Between the Lines: Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods, a novelist, has completed his forty-first book, Hothouse Orchid, which was released September 22, 2009.

The first few mystery thrillers a person reads are usually sufficiently suspenseful, surprising and, to the novice, seemingly entertaining. But the discerning addicts, who imbibe a consistent dosage of literary fiction, are often disappointed by the plot’s predictable direction and unrealistic events outlined in a majority of published novels. Mr. Woods’ anecdotes and their intrigues though, carry a reputation of not boring the audience. And here’s why.

In works of fiction, it is not uncommon to find the characters’ manner of speech, vocabulary and form of expression monotone and undeviating, dulling the impact of the dialogues. For example, an author may create a doctor, a detective, a prostitute or a killer who all relate identically in speech and mannerism, sending one into a yawning lull. That spiceless acting incites in the reader’s mind a subliminal insult because the conversations and their tonalities are not believable. A novel can be amusing and engrossing if the theme, the protagonists and the eventuation of the storyline are unequivocally plausible. Moreover, it can’t be so outlandish that the average man or woman can’t feel, connect and bond with the characters and their conflicts. Those fundamental canons, wrought in a particular technique, weave the framework that gives rise to the formation of an enthralling drama. And the ability to consistently compose dramatizing scenes that are relatable to everyday people is a distinction that sets a non-fiction writer apart from a novelist.

That gift and his imaginative lifelike prose define the attributes that rank Stuart Woods amongst his contemporaries.

Typically, a fine example of an engaging narrative, besides being delightful, disseminates bits of remotely known information, even matters that may be revelatory to the reader. Inside the pages of Hothouse Orchid, Mr. Woods superbly accomplishes that principle. For instance, he mesmerizes his fans with profound points of fact in the field of aviation. A critic could downplay that praise by citing that Stuart Woods, an experienced pilot himself who owns a private aircraft, did not need to explore that industry and, therefore, the efforts to gather the facts were minimal because his expertise served as the reference for the book. TRUE! However, Stuart Woods illustrates vivid specifics regarding other subjects, too. He titillates his followers by sporadically inserting, in nearly every chapter, pointers on preparing and cooking mouth-salivating recipes that, not only contribute a backdrop atmosphere to a scene, but also indulge the sense of taste. And unless he’s a marvelous culinary artist, such information must have necessitated painstaking research or the consultation of a renowned chef. Equally enlightening is his impartation of the infrastructure and subversive operations of the CIA, the cryptic arm of the American government.

From the onset, Mr. Woods introduces his audience to a micro police department in Orchid Beach, a small town in Florida. The deputies there suspect their chief of being a serial rapist and a murderer. In the unspooling of the complicated plot, this novelist articulates with accuracy the inner functions of the tiny law enforcement agency and its officers. He swells the high moments and deflates them with unexpected defeats, a reality that occurs with frequency in a typical police department, large or otherwise.

Amidst the mysteriousness, romance burgeons in a fashion that hurls the reader reeling in days of years past, when he or she might’ve experienced similar love-struck encounters and didn’t care if the world crumbled to pieces—as long as the new heart throbbing embers kept burning. The settings of the initial courtships develop with invitingly descriptive paragraphs of quaint seaside restaurants nestled in Orchid Beach, a serene coastal community, an ambiance that elevates the audience’s nostalgia. In summation, Stuart Woods produces a hero and a heroine that, combined with those romantic affairs, satisfies all the elements requisite for a gripping, entertaining novel. Indeed, he garnished his latest title, Hothouse Orchid, with an appropriate measure of ingredients essential for a captivating book, while floating the narration in a simplistic style.