Book Review & Giveaway: Powerboat Racer by Thomas Hollyday
By: Thomas Hollyday
Sometimes, when reading a book that is racially charged, the author can go overboard and make readers feel a bit uncomfortable or leave them squirming in their seats. Not so with this book, Powerboat Racer, by author Thomas Hollyday. Instead, he does a great job of bringing to the surface the prejudice that we still struggle with in our country, and how a small town, and big city reporter each deal with it.
The book revolves around Harry Jacobson, who was at one time a highly respected journalist in New York City, but has been fired from his job. Feeling disgraced, he leaves the city and takes a job as an editor for a small paper on the Chesapeake. Being a sleepy town, there is very little “big” news to report, so when some children come across a sucken racing boat said to be lost over 30 years ago. Thinking it is a run of the mill story, he heads out to check it out. When he arrives on-scene, his curiosity is immediately peaked due to the people that have come out to the scene.
After he does some research, the finds out that the boat belonged to a black man, Walker James. The boat, named “Black Duck”, was the scene of a fire that resulted in the death of two white women. After the fire, Walker James was never seen again, nor was his body found – leading the entire community to assume he purposely killed the women and then fled.
Due to the racial controversy in the town, Harry struggles with whether or not he should even cover the story or dredge up old wounds in the community. As he starts to receive threats on his life, he proceeds to uncover the mystery that has plagued this community for over 30 years – and the truth that gives this story its unique twist.
I really enjoyed the story and the characters were very well rounded and believable. Fast paced mystery with many twists and turns – definitely worth the read!
Win a copy for yourself below!
About the Author:
Thomas Hollyday was born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1942. He attended Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Elliott Coleman at The Writing Seminars. After publishing several short stories, poems and drawings, he volunteered for a stint in the Army Counterintelligence Corps which included a year on Vietnam duty. Afterward he entered a business career, but kept writing and doing illustrations. A lifelong member of the Graphic Artists Guild of New York, his illustration work has appeared in such magazines as Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping, where he published the “Christmas Cat.” Besides editorial assignments in small newsletters, he has conducted original research in Maryland history which includes “The China Clipper John Gilpin” published in The Neptune of the Peabody Institute and “Readbourne Revisited” published in the Maryland Historical Magazine. In recent years he has concentrated on completing his novels about an imaginary town in Maryland called River Sunday.