4 out of 4 stars
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McDowell is a story of Hiram McDowell, a surgeon who has committed some wrongdoings on the way to the top of his profession. His colleagues find him arrogant and power-hungry. He does save peoples' lives. Being in perfect physical condition, he is an avid mountain climber. Paige, a female journalist, is assigned to write his biography. She finds some financial irregularities and some untruths in his personal life. His grandson, Jeremy, commits mass murder and attempts to commit suicide but fails. He becomes a vegetable, and his death in the hospital comes under scrutiny. Hiram is arrested and convicted of second-degree murder and is to serve twenty-five years in prison. Hiram escapes after one year and has to start a life on the run.
Hiram moves from state to state, hiding in the mountains in hopes he won't be found. His daughter, Sophie, is contracted by Paige to provide pictures to support the story the reporter is writing about him. He begins writing his memoirs and finds a way to contact Sophia.
He feels the strain of solitude and meets a bookstore owner named Maud, her husband and their daughter, Selena. It is interesting to see how William Coles' descriptive narratives of this family begin to change Hiram's life. The dialogue between Maud and Hiram is some of the best writing in the book. When he is recognized by the police, he moves on again to hide from them and the reporter. Each stop he makes is an adventure, and you begin to feel the warmth of his changed personality.
This novel grew on me slowly until I finished the first half of the book. That is when some moral, ethical and spiritual values came into play. The characters then seemed to appear stronger and more believable. You were hoping for Hiram to find a way out of his situation. This is the kind of book that leaves you thinking. The storyline is great, and the personal growth of the main character is inspiring. I enjoyed traveling all over the United States with Hiram and sharing each of his adventures with the people he met and helped.
The story is well-written, and the many characters are strong. It is emotional and thought-provoking. I would recommend this book to adult readers. It is an easy read, and it does have some unexpected twists. Just about every emotion known to man seems to appear in this novel. I rated this book a 4 out of 4 stars and look forward to reading more books by William Coles.
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