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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review - Slave Graves by Thomas Hollyday

Book Review 
Slave Graves - a novel
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
Dr. Frank Light, archaeologist, is vastly annoyed. He''s settled into a plush life -cushy department-head job at a university, suave girlfriend, book in the works. Now he''s been ordered into the sludgy, back-water marshes of Maryland to fend off hordes of mosquitoes, all because of an inconsequential find at a bridge construction site. 

Maggie, the outspoken state archaeologist working the dig, insists the shipwreck has historical significance. Pastor Allingham is even more vehement, insisting the decaying timbers hide a rumored, long-lost slave graveyard. 

Real estate tycoon Jake Terment is furious that his construction project is held up by the growing concerns of Frank and his team. Jake cranks up the pressure for a quick resolution. Others passionately feel the archaeology project should either come to a crashing halt or press full speed ahead. An eclectic group of butterfly fanatics, a mysterious waterman of Mexican heritage, a curvaceous movie star, and even ghosts make their presence known. 

When several attempts are made on the team''s life, Frank draws on lessons from his Vietnam vet past. He has to decide on which side of this battle to stake his claim - and if he is ready to risk his life again for his beliefs.

Our Review
A novel revolving around greed and secrets when Dr Light is sent by his University to Maryland to investigate an archaeology site to see if any historic relics of importance are there before a new bridge is built.

When he arrives he finds he is under pressure from the local bigwig, who is also offering the university future funding, he wants the dig to be completed quickly and quietly so he can make his money.  As the dig gets underway the Dr's views are challenged and changed as he speaks to the locals and he receives threats as well as attempts on his life.

The story in this book is one close to my heart the fact that a lot of sites or places with historic importance are being lost for future generations to enjoy and are being turned into concrete jungles. Without the full facts being relayed to the general public.

The story is well written in easy language with excellent descriptions of both the characters and the emotions they carry and what drives them to achieve their goals.

As discoveries of importance are uncovered this puts the development in doubt and having spoken to local inhabitants he realises how important this is to their past and his respect grows for the site to be left as it is.  This action brings about a big change in the way he now thinks and cares .

The authors books are all based around one area and the research and historic content of his novels shine through and add life to the stories. With this in mind and as I have read more of  the authors work they have grown in stature and impressed me more and more and I look forward to more of his work.  I would recommend this author to any reader.

Our Rating  

Sharon x

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  1. I love books that have historical significance! This looks like the author has done the research and knows his subject. That makes such a huge difference to me when I read a book!

  2. Oohh! This one sounds good. I also favor historical books. It is great when a person has the courage to stand up for something they believe in.

  3. Historical books always catch my attention. Thank you!


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