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Publisher's Summary

A brand-new page-turning Holly Barker novel from the perennially entertaining New York Times best-selling author Stuart Woods.

After Special Agent Holly Barker lets international terrorist Teddy Fay slip through her fingers for a second time, the CIA thinks she might want a long vacation, at least until Teddy is captured and the bad publicity has blown over. So Holly returns to her hometown of Orchid Beach, Florida, where she had been police chief for many years. But a very unpleasant surprise awaits her.

Many years earlier, Holly and another female army officer had brought charges against their commanding officer for sexual harassment, attempted rape, and rape. Holly had managed to fight him off, but the other woman, a young lieutenant, had not. The officer in question was acquitted of all charges, and has also left the army - for a job as Orchid Beach's new police chief.

Will Holly return to the CIA? Or will she challenge her old nemesis for control of the Orchid Beach Police Department?

©2009 Stuart Woods (P)2009 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"Woods glibly lets the reader stay well ahead of the legal posse tracking the killer while still keeping a card or two up his sleeve. Playful dialogue and romantic sexual escapades lighten the atmosphere.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Hothouse Orchid

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • 4 Stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible, no plot, no suspense

Compared to other of Wood's books, including Orchid Beach, this is a real dud. Its just about identifying and apprehending who is a sexual murderer. Sprinkled with other things, like "romance" and job status. Most of it was inane, since there were only 2 suspects, one of whom was identified halfway through the book. The rest was setting traps to catch him. Yawn.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A Nice diversion

A nice trifle. This particular presenter has the gift of never making anything seem that threatening. It's a nice little story, but it never gave me a moment of angst, because the performance let me know everything would be fine. Sex, murder and dis-honesty, it will all work out. Not bad, but definitely from the light hors d'oeuvres section of the menu.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Not Hot Orchid

A disappoint overall. Some moments of entertainment but too many plot inconsistencies to let me accept novel without disbelieve and out right displeasure. Prime example of author's disrespect to the reader's intelligence. The cops get a warrant to sieze the police chief's car to examine the tread on the right front tire. The judge is in court all day so they can't get the warrant until 4 pm (atificial suspense). Do they post a watch on the car? You guessed it, NO! So when they return with the warrant, (You guessed it again) the chief drove the car to the tire store and bought a new tire. Anyone with an ounce of brains knows that once a decision has been made to seize property, the police keep that property under watch until they can actually serve the warrant.
Too much of this kind of stuff.
I finished the novel just to say I finished it. Save your credits!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Where 2 Stars Out of 5 Is High Praise

I now have the dubious distinction of having "read" all of Stuart Woods audiobooks, first to last, in order. Chiefs was exceptional and implanted in me the hope that at least one of the subsequent books would measure up. They never did and this is no exception. The characters' voices (their language not the tone of the narrator) were still more akin to my grandmothers era.

Of course, every character is still rich, super hot, overwhelmingly lucky, and engage in close, intense sexual relationships without much preamble... Let's shag like bunnies.. Oh and what was your name again? Fine, once. Twice, OK. But multiple times per book across a very long series, no friggin way. Wilt Chamberlain didn't shag that often.

Oh wait, also everyone has their own private plane. Everyone has a direct line to the President and the head of the CIA. Everyone drives a Mercedes, even as a rental car. Really, which Hertz is this again? Anyway, my plan (mostly because it seems like Stuart Woods approach too) is to copy and paste this review across several books. I read them all. They are all the same. So they deserve the same review. That said, this one gets 2 stars instead of 1 because 1) Holly is more original than Stone, Eddie, Rick, Will, etc 2) the narration is better, and 3) the threads of believability are closer (yet still so far away) from what was captured in Chiefs.

Why did I read them all, you might ask. Chiefs was fantastic. There were glimmers of hope here and there in the early going with series protagonists Stone, Eddie, Holly, Will, etc. They were as entertaining as reruns of later Love Boat episodes. You always know exactly what you're going to get. You don't have to worry about nuance or complexity or even real adversity. Perfect as a beach or road trip read, because it won't matter if you lose your place or fall asleep (not recommended for the driver in the road trip scenario).

If you want better, try Lee Child or Harlan Coben series. Both are much more believable. Early David Baldacci too. For non-series works, try Linwood Barclay. If anyone else agrees with my assessments and thinks I'm missing out on other alternatives, please post them.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Barely Bearable

The reader of this novel is by far the worst I have encountered. I found myself wanting to abandon the book because of her. Fake accent, very slow and without emotion.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, ridiculous narraration

Cassandra does a ridiculous narrative of a good story. Her attempts at portraying a male character are laughable. It is a serious detraction from the story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

narrator's voice is beyond annoying

the fluctuation in the narrators voice is extreme ... ruins the story and made me want to stop listening half way through.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fan of Barker

The tie-ins to the Stone and Teddy series are fun reads. More to come! Enjoy!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Nice ending.

Enjoyed it thoroughly. Lighter reading but interesting characters and story. Went quickly with great narrative. Pretty good mystery with a couple sudden changes. Leaves some loose ends for future novels.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Holly Barker Series

loved Holly Barker stories. please write more. This series is interesting as well as Stone Barrinton. also LIke this reader best.