Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Review: 'Power' by Thomas Hollyday

Maryland author Thomas Hollyday understands the intricacies of weaving historical events with fictional characters in the manner that makes both more immediate. His recurring theme is one 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. At the same time he incorporates the stories of machines with those of their human owners. The River Sunday Romance series places each novel in the small town of River Sunday, Maryland, and records the continuing beautiful nature of the area. His writing portrays today's problems, conflicts, and memorable local characters with their loves and their combat with evil. But in addition to these books it should also be noted that Thomas’ concern for ecology is strong: he has even written an excellent book on ‘Water for Backyard Pets and Wildlife’ and one called ‘Nature’s Viewpoint.’ Not that these little books add to the stories of the River Sunday Romances, but they tell us much about an author concerned about important issues outside of the library.

The author's synopsis distills the story best: This hard-hitting story asks if the Internet and its social media are beyond our control. Across the United States mobs of energy protesters outwit police and randomly destroy power companies and oil storage sites. They kill innocent bystanders and cause city blackouts. Meanwhile social media is filled with the popular speaker Cole Tinker promoting his cause, Provide Free Energy To All Citizens.” His millions of fans grow in number while government is unable to prove him responsible for the violence. Businessman John Loggerman has been informed his daughter has disappeared. He plans to search for her as soon as he docks his ship in Baltimore to load oil drilling equipment for Africa. However, a fanatical crowd tries to sabotage his ship and cargo. Its green signs cheer Tinker whom they call the King of the Working People. Loggerman, born in Maine and a former Marine, prepares to defend the ship even though they are outnumbered. Loggerman also investigates his missing daughter and finds she was a volunteer for Tinker. He fears she may have been murdered. He must find a way to combat this King’s secret world and save his friends. He pats the knife at his waist and remembers his old motto, “Wear and Scare.”

Having read other books (both from this River Sunday Romance Series and others) it is not surprising that Thomas has the ongoing ability to involve the reader immediately with well-written dialogue and plot progression that speeds the reader through the novel. He is able to bring memories of previous wars with such veracity that those of us who were directly involved on the battlefield can readily identify. There are many themes in this particular novel that address spiritual issues as well as cultural and historical issues – and that is one of the primary reasons that this ongoing series of books centered on the Chesapeake is so successful – he makes us look at our histories, personal and American – and lifts his messages to a higher level. Grady Harp, May 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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