4 out of 4 stars
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Hiram McDowell is a ruthless go-getter, emphasis on ruthless. He pursues his dreams without recourse to any hurt feelings. His emotionless way of life has him on marriage number three; also on a rapid spiral down the drain. Not that this bothers him in the least. His life eventually spirals out of control, so much that he gets imprisoned. Why? For me, the real story begins here. Little does Hiram know he has just embarked on a soul-searching journey of redemption.
McDowell is a timeless story of life, told from every angle. The protagonist does not see himself as a bad guy. He just has no time for sentiment or emotion. To his family, he is hardly anyone but the guy that provides them with cash. To many of his colleagues, he is nothing but an over-ambitious fellow. And to society, he is the charming doctor with a golden heart. This book gives a realistic reflection on human perception and its shortcomings.
For all suspense lovers, this book would be an absolute treat. It kept me guessing until the unexpected end. I found the story so engaging that I read it straight through to the very end, giving it the better part of a weekend. I also love that the story showcased a few aspects of Nepalese culture, for example, the inhuman practice of Chaupadi. Chaupadi is a tradition that considers girls unclean and unfit to live in the house with other family members when they are menstruating. Despite having been abolished in 2004 by court order, this practice is still widespread in Nepal.
McDowell should be used as a glowing example of great character development. The character of Hiram, the protagonist, is undeniably the best developed, but the author also does justice to the secondary characters. For example, we see Hiram’s son Billy grow from a rather spineless guy to a responsible young man and a better father than Hiram was. Sophie and Paige are other characters I found interesting as well.
The overall theme of redemption struck a chord with me. It emphasizes the belief that if one is willing and able, they can cultivate kindness and other good qualities regardless of their past actions. Of course, there may be no escape from punishment for bad deeds done in the past, as that might be a perversion of justice. This is why although this story ends on a rather sad note, I feel it’s the best way it could have ended.
This is a book I think everyone will enjoy and benefit from. It’s a little difficult for me to recommend it to a specific group. However, if you love crime and family related stories, you should get yourself a copy to read. It has been professionally edited, and I found no grammar errors. McDowell deserves 4 out of 4 stars and gets it from me.
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