Orchid Beach

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9780061355264: Orchid Beach

New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods has entertained and engrossed readers with hisfast-paced, suspenseful novels including Swimming to Catalina, Dead in the Water, Dirt, and Chiefs. Now from this master storyteller comes a riveting thriller introducing an exciting addition tothe pantheon of fictional sleuths.

Smart, attractive, and fiercely independent, Major Holly Barker, thearmy-brat daughter of a master sergeant, has been forced into early retirement at the age of thirty-sevenas the result of a scandalous sexual harassment case. With the help of her dad she makes the move tocivilian life, becoming deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida.

But below the calm, sunnysurface of this sleepy, well-to-do coastal island town lies a web of evil and deceit that escalates when acolleague and another associate are brutally gunned down. Alone, an outsider with no clues to go on, findingthe killers won't be easy for Holly, and her seemingly low-key new career soon thrusts her into adangerous game of cat and mouse. Surrounded by a staff of officers she neither knows nor trusts, Hollyfinds help in a most unexpected source--Daisy, a Doberman of exceptional intelligence and loyalty whoquickly becomes her inseparable companion and protector. The closer she gets to unraveling the mystery ofOrchid Beach, however, the nearer Holly comes to danger darker and more deadly than any she could everhave anticipated.

Filled with the dazzling twists and sizzling turns that have made his novels nationalbestsellers and international hits, Orchid Beach ranks as one of Stuart Woods's most inventive andbrilliantly drawn works--an entertaining, nonstop tale that will keep readers on the edge of their seats asis races from the first page to its exhilarating conclusion.

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Product Description:

Smart, attractive, and fiercely independent, Major Holly Barker, the army brat daughter of a master sergeant, has been forced into early retirement at the age of thirty-seven as the result of a scandalous sexual harassment case. With the help of her dad, she makes the move to civilian life, becoming deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida.

But below the calm, sunny surface of this sleepy, well-to-do coastal island town lies a web of evil and deceit that escalates when a colleague and another associate are brutally gunned down. Alone, an outsider with no clues to go on, finding the killers won't be easy for Holly, and her seemingly low-key new career soon thrusts her into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Surrounded by a staff of officers she neither knows nor trusts, Holly finds help in a most unexpected source -- Daisy, a Doberman of exceptional intelligence and loyalty who quickly becomes her inseparable companion and protector. The closer she gets to unraveling the mystery of Orchid Beach, however, the nearer Holly comes to a danger darker and more deadly than any she could have ever anticipated.

Review:

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

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