Iron Orchid (Holly Barker, No. 5)-Stuart Woods

  • Title: Iron Orchid (Holly Barker, No. 5)
  • Author: Stuart Woods
  • Released: 2006-04-04
  • Language:
  • Pages: 400
  • ISBN: 0451215761
  • ISBN13: 978-0451215765
  • ASIN: 0451215761

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From Publishers Weekly Having ditched her Orchid Beach, Fla., police chief post, returning supersleuth Holly Barker opts for a CIA career in Woods's by-the-numbers thriller, the fourth in the Barker series (Blood Orchid). Barely through basic training at a highly regimented CIA "training farm," Barker's class is suddenly enlisted to track down calculating killer (and opera buff) Teddy Fay (first seen in Woods's Capital Crimes). An ex-CIA agent himself, Fay uses insider information to continue assassinating international political figures who also happen to be enemies of the U.S. Barker stakes out the Metropolitan Opera House, and narrowly misses Teddy in disguise in several contrived set pieces. The narrative accelerates from a somewhat sluggish first half when CIA operatives' solid deliberation moves Barker ever closer to nabbing the elusive Fay—who, by the way, lives mere blocks away from her. But Fay dupes the CIA again, with the help of a Santa Claus costume, and assassinates a Saudi prince before vanishing. Woods's latest lacks the urgent plotting and bracing thrills needed to make it truly memorable, and though Barker is a tough, formidable protagonist, the question remains why she, after absconding with over $5.5 million in untraceable drug money, bothers to clock in at all. Only Barker's dog, Daisy the Doberman, knows for sure. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From As Woods' three different contemporary crime series evolve, their story-lines begin to converge. His latest thriller brings them even closer, when former Orchid Beach police chief Holly Barker leaves her home in Florida to travel to Langley, Virginia, where she begins her training as a CIA officer. At the same time, assassin Teddy Fay, who previously capped several right-wing politicians, has decided to turn his sites on Middle Eastern diplomats with terrorist ties. While Holly completes her training, Fay begins taking out diplomats, leading to political headaches for President Will Lee, as the suspicions mount that the CIA might be responsible for the assassinations. Holly's training is cut short when the CIA decides to place her on a special team sent in to track down Fay, who is such a master of disguise that he manages to elude Holly after spending an evening with her at the opera. Alas, Woods' most charismatic hero, Stone Barrington, makes only a brief appearance and Holly loses much of her sparkle away from the Florida sun. Too much CIA training and a bland villain make this a lackluster outing. Kristine Huntley
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