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From the author of Stone Barrington.
What is the Holly Barker series about?
Written by Stuart Woods, the man behind the Will Lee series and the Stone Barrington series, Holly Barker is a mystery thriller series about Holly Barker, a forced retired major from the United States Army who takes a job as deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida where she has to resolve the cold-blooded murder of one of Holly’s new colleagues.
As an outsider, Holly Barker must face some challenges as nobody wants to talk to her. But Holly is a tenacious woman which will help her resolve crimes in the small town.
Holly Barker’s career will evolve during the series and beyond, as the character becomes a recurring figure in the Stone Barrington books, sometimes as a major player and other times making just a cameo.
How to read the Holly Barker Books in Order?
Every book in the Holly Barker series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Orchid Beach (1998) — Forced into early retirement at thirty-seven, smart, attractive, and fiercely independent Major Holly Barker trades in her bars as a military cop for the badge of deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida. But below the sunny surface of this sleepy, well-to-do island town lies an evil that escalates into the cold-blooded murder of one of Holly’s new colleagues. An outsider, Holly has little to go on for answers and no one to help her—except Daisy, a Doberman of exceptional intelligence and loyalty that becomes her companion and protector. The closer Holly gets to the truth, the more she knows that it’ll take one smart dog with guts to sniff out this killer—before he can catch her first.
- Orchid Blues (2001) — When Holly Barker’s wedding festivities are shattered by a brutal robbery, she vows to find the culprits. With nothing to go on but the inexplicable killing of an innocent bystander, Holly discovers evidence that leads her into the midst of a clan whose members are as mysterious as they are zealous. Holly’s father, Ham, a retired army master sergeant, is her ticket into their strange world. What he finds there boggles the mind and sucks them all—Holly, Ham, and Daisy—into a whirlpool of crazed criminality from which even the FBI can’t save them…
- Blood Orchid (2002) — Blood Orchid: the name of Ed Shine’s favorite flower—and his latest real-estate venture. New to town, the dapper developer makes the acquaintance of Holly, her father Ham, and her wily Doberman, Daisy. It’s just as Holly’s trying to get her life back together after the shattering loss of someone very close to her. But before she can settle back into her routine, bullets crash into the home of a friend and a floater is found bobbing in the Intercoastal Waterway. Joining forces with a handsome FBI agent, Holly tracks the clues straight back to their source, only to find a scam more lucrative and more dangerous than any this idyllic town—or Holly—has ever seen…
- Reckless Abandon (2004) — A Stone Barrington novel and continuation of Blood Orchid. Stone Barrington is right at home in New York City. But this time he’s joined by the tenacious Holly Barker – the lady police chief of Orchid Island, Florida. She’s come to Manhattan hot on the trail of a fugitive from her jurisdiction.
- Iron Orchid (2005) — When his plane exploded off the coast of Maine, authorities thought they had seen the last of Teddy Fay – the ex-CIA tech wizard who kills his political targets for sport. But now they’ve found irrefutable evidence that he is alive and up to his old tricks. Now working for the CIA, ex-chief-of-police Holly Barker joins the elite task force tracking Fay in New York City. As he begins to pick off America’s enemies one by one, Holly unexpectedly finds herself face-to-face with the killer, kick-starting a high-speed chase through the canyons of midtown Manhattan, the Metropolitan Opera house, Central Park, and the United Nations Plaza, all to prevent another assassination before Fay disappears again – maybe this time for good.
- Hothouse Orchid (2009) — 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.
Holly Barker in the Stone Barrington/Stuart Woods universe:
Following are all the books written by Stuart Woods where Holly Barker appears.
- Orchid Beach (1998)
- Orchid Blues (2001) — Stone Barrington cameo.
- Blood Orchid (2002)
- Reckless Abandon (2004)
- Iron Orchid (2005)
- Dark Harbor (2006)
- Shoot Him If He Runs (2007)
- Hot Mahogany (2008)
- Mounting Fears (2009)
- Hothouse Orchid (2009)
- Santa Fe Edge (2010) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Strategic Moves (2011)
- D.C. Dead (2011)
- Severe Clear (2012)
- Collateral Damage (2013)
- Unintended Consequences (2013)
- Carnal Curiosity (2014) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Paris Match (2014)
- Hot Pursuit (2015)
- Naked Greed (2015) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Foreign Affairs (2015) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Family Jewels (2016) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Dishonorable Intentions (2016) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Sex, Lies, and Serious Money (2016) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Below the Belt (2017)
- Fast and Loose (2017) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Indecent Exposure (2017)
- Quick & Dirty (2017) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Shoot First (2018) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Turbulence (2018)
- A Delicate Touch (2018) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Wild Card (2019) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Skin Game (2019) — Holly Barker cameo.
- Stealth (2019)
Explore the Stuart Woods Universe:
- The Stuart Woods Universe reading order
- Stone Barrington reading order
- Will Lee reading order
- Ed Eagle reading order
- Teddy Fay reading order
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