Hothouse Orchid


Author: Stuart Woods

Genre: Thriller

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 294

Geographical Setting: Orchid Beach, FL (Fictional)

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): Holly Barker Series: Orchid Beach, Orchid Blues, Blood Orchid, Iron Orchid

Plot Summary:  The CIA sends Special Agent Holly Barker home to Orchid Beach for a long vacation after she allowed an international terrorist to escape twice.  Holly, the former police chief of Orchid Beach, is not home a day before when is attacked and finds herself embroiled in a serial rapist case. Holly finds herself confronting her former commander, Jim Bruno, the new Chief of Police of Orchid Beach, with whom she had charged with sexual harassment. Adding to the fray, is Lauren Cade who is working for the state police and is an investigator on the serial rapist cases.  She was once raped by Bruno who was acquitted of the crime. Is it just coincidence that there are a series of rapes occurring just when Bruno arrives in town?  Holly and Lauren set out to find the criminal behind these rapes that have now also turned into murder. Fast cars, high-speed boats and lifestyles of the well-to-do add to this rapidly moving story.

Subject Headings: Fiction, CIA-Fiction, Holly Barker- Fiction, Florida- Fiction, Police- Florida- Fiction, Police Chiefs- Fiction. Women-Crime Solving-Fiction

Appeal: contemporary, escapist, edgy, fast-paced, open-ended, plot-centered, investigative, multiple points of view, hard-edged, vivid, action-packed, corruption, strong language, dangerous, violent, serial characters, twists

3 terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, engrossing, page-turner

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz
The author tells the story of her and her Yale roommates’ attack and near murder by a man with an axe. No one is ever caught and the author goes back to the scene of the crime fifteen years later and learns about several other murders that took place that year within the area. A haunting story of a woman and her quest to find justice.

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
A classic and Edgar Award winner, this book takes us through the life of the everyday homicide cop. The reader follows various homicide cops and their cases and the toll this type of life takes on them.

The Blooding: The True Story of the Narborough Village Murders by Joseph Wambaugh
The true story of the first serial murderer and rapist who was caught and convicted through the use of DNA. The book does not only focus on the use of DNA testing, but the hunt that the police go through to find the killer.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

A False Dawn by Tom Lowe
Sean O’ Brien, a former Miami homicide detective, lives the lifestyle of the rich. Living on the St. John’s River in Florida, O’Brien has a riverfront cabin, a cabin cruiser and a life he loves. His life of leisure ends when he is a suspect in a string of rape/murders and he has to go back to work to prove his innocence.

Split Image by Robert B. Parker
After a high-ranking crime figure is found dead, Jesse Stone needs to get his act together to solve the crime.  Still battling his alcoholism, and his (latest) failed relationship with his ex-wife, Jess finds help in the form of Sunny Randall, a private investigator. Three plot-lines throw the two of them together in this continuing serial.

True Blue by David Baldacci
Two sisters, Mace Perry an ex-cop just released from prison and Beth Perry the chief of D.C.’s Metro Police, are out to solve the rape and murder of a noteworthy U. S. attorney.  If the two can solve the case, Mace feels that her name will be cleared and she will be reinstated as a cop.  A fast-paced read that takes the reader through the seedier areas of life.

Name: Noreen

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