December 21, 1998 12:00 PM

by Stuart Woods

Page-turner of the week

Something is fishy in Orchid Beach, Fla. That’s the no-brainer deduction of former Army major Holly Barker, who, in her first few hours as the town’s deputy police chief, finds herself investigating the attempted murder of a prominent citizen. Later that day another body surfaces, and it looks as if Holly’s going to need all of her MP training, plus more than a little luck, to solve the mystery and survive. Doing the detective honors here instead of lawyer Stone Barrington (Woods’s usual sleuth), Holly proves a promising newcomer. Although the bestselling writer (Swimming to Catalina) still treats lesser characters a bit cavalierly, he compensates with an action-packed puzzler. (HarperCollins, $25)

Bottom Line: Swimming in suspense

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