Large Print Edition
By Stuart Woods
Large Print Distribution (2010), 465 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - May 17, 2010
Stuart Woods is the author of forty novels, a travel book, and a memoir. Five of the novels, including this one, focus on Holly Baker, all of which have the word "Orchid" in its title. Holly is very attractive and lively and a very good observer and investigator. She was a military police major for fifteen years until she quite after a colonel who attempted to rape her and who raped another woman, Lauren Cade, was acquitted in a military trial. She then became the police chief of her home town until she was recruited by the CIA. She is now the Assistant Deputy Director of Operations and on a well deserved month vacation back home. Among her past adventures was her failure to capture Teddy Fay, a rich ex-CIA operative, an expert in disguises, who went on a vigilante killing spree to murder criminals after he retired.
In an almost unbelievable coincidence, all of these people appear at her home town. The rapist is now the chief of police and the main suspect in a serial series of rapes where the rapist stops unsuspecting women in what appears to be a police car, and drugs them with a hypnotic drug. He left his early victims alive, but has recently begun to kill them. Holly is stopped by the rapist who drugs her, but she is saved when some people appear on the scene. The other woman who was raped by the colonel, Lauren Cade, left the army a year after Holly and is now working for the state police. And Teddy Fay comes to town in disguise, has consensual sex with a woman who rents him a house, and the woman later becomes a victim of the rapist, who kills her. Teddy is enraged. Holly has a sexual relationship with the doctor who treats her after the rape attempt and he helps reveal information about the rape cases. Lauren Cade has a similar liaison with Teddy Fay. All the sex experiences, in typical Woods fashion, are vigorous and enjoyable.
Stuart Woods' books are a joy to read. The coincidences aside, the story moves along quickly with suspense. The book is filled with the usual multiple sexual experiences, purchases of expensive items, special foods, and a lot of drinking of whiskey and wine before and during meals, with Knox Creek being one of the favorite alcohols, and a fast surprising ending. Woods uses a different style for writing the Holly books. It is not as mannishly and humorously crisp as in his Stone Barrington novels where the principal characters are male, but it is very close to it, and the book a quick and enjoyable read, at least for men who enjoy what Woods customarily places in his books.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.