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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book Review - Powerboat Racer by Thomas Hollyday

Book Review 
Powerboat Racer
by Thomas Hollyday

About the Author
Thomas Hollyday was born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1942.
Thomas Hollyday (1942-present) was born in Easton, Maryland. His father was an acclaimed photographer and his mother a brilliant teacher.  He grew up in the southern atmosphere of the Eastern Shore with its maritime and military heritage.  He studied writing with Elliott Coleman at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and with C.Michael Curtis of the Atlantic Monthly.  He served with distinction in Vietnam and became a successful international businessman.  He also drew illustrations for national magazines and published maritime and Civil War history. 

He currently edits the Wet Their Whistles newsletter for animal water rights ( He draws the popular humorous Animal Viewpoint Cartoons for newspapers. He continues to please his fans with new novels in his River Sunday Romance Mysteries collection. In his fiction he describes his recurring theme that human settlers since prehistoric times in the Chesapeake region have left a mist of legend and history that permeates its modern stories with a certain compelling truth. 

Book Description
Harry Jacobsen. Disgraced failure of a foreign correspondent, fired from a respected New York City paper. Disheartened, he takes refuge as editor for a small weekly in a quiet town on the Chesapeake. The most excitement he sees is when a trio of children come across the sunken hulk of a racing boat, lost thirty years ago. The black captain, Walker John Douglas, had crashed his vessel after killing two women and burning down half the town in a period of racial unrest. 

Harry''s investigative reporter instincts kick in, and he begins to delve into the history of Walker and the infamous inferno. River Sunday, evenly split between black and white, roils in chaos at his front page headlines. Half the town welcomes the fresh exploration of the civil rights actions, while the other half would rather leave the past alone. The streets are also flooding with tourists as the largest event of the season - a nationally acclaimed powerboat race festival - swells the discussion with high profile personalities and racers who remember Walker''s racially charged legacy. 

As Harry unravels the threads of time and reveals the truth of what happened during the racial clashes of the sixties, the heat levels rise in the once peaceful town. Passionate emotions threaten to spark a fresh wave of riots the likes of which River Sunday had not seen in decades. Harry races to discover the full story in time to save lives - and to save the town from burning anew.

Our Review
An emotive and powerful story based around thirty years of racial tension, mystery and intrigue.  When the boat of Walker John Douglas is found with no body on board, it opens a new investigation to what happened thirty years ago.  Walker Douglas was accused of starting a fire which killed two women and burnt half the town down.  The arrival of a new editor of the weekly paper splits the town into two and racial tensions rise when he decides to seek out the truth. 

The author's understanding of the way people are repressed and the anger and resentment they feel is expertly defined.  As is the way the the oppresses and accusers feel that they are untouchable and by burying their head in the sand the problem will just go away.  

As a reader you feel the injustice that has been dealt out with no real proof and also dismay at the way that certain groups of society are labelled and treated.  You are kept involved in the story all the way through the book, the twists and turns and the trail to truth make it a page turning mystery thriller.  

The story is easily understood and the use of short paragraphs and chapters give the reader time to digest and take the information on board.  I found myself riveted to this book and did not want to finish it.  A really enjoyable and engrossing read and I am looking forward to the authors next book.

Our Rating  


  1. Sounds quite interesting. I will have check it out when our library system gets it.

  2. Sounds like a good book!! Something my hubby might enjoy!

  3. Hi there – you may know about it already but I wanted to remind you about Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads. It is a lovely little linky party where booky blogs link up something about food or cookbooks over the weekend. It was the very first blog hop I ever stumbled over so I have fond thoughts about it. Please do pop by and link up.

  4. This looks like a really good book for my husband. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds like a great mystery!!!!!


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