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Blood Orchid (Holly Barker) Paperback – May 27, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Forget Sneaky Pie and Koko here's a detective who gets help from her Doberman, Daisy. In her third outing, Chief of Police Holly Barker battles a nasty real estate scam even as she recovers from the loss of her fianc .
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Holly Barker (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451208811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451208811
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Orchid Beach, Florida Police Chief, Holly Barker, is on the job as, once again, murder and mayhem visit what should be a quiet and peaceful little seaside town. It appears that someone is trying to manipulate the bidding of Florida prime real estate development by, literally, killing off the competition. The first suspicious deal, Blood Orchid Estates, happens to be in Holly's own backyard. She's on the case, driving from one end of the sunshine state to the other, tracking down leads, shooting bad guys, and working with a secretive, and of course, hunk of an FBI agent, Grant Early. In no time, she's outmaneuvered the feds and uncovered an international plot that includes drugs, money laundering, mobsters, and contract killers..... Stuart Woods is back with the third installment of his Holly Barker novels, and unfortunately, this is a series that goes downhill with each new entry. The story line, though at times entertaining and action-packed, is silly, weak, and predictable, and it's a wonder that it takes Holly and the FBI over two hundred pages to figure out what's going on when it takes the reader less than fifty. Blood Orchid bills itself as a thriller, but the writing is neither suspenseful nor compelling, and the tension never builds. The dialogue is inane and rarely rings true, and Mr Wood's poorly drawn players are all stereotypical cartoon characters, lacking depth, motivation, and most human qualities. Add to that a ridiculous, almost comical climax to finish things off, and you have the makings of a thriller without the thrills. There are a lot of really good novels out there that shouldn't be missed. Unfortunately, Blood Orchid isn't one of them. Don't waste your time.
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Format: Hardcover
As the third book in the Holly Barker series, I believe Blood Orchid is the best yet!
Still recovering from the shock of Jackson's death and trying to move on with her life, Holly must now deal with attacks on her own life! The book opens with Palmetto Gardens up for sale, and the high-bidders in a pool of blood. Enter Ed Shine, the highest bidder left alive, with a hefty 60 million purchase! Palmetto Gardens becomes Blood Orchid Estates, and the corpses start piling up.
There are several attempts made at Holly's own life, and her new boyfriend/under cover FBI friend is not much help, since he and Harry Crisp (making an appearance in each book of the series) are both with-holding information from her...not to mention that someone has bugged her house.
Soon the intruder ends up dead in the river and Barker begins to investigate. She ends up south of Orchid Beach with possible Mob involvement, a dead Russian, a suspicious restaurant, and more and more dead bodies.
Holly must determine who is bugging her and Ham's houses, who is trying to kill her, and why. Is Ed Shine and Blood Orchid involved? Or is this stemming from a past case and someone Holly put behind bars?
The story starts with murder and ends with murder. You will have to read to find out who survives!
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Format: Paperback
Blood Orchid with heroine Holly Barker is less of a insipid tea cup of manners and money than his Stone Barrington novels; there is still some actual detection going on here. But not much. Watching the plot unfold is like watching geriatric softball -- every pitch is long and slow, and it hurts to see the batter swing and miss. Poor Mr. Woods is substituting formula for real action or real work; his works have become the lightest of light reading. I sincerely wish he had kept the regard for his readers that his earlier novels showed. If readers want respect, they would be well served to find it elsewhere. I wish I had.
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Format: Hardcover
Trite. Predictable. And doesn't he proofread his work? Why didn't her dog see the burglar the first time he came into the house?
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Format: Hardcover
It has been almost a year since Jackson died and Holly has buried herself in work trying to block out the pain. The Chief of Police of Orchid Beach, a coastal town on the East Coast of Florida, is usually very quiet. However, when Holly and her father visit a new friend Ed Shine, a sniper fires a shot that almost kills him. Ed is a property developer who bid on a piece of land in Orchid Beach that the federal government is selling and the two other bidders on the property are also assassinated.

Holly immediately connects the dots and sees a link since the property in question was used in drug smuggling. She contacts the FBI and an agent tells her that he is sending an undercover operative into the area on a completely separate assignment. The agent and Holly hit it off but Holly is too busy dodging bullets to give their relationship a chance to grow.

Stuart Woods famous for his Stone Barrington private eye novels has created a whole new series with it's own unique voice. The Holly Barker police procedurals are fun to read because the author imbues a subtle sense of humor in many of the characters. The heroine really doesn't know why she keeps getting shot at yet she still manages to produce a credible investigation. Mr. Woods just keeps getting better with each book he writes.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of Stuart Woods and have read most of his works including all since the mid-1990's. This is not as good as his previous Holly Barker or even Stone Barrington books. Like an earlier reviewer, I skimmed the last 20 or so pages as I was bored, which is very unlike Stuart Woods.
I would still recommend this book but I expected more creativity: this book basically has already been written in an earlier book.
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