“China Jewel” by Thomas Hollyday begins in Maryland where Jim Cutter is the Project Manager for the construction of the Peregrine, a nineteenth century sailboat replica, which will participate in a revival of the Great Tea Race organized by China. After a mysterious death of a worker, the Peregrine is finally ready to sail Captained by James, Jim Cutter’s only son. The Peregrine will race against another American, the French, and the British. They will be sailing off the Azores Islands to Brazil, Chile, Peru, Philippines, and China honoring the tea trade route of the 1800’s. The prize totaled a billion dollars cash, and participation with a car factory which planned to reproduce a classic model called Little Mustang.
In this epic race the competitors will embark on a dangerous adventure as they face murder, sabotage and the elements but Jim Cutter must also face the uncovered questionable past of the original Peregrine which could cost him the race, and his own past haunts him when the Peregrine disappears.
Hollyday did a great job researching and presenting the reader with not only the historical facts, but also the technical aspects of sailing a boat in general. It was so well written that any reader who is not familiar with either the history of the Peregrine or sailing, will have no trouble following. I found the plot and story line well written, and interesting, and could not put down the book. My only complaint was that I felt it may have been a little repetitive when it came to Jim Cutter’s past, and that annoyed me a bit. Other than that, the characters were well developed, the plot flowed perfectly, and the descriptions painted clear pictures in my mind. The suspense and pace build up was just right to keep me glued to the pages.
I really enjoyed “China Jewel” by Thomas Hollyday and recommend it to all readers who enjoy immersing themselves in a thrilling adventure filled with intrigue and action. An epic sailboat race from the Atlantic to the Pacific that will keep you engaged, entertained and on the edge. Definitely a great read!