Orchid Blues (Holly Barker Series #2)

( 55 )

Overview

Now the bestselling author brings back his small-town chief of police—and her extraordinary Doberman, Daisy—for another exhilarating adventure. . . .

When Holly’s wedding festivities are shattered by a brutal robbery, she vows to find the culprits. With nothing to go on but the inexplicable killing of an innocent bystander, Holly discovers evidence that leads her into the midst of a clan whose members are as mysterious as they are zealous. Holly’s father, Ham, a retired army ...

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Orchid Blues (Holly Barker Series #2)

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Overview

Now the bestselling author brings back his small-town chief of police—and her extraordinary Doberman, Daisy—for another exhilarating adventure. . . .

When Holly’s wedding festivities are shattered by a brutal robbery, she vows to find the culprits. With nothing to go on but the inexplicable killing of an innocent bystander, Holly discovers evidence that leads her into the midst of a clan whose members are as mysterious as they are zealous. Holly’s father, Ham, a retired army master sergeant, is her ticket into their strange world. What he finds there boggles the mind and sucks them all—Holly, Ham, and Daisy—into a whirlpool of crazed criminality from which even the FBI can’t save them.…

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Holly Barker knows that a good police chief is always on duty, but she expected that her wedding day would be an exception. When a bank robbery (and a murder, to boot) occur not far from her wedding, Holly searches for the culprits with a sense of vengeance. Another bouquet-worthy novel in the Orchid series.
Publishers Weekly
This second thriller in the series Woods inaugurated with Orchid Beach starts with a bang a literal one. While series heroine Holly Barker, a former military police commander turned police chief of smalltown Orchid Beach, Fla., waits at the local courthouse to marry lawyer Jackson Oxenhandler, her fianc? gets himself killed in a shoot-out at Orchid Beach's bank. Once past this shocker of an opening, the thrills quickly deflate. Holly stifles a few sobs, gets back into uniform and sets off to track down the gunmen, a gang of highly organized robbers who planned to heist $4 million in payroll cash. It soon becomes clear that they aren't ordinary robbers, however, appearing to have some connection to a weird little town in a neighboring county, where the average resident is white, male and a gun nut. In the course of his meandering tale, Woods deepens his portraits of Holly and her father, Ham, a retired army noncom, and dog lovers should enjoy the antics of Daisy, the Doberman diva who is Holly's constant companion. Stone Barrington, the cop-turned-lawyer from such Woods bestsellers as L.A. Dead, makes a couple of important cameo appearances. But pages of lifeless dialogue and too much dead air in an already thin narrative eventually stifle most of the book's energy. Woods knows how law enforcement agencies from local cop shops to the Secret Service work, and his action scenes are clean and sharp. But in between there are a lot of empty spaces. 16-city author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Readers Dick Hill and Susie Breck bring excellent talent to this thrilling audio account of Woods's novel, which features Holly Barker, a retired Army Military Police Battalion Commander, now the police chief of Orchard Beach, FL, and her father, Ham. When Holly's fianc is killed as an innocent bystander in a bank robbery pulled off by a highly trained and well organized band of thieves, her world is shattered. With Ham, a retired Army Special Forces master sergeant, she investigates the crime and works with an FBI contact, Harry Crisp. Their prime suspects are part of a large, well-armed national organization of neo-Nazi types that has set up an operation in the Florida swamplands not too far from her town. Ham goes undercover to infiltrate the organization while Holly and the FBI wait to take appropriate action. The plot takes several twists, and the suspense is excellent, ending in an exciting standoff at a Miami hotel and a remote airport. The different voices used by the narrators to bring forth each character add to this entertaining experience. A good choice for library users who are about to take a long and monotonous road trip. Recommended. Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
How could Florida's Orchid Beach Police Chief Holly Barker outdo her action-packed debut (Orchid Beach, 1998)? By losing her bridegroom to the lunatic terrorists who, having failed to kill presidential candidate William Henry Lee in The Run (2000), are trying again now that he's been elected. En route to his wedding to Holly, Jackson Oxenhandler visits a branch of Southern Trust just in time to stop a shotgun blast an otherwise highly professional robber fires against his chief's orders. (Readers who take this as a clue to some deeper design don't know Woods very well.) Luckily, though improbably, Jackson's spent his last few minutes chatting with visiting Woods superhero Stone Barrington (Cold Paradise, p. 289, etc.), who's able to give Holly some wonderfully precise descriptions of the four robbers. A check on the branch's recent hires reveals another amazing coincidence. Two separate employees seem to have been in cahoots with the misguided patriots calling themselves The Elect, one to provide inside dope for the robbery, the other to embezzle funds for the sort of large-bore weapons Holly and her dad Ham stumble on when their attempt to trace a vanished teller brings them to a major-league gun show run by a cadre of survivalists so impressed with Ham's Army pedigree and delivery of terms like "Desert Storm" and "Vietnam" that they take him to their bosom. It's Ham, groomed as a sharpshooting assassin by The Elect, who emerges as the real star of the show, as the lame whodunit disappears with no more trace than Holly's grief for the fiance she lost on their wedding day, leaving a standard anti-terrorist tale that's a custom fit for Woods's comic-strip approach to character. Saturdaymatinee fodder that'll keep you turning pages faster than an Elect recruit can field-strip a sidearm-though it'll help if your own capacity for critical reflection is just as low. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451206718
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Holly Barker Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 200,475
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods
Stuart Woods is the author of twenty-two novels, including seven in the bestselling Stone Barrington series (Cold Paradise, L.A. Dead, and others).

Biography

Stuart Woods was born in 1938 in Manchester, Georgia. After graduating from college and enlisting in the Air National Guard, he moved to New York, where he worked in advertising for the better part of the 1960s. He spent three years in London working for various ad agencies, then moved to Ireland in 1973 to begin his writing career in earnest.

However, despite his best intentions, Woods got sidetracked in Ireland. He was nearly 100 pages into a novel when he discovered the seductive pleasures of sailing. "Everything went to hell," he quips on his web site "All I did was sail." He bought a boat, learned everything he could about celestial navigation, and competed in the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) in 1976, finishing respectably in the middle of the fleet. (Later, he took part in the infamous Fastnet Race of 1979, a yachting competition that ended tragically when a huge storm claimed the lives of 15 sailors and 4 observers. Woods and his crew emerged unharmed.)

Returning to the U.S., Woods wrote two nonfiction books: an account of his transatlantic sailing adventures (Blue Water, Green Skipper) and a travel guide he claims to have written on a whim. But the book that jump-started his career was the opus interruptus begun in Ireland. An absorbing multigenerational mystery set in a small southern town, Chiefs was published in 1981, went on to win an Edgar Award, and was subsequently turned into a television miniseries starring Charlton Heston.

An amazingly prolific author, Woods has gone on to pen dozens of compelling thrillers, juggling stand-alone novels with installments in four successful series. (His most popular protagonists are New York cop-turned-attorney Stone Barrington, introduced in 1991's New York Dead, and plucky Florida police chief Holly Barker, who debuted in 1998's Orchid Beach.) His pleasing mix of high-octane action, likable characters, and sly, subversive humor has made him a hit with readers -- who have returned the favor by propelling his books to the top of the bestseller lists.

Good To Know

Some fascinating facts about Stuart Woods:

His first job was in advertising at BBDO in New York, and his first assignment was to write ads for CBS-TV shows. He recalls: "They consisted of a drawing of the star and one line of exactly 127 characters, including spaces, and I had to write to that length. It taught me to be concise."

He flies his own airplane, a single-engine turboprop called a Jetprop, and tours the country every year in it, including book tours.

He's a partner in a 1929 motor yacht called Belle and spends two or three weeks a year aboard her.

In 1961-62, Woods spent 10 months in Germany with the National Guard at the height of the Berlin Wall Crisis.

In October and November of 1979, he skippered a friend's yacht back across the Atlantic, with a crew of six, calling at the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands and finishing at Antigua in the Caribbean.

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

Read an Excerpt

One
 
HE WAITED UNTIL THE LAST OF THE LINE HAD entered the cinema for the eight o’clock movie.
“All right, let’s take a tour,” he said to the boy at the wheel.
The boy drove slowly around the parking lot.
“Here,” he said.
The boy stopped the car.
The man looked at the parked vehicle. It was an older Ford commercial van, well cared for and clean. “Wait a minute,” he said. He got out of the car and grabbed his tool bag. “Drive over to the edge of the parking lot and wait. When you see the van’s headlights go on, follow me home. I’ll be making a lot of turns.”
“Yessir,” the boy said.
He slipped a pair of rubber gloves on, then  walked over to the van and tried the door. Unlocked. It took him less than a minute to punch the steering lock and start the van. He switched on the lights and checked the odometer: 48,000 miles; not bad. He backed out of the parking space and drove out of the lot, onto the highway. In the rearview mirror he watched the boy fall in behind him, well back. He drove for a couple of minutes, constantly making turns, checking the mirror; then he turned down a dirt road, drove a hundred yards and stopped. The boy stopped behind him. He sat in the van and watched the traffic pass on the highway for five minutes; then he made a U-turn and went back to the highway and headed west. He had two hours before the van’s owner would come out of the movies and discover his loss, but he needed only half an hour.
Twenty-five minutes later, he drove into the little town, and five minutes after that, he pulled the van into the large steel shed behind his business. Half a dozen men, who had been sitting around a poker table, stood up and walked over.
“Looks good,” one of them said.
“It’ll do. Only 48K on the clock, and it runs like a sewing machine. Let’s do it.”
Everybody went to work. First, they donned rubber gloves, then they washed the van thoroughly and cleaned the interior, and fastened two rough wooden benches to the floor. Two men unrolled a large decal and affixed it to the side of the van. Environmental Services, Inc., it read, and in smaller letters, Cleaning up after the world. There was a phone number, too. If anyone rang it, they’d get a pizzeria on U.S. 1. They fixed an identical decal to the opposite side of the van, then changed the license plates, tossing the old ones into the van.
Somebody looked under the hood, fiddled with a couple of things, then closed it. “Good shape,” he said. “The man knows how to take care of a vehicle.” He checked a sticker on the windshield. “Had it serviced last week; nice of him.”
“I hope his insurance is paid up,” someone else said.
“All right,” their leader said, “let’s go over it again.” The poker chips and cards were removed from the big round table, and a large floor plan was spread out. “Number two,” the leader said, “take us through it.”
“We all know it by heart,” somebody said.
“You will when I’m finished,” the leader said. “Then you can all get a good night’s sleep.”
 
When the van was ready they went home and left him alone in the shed. He went to an elongated safe in a corner, tapped the combination into the keypad, and opened it. He removed six Remington riot guns—12-gauge pump shotguns with 18¼-inch barrels, normally used for police work—and took them to the van, laying them on the floor. He went to a  locker and removed six blue jumpsuits—all the same size—took them to the van and put one where each man would sit. Back to the locker to find six yellow construction hard hats, six dust masks and six pairs of tinted safety goggles, which he laid neatly on top of the jumpsuits. He then laid a shotgun on each seat, and placed a box of double-aught shells and a pair of latex surgical gloves beside each shotgun. Finally, he went back to the gun safe, removed six 9mm semiautomatic handguns and boxes of ammunition and distributed them inside the van. The weapons had been bought, one at a time, at gun shows or from unlicensed dealers, then stripped, inspected and, if necessary, repaired. Before reassembly, each part of each weapon had been washed clean with denatured alcohol and oiled. There would be no fingerprints or DNA samples on them.
When he was done, he sat down at the table, stripped off his gloves and poured himself a drink from a bottle of bourbon. He looked at the newspaper clipping again. Eleven o’clock at the courthouse. “Happy occasion,” he said aloud to himself. “And oh so convenient.”

Two

HOLLY BARKER OPENED HER EYES AND FELT FOR Jackson. His side of the bed was empty, and she could hear the shower running. She moved her hand to the warm place on her stomach and found Daisy’s head. She scratched behind an ear and was answered with a small sigh. Daisy was a Doberman pinscher, and she liked to sleep with her head on Holly’s belly.
Holly heard the shower turn off and, a moment later, Jackson’s bare feet padding across the bedroom carpet. She raised her head, tucked a pillow under it and eyed him—naked, wet hair, in a hurry. She liked him naked.
“So,” she said, “where am I going on my honeymoon?”
“Same place as I am,” Jackson replied, stepping into his boxer shorts and selecting a white shirt from a drawer.
“I’m relieved to hear it,” she said. “And where is that?”
“Someplace you’ll probably like,” he said.
Probably like? You’re not even sure I’m going to like it?”
“I think you will,” he said, “but, in the immortal words of Fats Waller, ‘One never knows, do one?’ ”
“This is how you treat your wife?”
“I don’t have a wife.”
“You will by high noon, or my daddy will shoot you.”
“Ham wouldn’t shoot me; he’s too nice a guy.”
“He would, if he knew you wouldn’t tell me where I’m going on my honeymoon.”
“He knows, and that’s enough for Ham.”
“Wait a minute,” she said. “My father knows where I’m going on my honeymoon, and your wife doesn’t?”
“I told you, I don’t have a wife.”
She sat up on one elbow, and the sheet fell away from her breasts. “How will I know what to pack?”
“You packed yesterday,” he said, “and I told you what to pack, remember?”
“Men never know what to pack. What if you screw up?”
“I’ll just have to take that chance.” He pulled on his trousers, found a necktie and started to tie it.
“You’re driving me crazy,” she said, falling back onto the pillow.
“If you don’t pull that sheet over your breasts, you’re going to drive me crazy,” he replied, looking at her in the mirror.
She kicked the sheet completely off, disturbing Daisy’s sleep. “Take that,” she said.
“I intend to,” he said, “when we arrive in . . . whatchacallit.”
“Why are you rushing off ?” she asked seductively.
“Don’t point that thing at me,” Jackson said. “I’ve got a closing in half an hour, then I have to do some dictating before I leave the office and then, on the way to the courthouse, I have to pick up the tickets at the travel agent’s and stop at the bank for some travelers’ checks.”
“Why didn’t you have the tickets sent here?” she asked.
“Because you would have ripped them open to find out where you’re going on your honeymoon.”
He had her there. She fumed.
He slipped into his suit jacket, adjusted his tie, came to the bed and bent over her.
“Why didn’t you dry your hair?”
“I’ll put the top down.” He kissed her on one nipple, then the other.
She giggled. “Sure the closing can wait a few minutes.”
“Would you muss my wedding dress?” he asked. That was how he referred to the white linen suit he had had made for the occasion.
“No, you’re too beautiful.”
“Tell you what, if you’ll call yourself Mrs. Oxenhandler for the rest of your life, I’ll tell you where you’re going on your honeymoon.”
“Jackson, I keep telling you: nobody would choose  to be called Mrs. Oxenhandler. You’re stuck, you were born with it. Can you imagine my cops calling me Chief Oxenhandler? They couldn’t keep a straight face.”
“I think that’s a very dignified name for a chief of police,” Jackson said, trying to look hurt.
“It’s a very dignified name for someone who handles oxen,” she said.
“Well,” he sighed, “I guess you’ll find out where you’re going on your honeymoon when you get there.”
She pulled the sheet over her head. “You won’t even tell me then!” she cried. She pulled down the sheet again, and he was standing in the bedroom doorway, looking splendid in his new suit.
“See you at the courthouse,” he said.
“In Judge Chandler’s courtroom, and you’d better be there early!” she called after him. She fell back on the bed. She would always remember that picture of him, standing in the doorway in his white linen suit and gold tie, with his hair still wet.
Holly got out of bed, brushed her teeth and got into the shower, reaching for the shampoo. She had let her hair grow, and it was nearly down to her  shoulders, though she wore it up when she was in uniform, which was most of the time. She was allowing herself two hours for the process—washing, rolling and drying her hair, putting on a little makeup, which she rarely wore, and getting into the short white sheath that would be her wedding dress.
Daisy lay on the bathroom mat, watching her through the clear glass shower door, waiting patiently for her breakfast and to be let out. Holly laughed. Daisy would be her maid of honor; Holly had trained her to carry the bouquet all the way to the front of the courtroom before handing it to her. Daisy could do anything.
Holly felt that she could do anything, too. She was bursting with happiness and expectation and with trying to figure out where Jackson was taking her on her honeymoon.
She got out of the shower and called her office’s direct line.
“Chief Barker’s office,” her secretary and office manager, Helen Tubman, said.
“Hi, it’s me. What’s happening?”
 

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    D

    Dv

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Wetyjl bnljhyouoyjcbx.

    Ijhtfggjjhgkjd khuhh

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What's with the N123TF????

    A good story but marred by a major plot screw-up.
    First, a major character enters in the beginning, Stone Barrington, then he just disappears. His airplane's tail number is N123TF. Later on, long after Stone is gone, we suddenly see the antagonist "John" flying a plane with the exact same N123TF tail number. I could have let it go, but the number is continually in your face, like it's important. But no, it's not! Holly never makes the connection.
    I think what happened was that early on in the writing of this novel, the author wanted to weave the tail number into the mystery, but then couldn't figure out how to do it. So the connecting plot mechanism is dropped from the plot, but the tail number remains.
    This was either a global cut and paste error or the author sent the wrong draft to the publisher.
    Hello, it's an ebook. Can't someone correct this?
    The discrepancy really spoiled the ending for me, and will continue to for alert mystery readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Orchid Blues - Holly Barker is quickly becoming a favorite of mi

    Orchid Blues - Holly Barker is quickly becoming a favorite of mine!!

    For a more in depth review, please visit my blog, Chorley Chronicals!




    I have found that I rather enjoy the Holly Barker series, and found that I absolutely enjoyed listening to Orchid Blues, Book #2, by Stuart Woods!




    I absolutely love Holly as a character! She is the perfect woman character for me. She is strong, charismatic, independent, and doesn't give a darn what anyone else says or thinks, she does what she feels is right! She reminds me of Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren. Holly Barker is quickly becoming one of my favorite leading ladies. And Ham, her father, is just as awesome! He is witty and brave and is obviously where Holly gets all of her great traits from! I'm so glad that he continued on in this series in book two!




    The story was intense and suspenseful! It wasn't your typical detective mystery, which is what I liked most about it! It involved the Orchid Beach Sheriff's Department, the FBI, and mainly the Secret Service, just to give you an idea of the hugeness of the crime at hand, with Ham right at it's center!




    I really enjoyed the fact that there were two narrators for the reading of Orchid Blues. Dick Hill and Susie Breck are such wonderful selections for Holly and Ham. Granted, they do read the other characters, but they do the main characters such justice! I also thoroughly enjoyed the music provided at the beginning and end of each disc. 




    Overall, I can't wait to continue with this series, and loved listening to Orchid Blues.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    ?

    Vvvvv

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    Wasp

    Holy shyt. *looks around.* Nobody saw that. *kneels down and awkwardly pumps on his chest.*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    Ziggy

    * dies*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Loved it

    Stuart wood is a wonderful storyteller! I couldnt put it down. Great read for anyone that likes to be kept guessing.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    An Incredible book

    Stuart Woods did it again. I've never read one of his books that was not fantastic...and this one is no exception. Holly Barker is just enough "out of the norm" to make her a fun character to follow. The cast of characters around her just compliment her character. I highly recommend this book just for fun reading. Once you start it, you'll have a hard time stopping. I do recommend...that you read each of the Holly Barker series of books in sequence. Mr. Woods builds the characters and uses events in one book to springboard into the next. They can be read as "stand alone" and are fantastic in their own right, but they are much more enjoyable if read in sequence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    What happened....

    I enjoyed all the Stone Barrington novels,but was disappointed with his new character Holly Barker. I found the relationship with her father hard to believe, who discusses their sex life with their parents! Also, much slower than the Barrington novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2002

    another winner from Woods

    I have been a fan of Stuart Woods for quite some time now and still get excited when I see a new title by him. He does a stupendous job of creating characters that the reader can easily associate with, and instantly care about. This remains true for Holly Barker and her father Ham. I've read some other reviews that credited Woods' use of previously existing characters to populate his newer titles. I must commend him on this practice as well. Stone Barrington pops up in Orchid Blues, only briefly and with limited plot importance, to give a familiarity to this novel and its setting. As always, I greatly enjoyed Woods style and choice of settings. His knowledge of technology is extensive, yet he explains it in layman's terms. My only criticism would be to provide better closure, or perhaps explanation, on the relationship between the heroine Holly and her FBI friend Harry. Tensions and mistrust existed between them at the end and were never resolved. Otherwise an excellent read and great fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    AWESOME!! Can't put it down once you start!!

    Once again, Stuart Woods has written a delightful book that cannot be put down. The story grips you in the first few pages and the excitement continues to the very last page. I was reminded again why I like to read his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    He's setting us up for a big one ...

    As usual, once I started reading, I couldn't stop. This one grabs your interest from page one, and makes you want to keep reading even after the last page. I loved the cameo appearance of Stone Barrington and the mention of Will Lee. I think Stuart Woods is setting us up for a really big one: Stone Barrington, Holly Barker and Will Lee, all together in one awesome book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2001

    Stuart does it again!

    Another great read by Stuart Woods. Hope many more Holly and Ham novels are coming. Maybe Stone Barrington will have more than a cameo appreance in future books. Dog lovers will love the maid of honor. I really enjoy Stuart Woods novels but am ready for a more complete book from him rather than the 'TV episodes' he has been turning out lately. One on the line and depth of 'Chiefs' would be welcome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2001

    two voices = twice as good audio

    Just as two heads are better than one two voices, those of Dick Hill and Susie Breck, beat one in this satisfying reading of the second adventure of Police Chief Holly Barker and her erstwhile companion, Daisy, an unbelievable Doberman. Holly isn't thinking work but wedding as she's about to tie the knot with her boyfriend, Jackson Oxenhandler. The path to the altar turns rocky when a crime occurs - a bank robbery in Orchid Beach, Florida, and a vicious one at that as the thieves take everything with them except for a dead body. Her investigation takes Holly and her father, Ham, a retired Army sergeant to a rather strange town, Lake Winachobee. Despite its name not much is placid in this little burg as it turns out to be a hotbed of white supremacists who are planning the assassination of an important leader. Stuart Woods has once again proffered a rapid fire plot and a stunning conclusion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2001

    Holly Barker/Stone Barrington - Interesting Combination

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it in one day. Holly is suppose to be the star but Ham, her father, takes the lead in this story. However, Holly does get to meet Stone Barrington and who knows where this could lead? Holly's fiance is killed on her wedding day and she takes the lead investigaing the murder/bank robbery and discovers that it is much deeper than a back robbery gone bad. A must read for Stuart Woods' fans.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Engaging mystery

    Holly Barker is going to the chapel to get married. Her best friend Daisy, her Doberman Pincher, will serve as the maid of honor. However, Holly¿s elation abruptly turns to horror when her fiancé is murdered during a bank robbery that turned violent. Holly leads the official investigation that takes her to a town not found on the most detailed of maps. The inhabitants are white supremacists who recruit Holly¿s dad Ham into joining their organization. <P> Ham pretends to join the militia and quickly assumes a key role amidst the group. Holly and her law enforcement peers obtain Ham¿s cooperation and he places listening devices in the organization¿s encampment. This enables them to learn that Ham is selected to assassinate a VIP, but no one knows whom the intended victim is. Unless they can learn the identity of the target, someone will die. <P> Stuart Woods has his more famous character Stone Barrington makes cameo appearances in ORCHID BLUES, which allows fans to feel a greater connection to the Barker series. Holly is a humorous independent soul who copes with grief by diving headfirst into a mystery filled with more twists and turns than that found in a maze. This is a good read on a cold winter¿s night. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

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