Blood Orchid (Holly Barker Series #3) by Stuart Woods | Audiobook (Cassette) | Barnes & Noble
Blood Orchid (Holly Barker Series #3)

Blood Orchid (Holly Barker Series #3)

4.2 32
by Stuart Woods, Susie Breck, Dick Hill

View All Available Formats & Editions

Chief of Police Holly Barker returns in her third suspenseful adventure-along with her father Ham and Daisy the Doberman. This time, they get introduced to the cutthroat world of Florida real estate...and uncover a scam as dangerous as it is lucrative.

Author Biography:


Chief of Police Holly Barker returns in her third suspenseful adventure-along with her father Ham and Daisy the Doberman. This time, they get introduced to the cutthroat world of Florida real estate...and uncover a scam as dangerous as it is lucrative.

Author Biography:

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Woods's 24th novel-his third in the Holly Barker series (after Orchid Blues)-the prolific bestselling novelist revisits savvy, sexy ex-MP officer (and her dog, Daisy), now police chief of the small Florida east coast town of Orchid Beach. As the fast-paced but fluffy and rather predictable thriller begins, two out of three Miami bidders for a glitzy, gated residential complex with golf course are shot and killed. The third bidder, orchid fancier Ed Shine, a former New York real estate mogul and new resident of Orchid Beach, narrowly escapes the same fate. Shine renames his newly acquired property Blood Orchid, after an exotic hybrid blossom he has developed-a name that seems gruesomely prophetic when it turns out that the Miami mob may be involved with the property. Meanwhile, Barker, investigating the case and trying to discover who is bugging her beach house, spots the intruder's van from the plane of her flying instructor, Ginny (who is also her dad Ham's new bedmate). The two women make an emergency landing on the beach and scare the perp away, but his body is soon found floating in the Indian River. The trail leads to a shifty Cuban locksmith in Fort Lauderdale and the late intruder's fiance . Enter a Miami restaurateur with mob ties, and corpses pile up as the plot thickens. Woods writes strong action scenes, but his usual flair for tight, creative plotting is sadly missed here. Author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Woods's third novel featuring Orchid Beach, FL, Chief of Police Holly Barker is a suspenseful thriller. This intriguing case begins when she and her father, Ham, visit a new friend, Ed Shine, a property developer from New York who is bidding on prime real estate that the government is selling. During the visit, Ed is shot at, and, shortly after, a body is found floating in the Intercoastal Waterway. The FBI, it turns out, is as interested as Holly, especially after she connects the two crimes. She and an agent join forces but find themselves at odds when the agent, with whom she becomes romantically involved, refuses to share information. Very persistent, Holly proceeds on her own, dealing with a mob operation in Miami and shady activities within her own jurisdiction. Woods's detailed character and plot development are quite apparent in the unabridged version, well read by Dick Hill and Susie Breck. In the abridged program, Alison Fraser captures the essence of the book and still provides a high level of suspense and entertainment. Libraries opting for the abridged set may have to repackage for circulation. Recommended for public libraries.-Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Fast-paced [with] strong action scenes." -Publishers Weekly

"The bestselling author who "keeps you turning page after page." -Washington Post

"A suspenseful, exciting mystery that is sure to please Woods' many fans." -Booklist

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Holly Barker Series, #3
Edition description:
Unabridged, 6 cassettes, 8 hrs.
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 7.26(h) x 1.45(d)

Read an Excerpt


Sara Tennant arrived at her office building in downtown Miami promptly at seven forty-five a.m., as was her habit. She needed only to park her car and use the private elevator to the penthouse suite of Jimenez Properties; she would be at her desk in the little office next to that of her boss, Manuel Jimenez, when he arrived, promptly at eight o'clock, as was his habit.

As she parked her new Toyota Avalon in the reserved space, next to that of her boss, she was surprised and not a little annoyed to see that his Mercedes was already in its spot. She was going to have to start coming in earlier, she thought; she couldn't have Manny getting there before she did.

There was something odd about the Mercedes, she realized, through the fog of her recent sleep. Until she had her morning coffee, a double espresso, she would not think quickly. She sat in the Toyota with the motor still running while she tried to figure it out.

The lights, she decided. The interior lights of the Mercedes were on, and unless she turned them off, Manny would soon have a dead battery. She gathered her small briefcase, purse, coffee thermos, and the Miami Herald and struggled out of her car. She set her things down on the driver's seat and smoothed her skirt before continuing. She was looking forward to reading Carl Hiassen's column in the paper before doing any real work. She loved Hiassen, read all his novels, too, and never missed his column.

She gathered her things once again, closed the car door, and pressed the button on the remote control to lock all the doors and the trunk. Some cars had been broken into in this garage, in spite of the security cameras. She wished Manny had sprung for a garage with a manned entrance, instead of the electronic surveillance; a guard on duty made her feel safer. Embracing her belongings, she walked around Manny's car and saw immediately why the interior lights were on: the driver's door was open. She took another step or two, reaching out for the door, then she peered over the things in her arms and saw what they had concealed until now.

Manny Jimenez was lying on the garage floor in an oddly contorted position.

Heart attack! Sara thought immediately. She had taken a CPR course at her church, and she knew exactly what to do. She put her things on the garage floor, reached out to Manny, and turned him over. Manny had not had a heart attack. A heart attack did not put a hole in his head, and particularly, did not spray his blood and brains across the inside of the Mercedes door. Sara did not pause to take Manny's pulse or put her ear to his chest. He was stiff as a board, and she knew what that meant. She picked up her things and ran for the elevator. As soon as she had opened the door with her key, she was digging in her briefcase for her cellphone.

Steven Steinberg stood on the eighteenth tee of the Doral Country Club's famous course, the Blue Monster, and gazed down the fairway, utterly relaxed and confident. He had played this schmuck from New York like a violin, and now he was going to take his money. Even though Steinberg had an official handicap of six, and even though he should have carried a card that said three, he had allowed his guest to play him neck and neck for seventeen holes. They were now tied at eleven over par, and it was time to crank the handle on the cash register.

Steinberg took his stance, his right foot back a couple of extra inches, and without a practice swing, hit the ball. It started to the right, then turned over and dropped into the middle of the fairway, two hundred and seventy yards down the course.

Fleischman stared after the ball with an expression of disbelief on his face.

"Something wrong?" Steinberg asked.

"Nothing at all," Fleischman replied, teeing up. He swung mightily at the ball and sliced it into a fairway bunker, two hundred and twenty yards down the fairway. He picked up his tee. "So how come, all of a sudden, after seventeen holes, you're outdriving me?"

Steinberg shrugged. "Every now and then I really connect. Don't you, sometimes?"

"Sometimes," Fleischman said. "But not usually on the eighteenth, and not for that kind of length."

They got into Steinberg's customized golf cart. "You know what I'd do if I were you?" he said to his guest.

"No, Steven, what would you do?"

"I'd take a seven wood and go for it."

"Out of a bunker?"

"Why not? It's a shallow bunker; there's enough loft on a seven wood to carry the edge, and you'd find yourself a nice little wedge from the flag. You got a seven wood? You want to borrow mine?" At this stage, he could afford to appear to be generous.

"I've got a seven wood," Fleischman said as the cart drew to a halt next to the bunker. He looked down the fairway toward the flag, checked the depth of the bunker, and pulled his seven wood from his bag.

"Come on," Steinberg said, "you can do it."

Fleischman lined up his shot. "Keep it smooth," he muttered to himself. "Nice easy shot." He swung the club and connected beautifully with the ball. It faded a little but dropped in the fairway, maybe eighty yards from the pin.

"Great shot!" Steinberg said.

"Thanks for the tip," Fleischman replied, getting into the cart.

They stopped next to Steinberg's ball. He didn't even glance down the fairway, just went to his bag and came back with a fairway wood.

"What are you doing with that club?" Fleischman asked. "It's only a hundred and sixty yards to the flag; you'll knock it into the next county."

"This is an eleven wood," Steinberg replied, lining up on the ball. He relaxed, took a breath and let it out, and took a slow-looking, liquid swing at the ball. It rose high into the air, sailed down the fairway, past the guarding bunkers, and dropped onto the green with only a single bounce, stopping four feet from the pin.

"I'm getting one of those," Fleischman muttered.

"You should," Steinberg replied, still holding his finish.

Then Steinberg's head exploded.

For a tiny second before he screamed, Fleischman wondered if cheating at golf could make your head explode.

—from Blood Orchid: A Holly Barker Novel by Stuart Woods, Copyright © October 2002, G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., used by permission.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Fast-paced [with] strong action scenes." -Publishers Weekly

"The bestselling author who "keeps you turning page after page." -Washington Post

"A suspenseful, exciting mystery that is sure to please Woods' many fans." -Booklist

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than sixty novels. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in Florida, Maine, and New Mexico.

Brief Biography

Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York
Date of Birth:
January 9, 1938
Place of Birth:
Manchester, Georgia
B.A., University of Georgia, 1959

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >