cover image ORCHID BLUES


Stuart Woods, , read by Jan Maxwell. . Putnam Audio, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-399-14820-0

Audio Reviews reflect PW's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.

FictionORCHID BLUESStuart Woods, read by Jan Maxwell. Putnam Audio, abridged, four cassettes, 5.5 hrs., $24.95 ISBN 0-399-14820-5

Police Chief Holly Barker, Woods's popular heroine from Orchid Beach, is back, and this time it's personal. The morning of their wedding day, Barker's fiancé is shot and killed during a bank robbery. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the robbers are part of a much larger, more dangerous organization whose schemes could affect the future of the country. Along with her Doberman, Daisy, and her father, Ham (a retired army chief master sergeant), Barker begins to peel away the layers of mystery surrounding the killers, and what they find is truly shocking. Maxwell's reading is strong and confident. A veteran theater and film actress, she is quite adept at separating each character by accent and tone. Overall, however, the power of her performance comes from the reader's and protagonist's shared strength and engaging personality. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Oct. 1, 2001). (Oct.)