In Stuart Woods's Orchid Beach, the first installment in the Holly Barker thriller series, this tale would raise your eyebrows and make your hold your breath. After Holly Barker retires from the military, she receives an offer to help out a family friend, Sheriff Chet Marley from the Orchid Beach PD down in Florida. He has some suspicious information he wanted to tell her. But when she arrives in Orchid Beach, as his deputy sheriff, she later learns that he's been shot and in a coma. As the new sheriff in town, she has suspicions of her own in her new department, when she learns about another murder of Hank Doherty, another family friend. She adopted Doherty's dog Daisy and meets Jackson Oxenhandler, an attorney she met on the first week on the job, and the sparks fly between them. From there, her father retires from the military to join her and wants to help her out pull off a special operation. Under the close scrutiny of the city council to be the new sheriff, she learns about a secret military base on Palmetto Gardens that's closed off to the public and heavily guarded. She becomes under attack and wary of a police mole, until they learn new inside information and bring in the big guns as in the feds to shut that operation down and eliminate the man in charge for going further in a showdown you wouldn't believe in the end.
This was a gripping and fascinating new thriller debut. I cared for Holly and Jackson's blooming romance. I was worried if Holly would make the cut as the new sheriff as she held her own and proved her worthiness. I hated to hear about the mole in her department and the secret military operation near her jurisdiction with Barney Noble as the despicable person who would kill to not have his property blown. I loved the Orchid Beach location in Florida and the Palmetto Gardens for the depicted scenic locations with amazing visuals. This thriller will make you hold your breath, root for Holly and Daisy, curse at the bad guys, and so much more. It has non-stop action, drama, intrigue and a lot of mystery to keep you in suspense with a spark of romance.
Will you take a detour in Orchid Beach?
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