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Powerboat Racer by Thomas Hollyday

Powerboat Racer

by Thomas Hollyday

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At first when I picked this book up from the shelf, I wondered what to expect. The cover didn't seem to draw me in as much as other covers do, (this is always something I make note of, even when like in this case, the cover ended up being quite fitting for the book), and I have to admit, it wasn't the kind of book that jumped out at me from page 1, or even page 2.
I can usually finish a book in a couple hours, depending on how long they are of course, but sometimes when they seem slightly, "boring", I tend to start doing other things and come back to it later. Which was what I thought I would be doing with this book. But, it really started to pick up after a few pages, and you start to get to know the main character well.
Harry Jacobsen, is a well, regular guy, with a regular life. he is an editor for a small weekly paper on the Chesapeake. Harry is from New York, and recently was fired from an investigative reporter job, which seemed to embarrass and upset him pretty much. So, he decided to leave the Big Apple, for a much quieter town in Maryland.
Like many other towns, not much really happens there, especially anything real interesting. When a few teens come across the sunken hulk of a racing boat, that was 30 years old, he didn't really expect near what he got from this small town story.
The book really starts to take off, and ends up being about, Walker John Douglas, and the 2 women he killed 30 years earlier, burnt down half the town, and crashed his vessel.
There were a lot of parts of this book that reminded me a lot of a long time favorite of mine, To Kill A Mockingbird, not that the author tried to re do that story by any means, but it is a similar type of book. Racism and racial unrest, are a common issue in the world, 30 years ago, and today. I admire this author for writing such a book, due to the fact that not everybody would accept it, nor would they want to read a book about racial unrest. But this shouldn't upset anybody, as it is written very well, very carefully and professionally.
Harry's presence in this little town, and his investigations of what was once thought and believed to be true about this ordeal, ends up really stirring the place up and ends up being quite a suspenseful book.
The way this book was written, fascinated me, since it started so slowly, and ends up being a story you wish would never end. I've read many, many books through my life, and this is truly one of a kind in this sense.
I often say, never judge a book by it's cover, and I apologize if you read my book reviews and you may have seen this said before, but this is one of those books. It may look like just a book, a story about racing boats, but there is much, much more to this book!

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review ** ( )
  busymommylist | Aug 27, 2012 |
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. ( )
  beckvalleybooks | Aug 18, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0974128767, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:49 -0400)

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