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The American Way


Thomas Holladay


Fiction, Action and Adventure, Historical, Political thriller

Publish Date

June 15, 2021

Short Description

In 1855, a Russian Noble flees the tyranny of Czarist Russia and lands in San Francisco, where historical characters and events teach him that truth and justice are more important than position and wealth.


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Deliberate Justice: The American Way opens with an injury. Count Mikhail Diebitsch Zabalkansky has been wounded in a fight with the grand duke and is saved by his uncle, who advises him to leave Russia to escape retribution. He boards a Yankee clipper ship filled with Chinese immigrants, both slave and free, bound for America, where he's nursed back to health and looks forward to the promise of a new life in a young new land.

There, he faces continued threats in San Franciscofor very different reasons, and escapes death several times, only to find that this new land is replete with danger.

Mikhail's recovery from new attacks involves more than physical healing. He is charged with changing his attitude and approach to life in America. He is no longer a Count, and must stifle his pompous attitude and views of his place in the world if he is ever to have a life not filled with angst and conflict.

Deliberate Justice holds many twists and turns, marrying social inspection with political and historical facts, adding intrigue and romance into the process, and creating a broad cast of characters that, under another author's hand, might have proved confusingly diverse.

Thomas Holladay brings his characters to life and embraces the social and political motivations for their actions in a manner that requires no prior knowledge of the times in order to prove readily understandable: "Her father had been a very fine pharmacist, down Cantonway. Many British officers had preferred him over their own military doctors. Had the Boxers not forced them to flee north, she and her father would still be living in comfort near the headquarters of the British colonials."

Mikhail is not always a likeable character, and he changes slowly. Even as others try to help him, his attitudes and prejudices often push away the kinds of people who are best suited to help him survive: "How long have I been here?" These filthy Chinese peasants did not understand Russian and Mikhail did not speak Chinese. Why should he bother to learn Chinese? These backward people without hope spoke only gibberish. "Stinking peasants."

These contrasts between different cultures, social and political perspectives, and the adventures that take place during Mikhail's transformative process bring the story to life, giving it an edge and advantage over many historical novels. Mikhail must change immensely to make a new life for himself that embraces others not of his social class.

The fact that he continually finds and sometimes even courts and defies danger during his journey creates a riveting story with many twists and turns.

Deliberate Justice is highly recommended reading for anyone who would absorb social justice issues and history at a higher level, as Molly and Count Mikhail Diebitsch-Zabalkansky bring their world to life.

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Thomas Holladay

Thomas Holladay


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