Iron Orchid (Holly Barker Series #4)

Iron Orchid (Holly Barker Series #4)

by Stuart Woods

Hardcover(Large Print)

$32.95 View All Available Formats & Editions


Former small town police chief turned CIA Special Agent Holly Barker tracks a dangerously clever killer in this explosive thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587249181
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Publication date: 10/19/2005
Series: Holly Barker Series , #4
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 6 - 7 Years

About the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than sixty novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in Florida, Maine, and New Mexico.


Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 9, 1938

Place of Birth:

Manchester, Georgia


B.A., University of Georgia, 1959

Read an Excerpt


HOLLY BARKER TOOK AIM and squeezed off a round. Her father, Senior Master Sergeant, U.S. Army (ret.), Hamilton Barker, looked through his hand scope.

“High and to the right,” he said.

“How high and how far to the right of what?” Holly asked in disbelief.

“An inch high and to the right of dead center,” Ham replied. “That’s not good enough. Push with your right hand, pull with your left.”

“That’s what I’ve been doing since I was eight, when you first taught it to me,” Holly said. She took aim and, this time, made a point of pushing and pulling.

“That’s better,” Ham said.

“How much better?”

“A quarter of an inch off dead center,” he said.

“Oh, please,” Holly said, laughing.

“How did the Orchid Beach town council take your resignation as chief of police?” Ham asked.

“They were appropriately sad, except for a couple who looked relieved. At least they accepted my recommendation of Hurd Wallace to replace me. They’re getting a good man.”

“They’re losing a better woman. What are you going to do with your house?”

“One of my young policewomen is going to move into the guesthouse and be my caretaker. I’ll need the house to decompress once in a while. Also to remind me of Jackson.” Jackson Oxenhandler, Holly’s fiancé, had been killed in a bank robbery two years before, an innocent bystander.

Ham went to his range bag and came back with a mahogany box.

“What’s that?”

“Something for you to take with you on the new job.” He handed her the box and a small key.

Holly set down the box, inserted the key and unlocked it. “Oooh,” she said, gazing at the shiny stainless slide with her name engraved on it. “Nice Colt .45.”

“It’s not a Colt, and it’s not a .45,” Ham said. “It’s a nine-millimeter made of Caspian parts. The lightweight frame was designed by Terry Tussey, and the grip holds a round shorter than standard, but it will conceal nicely. Only weighs twenty-one ounces. I thought it might come in handy.”

Holly picked up the small gun and hefted it. “Nice,” she said.

Ham handed her a loaded magazine. “See if you can hit anything with it.”

The target was still set at twenty-five feet. Holly set herself, pushed and pulled and squeezed off the round.

“Half an inch off dead center,” Ham said. “Not bad, considering it’s a three-inch barrel, instead of four.”

“Sweet trigger,” Holly said. “Four, four and a half pounds?”

“Four, exactly. Try it with both eyes open, and use up the magazine, rapid fire.”

Holly obliged.

“That target no longer has a center,” Ham said, a touch of pride in his voice. He went back to his range bag and came back with some gun leather. “Mitch Rosen made you a shoulder rig, a belt and a holster for it,” he said.

“It’s beautiful work,” she said, caressing the mahogany leather. “Thank you, Ham.” She put her arms around him and hugged.

Ham, uncharacteristically, hugged her back, but then he looked a little embarrassed. “What time did you file for?”

“Ten,” Holly said. “My stuff’s in the car.”

“You’ll have to clear out at Fort Pierce for the Bahamas,” Ham said.

“I know, Ham.”

“I don’t know why you want to go to the Bahamas alone for a weekend,” he said.

“I just want to take Daisy and spend the weekend alone; I have a lot to think about.”

“Whatever you say.”

“I’ll be back on Monday, maybe Sunday night, depending on the weather.”


She packed up her things, put her new gun into her range bag and went to the car. She gave Ham a wave and drove off.

AT FOUR O’CLOCK that afternoon, Holly landed the rented Cessna at Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman, having flown first to the Bahamas, checked into a hotel, filed a new flight plan and left Daisy in a prearranged kennel. She dropped off her bag with the doorman at her Georgetown hotel, then kept the cab for the trip to the bank. Refusing the driver’s help, she hefted the two nylon duffels from the trunk of the cab and carried them inside.

A Mr. Dellinger—English, well-tailored and very discreet looking—was waiting for her. He nodded for a guard to take the bags, and the man went into a side room while Dellinger showed her into his office.

“How do you do?” Dellinger said, offering his hand.

“I’m very pleased to meet you,” Holly replied.

“The money will be machine counted in there,” Dellinger said. “It will take a little while; why don’t we get the paperwork done?”

“All right.” She sat down at his desk.

He handed her a sheet of paper. “It’s a very simple form,” he said. “You may use any name you like, and you needn’t put down an address, since we will not be mailing you account statements.”

Holly put down “H. Barker” for a name. “I’d like two credit cards in the same name,” she said. “They may be used by two different people, and I brought a sample signature of the other person.” She gave him a photocopy of Ham’s signature. It was illegible to anyone but her. She signed “H. Barker” for her own card.

The guard came back and handed Dellinger a slip of paper.

“Five million, seven hundred and sixty thousand dollars,” Dellinger said. “Does that sound right?”

“It sounds exactly right.”

“Let me tell you a few things about our service,” Dellinger said, “and I hope you won’t take offense at what may seem to be our assumptions. We give all our clients this information without regard to the amount deposited or the source of the funds.”

“I won’t be offended,” Holly said.

“First of all, because of the way we disperse cash around the world, these funds will immediately become untraceable. In the unlikely event that the United States or any other country should invade our island and take over our bank, they will not find a name on your account, only a number, which will not be in any way traceable to you. The number will not be coded in any way that would reveal even the nationality of the customer.

“The only thing traceable to you would be the credit card charges. When you view your credit card statement, you’ll be given the option of erasing the names of the payees—hotels, restaurants or shops, for instance. Only the amounts and dates of the charges would then appear on your statement, which you may access by entering your account number and a password, which you will designate. You may use as many as three passwords, each from four to twelve letters or digits or a combination of both.”

“That sounds good.”

“It is very important that you never forget the passwords, because if you do, you will not be able to access your account statements. In order to change the passwords, you would have to come personally here, to the bank.”

Holly signed one card and put them both into her pocket.

“The paper I gave you also has instructions for going to your account online,” Dellinger said. “Will there be anything else?”

“No, I think that does it,” Holly said. She shook his hand and left the bank. Now the drug money she had stolen from the hundreds of millions confiscated in a huge raid was safe from anyone but her, and no one would ever be able to prove that she had it. At least, she hoped not.

She spent the night in Georgetown, then, the following morning, flew back to the Bahamas. She spent two days there, shopping, eating and walking on the beach with Daisy, and on Monday morning she flew home to Orchid Beach.


Excerpted from "Iron Orchid"
by .
Copyright © 2006 Stuart Woods.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Iron Orchid (Holly Barker Series #4) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love all of Stuart Woods' books, both Stone Barrington and the Holly Barker series. This was a great story with a great chase. But it was like the author couldn't wrap up the story, he just left the reader hanging which seems so unfair and a waste of a story. Give us a good ending next time!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Teddy Fay Worked for the CIA for forty years, eventually becoming a Tech Services coordinator and when he retired, he erased all his files in the Agency¿s computers. They have no pictures or fingerprints of the man who disappeared with astonishing ease. He started killing Right Wing politician including the Speaker of the House and when he was close to being caught, he blew up the plane he was flying and jumped out into the ocean. P While the FBI and CIA think he is dead, Teddy relocates to New York when he starts killing terrorists, the enemies of America as he calls them. A joint FBI-CIA task force is formed and one of the CIA members is Holly Barker, the former Chief of Police in Orchid Beach, Florida. They recruited her and she eagerly grabbed the chance to become an operative. She is the only agent to see Holly and she is in the forefront of the investigation as Teddy tries to avoid the agents while continuing on his mission. P The antagonist is the focus and the star of IRON ORCHID as he calmly hacks into CIA and FBI computers with the help of an inside source. Readers will be simultaneously drawn to and repelled by this character who marches to his own drummer. The protagonist takes to her CIA training like a duck to water and is able to carry her share of the work load on her uses first case as an agent. Stuart Woods has written a compelling and entertaining cat and mouse caper. P Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like some of Stuart Woods' work and some of it, I just can't get into. This was one I had a hard time getting through. Main characters with too much ego and who never make mistakes even as newbies get on my nerves, so Holly's "I'm better than everyone, even people with more experience" persona irked me.
dekan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is a continuation of a series but can easily be read as an independent writting. it flows really well and keeps you interested. Holly Barker is now on to the cia and training at the farm. her team mates and herself are then shot to new york to help find an old killer that is the master of disquise. it was really enjoyable and tied up all the loose ends at the end, which seems to be a rare thing these days.
CandyH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another book in the Holly Barker series that is just excellent reading.
Hedgepeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cool female lead. The Holly Barker series (4 books) would probably be good for a high school or older reluctant reader.
bluesviola on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Woods always writes a great mystery.
adriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brand new CIA agent helps pursue a serial killer who is doing the FBI and CIA a favor by killing terrorist that they can't touch due to diplomatic immunities. This was a decent read, but not riveting.
ATechwreck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fast moving account of Holly Barker's first case with the CIA. Teddy, the ex-CIA agent, is on the loose killing Middle Eastern diplomats. Easy to read but much of the storyline and dialogue is unbelievable, and pretty silly.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Holly Barker series. This was a fast read, lots of NYC locations and showed how boring undercover stakeouts can be. Holly's recruited for homeland security, goes into training and on assignment in NYC.
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