA Ever since Chiefs, Stuart Woods has had a loyal following. I'm one of the followers, after a fashion. There's no question he's not the second coming of Chandler, or something, or that his characters are very memorable, or anything. He does, however, create relatively interesting plots, and the characters are interesting also, though everything can be a bit predictable. If you've ever read Nelson DeMille, and not read Woods, I consider the two to be virtually interchangeable, except that Woods' books tend to be shorter, and DeMille's tend to be more international and espionage/military oriented. In this book Woods introduces a new character. She's Holly Barker, a just-retired Army MP officer who becomes Assistant Chief of a small-town police department, only to have the chief get shot just as she gets into town, and then to have various odd things begin to happen. There's a mysterious Lieutenant who wants her job, small town politics, a dog who gets beer from the refrigerator, a drifter who is a good suspect for the chief's shooting except for he doesn't act like it, and another murder to solve. Barker has to deal with all of this, an adventurous father, his old army buddies, an amorous defense attorney, a bad cop who's been in jail, and a raft of FBI agents. All very fun, and all told in standard Woods style, which means it reads fast. If you're going to Chicago or NYC or LA on the plane tomorrow, this is probably a good bet.

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