Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Orchid Blues (Holly Barker, #2)” as Want to Read:
Orchid Blues (Holly Barker, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Orchid Blues

(Holly Barker #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  6,552 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Now the bestselling author brings back his small-town chief of police—and her extraordinary Doberman, Daisy—for another exhilarating adventure. . . .

When Holly’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 m
Paperback, 389 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published October 29th 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Orchid Blues, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Orchid Blues

Beastly by Alex FlinnNew Moon by Stephenie MeyerRomeo & Juliet by William ShakespearePride & Prejudice by Jane AustenWicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Flowers on Covers
624 books — 304 voters
My Lady Love by Bridgitte LesleyNew Moon by Stephenie MeyerPride & Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëRomeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
Flower Covers
182 books — 62 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,552 ratings  ·  215 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Orchid Blues (Holly Barker, #2)
Diane Wallace
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great series! thought i'd only like Stone's story and series but this Holly detective mystery is pretty awesome and very entertaining also with some good writing (paperback!)
This, the second book of five featuring Holly Barker, a retired Army MP who is now police chief in the small town of Orchid Beach, Florida. It's not a spoiler to say that within the first few pages of the book, her fiance is brutally killed during a bank robbery. There are two suspects, both recent hires at the bank. There seems to be some evidence that they belong to a group of domestic terrorists. Holly calls an FBI friend and they decide to send in Holly's father, another ex military man, to ...more
Pierre Tassé
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I found this an interesting book and one that I am sure will bring joy and excitement to Stuart Woods fans. I found it a contrast to the Stone Barrington novels of late.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
The plots holes kept bothering me too much to really get into this book. For example, the dead people in the submerged car. It was clearly stated that this family had a son, but unless I missed it, he wasn't in the car, and no one looked for him, just fell off the plot. Annoyed me, cause would holly as chief of police be looking for this kid? Like for his welfare as well as being a potential witness?

And the se had to be the most gullible bad guys of All Time. They shoot someone, the his fiancée
Tony Hisgett
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, review
There’s an explosive start to the book presenting Holly with a difficult and heartbreaking investigation. Unfortunately after a great start I wasn’t quite as enamoured with the rest of the book. It wasn’t a bad novel, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

My main problem with the book is Holly is really a minor character, with her father taking the leading role. Having Ham involved in the investigation is fine, but I read this book for Holly, not her dad and I didn’t really enjoy the whole infiltra
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers, audio-book
Even though these are billed as Holly Barker thrillers it is really or also about her father, a retired military noncom. He may be retired but he sure gets into the thick of the action. This one was not as mysterious or edge of your seat as the previous one. Holly and her dog, Daisy, play a very minor role. I kinda missed the dog.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nowhere near as good as number one. A bit for fetched, even for Stuart Woods.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
#2 in the Holly Barker series. After an Army MP career, Holly starts as police chief of the small FL town of Orchid Beach. Eventually this quick reading series is connected with, and then absorbed by, author Woods' Stone Barrington universe.

Orchid Beach, FL Police Chief Holly Barker series - Holly is on her way to be married to Jackson Oxenhandler, her steady beau, when her wedding day is shattered by a serious crime that takes place very close to home. A highly disciplined team of men hit a ban
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Predictable but enjoyable summer read.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book of his that I have read and it was great!
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy this series and audio book is great. Recommend for a quick mystery read.
Lora Shouse
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Orchid Blues is the second in the series of Holly Barker mysteries. I haven’t read any of the others. Too bad, because if they are all as good as this, they would be worth reading.

Holly Barker is the police chief of Orchid Beach Florida. When the story opens, she is about to marry her boyfriend, Jackson Oxenhandler. Unfortunately, on his last trip to the bank before his wedding, Jackson runs into a bank robbery and somehow manages to get shot and killed.

Holly, understandably, vows revenge.

John P
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fast captivating read if you enjoy the genre. Very short chapters - which I like - help the reader move quickly along. Of course, this sort of crime-caper-manhunt will have to seem at least somewhat contrived but the author does a good job of holding the reader's interest right up to the end.

As far as this reviewer is concerned, the whole 'dog' aspect could have been left out as superfluous, unnecessary, and not very believable.

Now for a couple sore points which also happen to be minor, not ma
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This, the second book of the Holly Barker series, sold me on the character of Holly. Just hours from her wedding Holly's fiancé is gunned down in a bank robbery with no clues to go on. As the police chief of Orchid Beach, Holly is determined to put the pieces together and solve the robbery case and the murder as well.

She and her former military father, Ham Barker, discover a peculiar and secretive group not far from Orchid Beach, and Ham manages to infiltrate the group -- a radical supremacist
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stuart-woods
Holly Barker is the police chief of Orchid Beach Florida. She is also an ancillary character in the Stone Barrington series. The ancillary characters come and go in the series, providing continuity between characters and stories. Each of the separate books is a complete story; sometimes it is helpful to recognize s previously presented characters as they Ten to enhance the stories.
These books are more like serial magazine stories, a television show with its messages delivered 1 episode at a time
Gaurav Deole
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
It is the second in the Holly Barker Series. I continued because I liked the simplicity of the writing and also the pre-digital era in which the plot is set. It's sometimes funny to read the protagonists asking others for the direction even if they are working for FBI.

The plot is simple but lacks the emotional touch. e.g. when protagonist looses the fiancee on the wedding day Holly does not mourn at all and immediately subsumes in duty.

My feeling after completing two of the Stuart woods' book
Paul Fussner
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Woods continues to create new mesmerizing non stop suspense filled books.

The Holly Barker is going to be another Stuart Woods success story that keeps on giving with every page you turn.
I didn't think anything written by Woods could get my juices flowing like the Stone Barrington series, now I'm just as interested in the Barker stories. I can't imagine what took me so long to discover the Holly Barker series, I'm hooked after reading the second book in as many days. This is literary geniu
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stuart Woods is one of my favorite writers around,and "Orchid Blues" is a good reason why. In this installment of the Holly Barker series,the police chief has to investigate a series of bank robberies and the unfortunate murder of her boyfriend Jackson. What starts out as a peaceful getaway quickly spirals into an investigation, very little evidence and a mysterious corpse. Will she be able to solve the case with her father,or is she over her head? A dark, quick and easy read!
Rick Rapp
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a good page turner. A nice distraction for lockdown times. The characters are pretty one-dimensional and the situations are a little far-fetched, but there is enough plausibility (especially in these crazy gun-toting times) to keep a reader interested. I was really curious about how Woods was going to tie up all the loose ends neatly by the end, but he didn't. Leaves room for a sequel or ten, I guess.
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
This is typical Stuart Woods. Fast action with humorous dialogue...easy read. The second Holly Barker novel, Stone Barrington is introduced but has a small part. Again, Holly cooperates with the FBI and they pursue the bad guy; her dad "Ham" goes underground to infiltrate a domestic terrorist gang. The ending is particularly stimulating. The book is reminiscent of one of Woods' best novels--"Chief."
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the Holly Barker series. Having read many books with white supremacists etc, it just gets old and is a 'slight' against patriots, which I believe liberals see as bad people of low IQ and questionable morals. When the going gets rough, you better hope you have loyal and honorable people at your back. As a career military officer, and I realize it's a small thing, but it's a Barrett rifle...not 'Barretts', which keeps being repeated over and over. All for now.
John Sklar
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
Wow, nonstop action until the last few pages. Well written with excellent plot twists. Actually found myself nervous for the characters. Holly is a full rich character and Ham could use a series of his own. Every character that Stuart Woods invents is worthy of a whole book. That might be what makes the books so enjoyable. One to #3.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy read. My nitpicks: How come the bank guy had a family at the beginning of the book but then when they (view spoiler) no one mentioned it. Also Holly seems to (view spoiler) without missing a beat ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best

If you missed how Holly got into the books or if you need to review it, this is it. This is when Woods could actually write well. I guess it was done before he turned out too many books at once and told us not to contact him. Stone Barrington is very briefly introduced.
Brianna Klopf
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
*3.5* This book was pretty good but not as good as the first in the series. In its defense the main subject matter (or should I say the type of crime) isn’t one that interests me so that probably is why.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book was exciting and suspenseful. It was nice to get to know more about Holly Barker and her family. I usually read the Stone Barrington books and she is in quite a few of those. I’ll definitely read more books with her as the main character.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, crime
An excellent Holly Barker story! Her father Ham plays a big role into penetrating a secret group (The Elite). The group is plotting to assassinate someone important but who is it? Filled with action and suspense from beginning to end.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was much more about Holly's father Ham than it was about Holly. And why the heck was Stone Barrington wandering through the story? Not Stuart Woods' best but Holly Barker is still a much better character than Stone Barrington.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine, #2)
  • Ripcord (Billy Beckett Book 3)
  • Weekend in Paris
  • Walk the Wire (Amos Decker #6, Will Robie, #5.5)
  • Not Even for Love
  • The Old Blue Line (Joanna Brady, #15.5)
  • Bloody Genius (Virgil Flowers, #12)
  • Dead Watch
  • Wrath of Poseidon (Fargo Adventures #12)
  • One Good Deed (Archer, #1)
  • Redemption (Amos Decker, #5)
  • The Last Lieutenant (Todd Ingram Book 1)
  • Blindside (Michael Bennett, #12)
  • The River Murders
  • Trader of Secrets (Paul Madriani, #12)
  • Outlaw Mountain (Joanna Brady, #7)
  • Cruel Intent (Ali Reynolds, #4)
  • Evening Star
See similar books…
Stuart Woods is the author the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series. He is an avid private pilot, flying his own jet on book tours. You may see his tour schedule and learn more about the author on his website.

Other books in the series

Holly Barker (6 books)
  • Orchid Beach (Holly Barker, #1)
  • Blood Orchid (Holly Barker #3)
  • Reckless Abandon (Stone Barrington, #10; Holly Barker, #4)
  • Iron Orchid (Holly Barker, #5)
  • Hothouse Orchid (Holly Barker, #6)

Related Articles

Girls who save the world, sweeping dystopias, contemporary love stories, and high fantasy are all staples of the current young adult book landsca...
6 likes · 2 comments