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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Slave Graves by Thomas Hollyday...a review

Slave Graves is currently free on Amazon and you might want to head over there right now to snag your Kindle copy. It's the first in the "River Sunday" series set in backwoods Maryland featuring a university archaeologist named Frank Light. (If this were a romance series instead of a mystery, "River Sunday" would be the name of the heroine.)

Frank is out in the mosquito-ridden marshes because real estate financier Jake Tennent wants to build a bridge right in the middle of what might be a significant archaeological find. Jake is a friend of the university that employs Frank (and his girlfriend Mello, who teaches some business courses) and when Frank and a ragtag team of students, scholars, and state archaeologists block his plans, he is not a happy man. (It's no coincidence that Terment comes across like a certain New York-based real estate mogul currently running for president.)

While Slave Graves does not have the comic edge of Carl Hiaasen’s work, the eclectic cast of quirky characters and the collision of special interests here reminds us a lot of Hiaasen’s work, particularly The Blue-Tongued Vole.Slave Graves is a story about history--and not just the history represented by a possible ship wreck or the location of a slave cemetery. Waterman Soldado hates Jake Terment and has been feuding with him for years. It's a story about race and class and entitlement. It's about knowing which fights you can win and which you can't. 

So what you have with this book is the entire package--good characters, a twisty plot, and terrific local color. If you're a fan of region-specific mysteries, you will love Slave Graves.


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