Review by Sahar Majid -- McDowell by William H. Coles

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Sahar Majid
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Review by Sahar Majid -- McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 31 Oct 2018, 11:27

[Following is a volunteer review of "McDowell" by William H. Coles.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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McDowell by William H. Coles is truly one of its kind. It's a testament to the expertise of its author and creates a new standard for novelists wishing to specialize in the genres of crime, family, mystery, and maybe even tragedy (I find it difficult to categorize this book due to its wonderful complexity.). With a compelling plot and succinct writing style, Coles masterfully draws us into this world and then makes us realize that it is actually very similar to our own.

It is a novel that realistically portrays the experience of being human, particularly looking at the evils that one person can possess, but also their capacity to change. The story follows the life of Hiram McDowell, who is first shown on one of his frequent, but dangerous mountain climbing expeditions. Here, we are introduced to him as he leaves his climbing partner behind in the fatal cold, with no effort to save him whatsoever. McDowell is shown to be a self-serving, narcissistic, and sexist protagonist who we later find is a wealthy, well-reputed surgeon. He is married to Carole Mastriano, previously a widow and McDowell's third wife. He provides for Carole and her two daughters, Tasha and Candice. McDowell himself has three children from his past marriages: Ann, Sophie, and Billie. The story kicks off when Paige Sterling, an experienced journalist writing to expose the truth, and particularly invested in the treatment of women, begins to investigate Hiram's problematic business tactics and lifestyle. This is when the lives of all these characters truly intertwine and weave the novel into what it is.

The first part mainly focuses on the introduction of these characters and their situations, acting as a sort of rising action to the story. It pays attention to Hiram McDowell's callous and unlikable character. The second part, however, illustrates the massive changes he goes through in order to achieve some sort of redemption with the help of a bookstore owner named Maud and her family.

This novel is very impressive with its premise, writing, and characters. The plot is utterly gripping, and the writing style is just as captivating in its simplicity. The latter, I found, was very important given how complicated the narrative gets at times, and adds a good balance to the novel in its entirety. Coles also employs this one method where he almost casually states shocking progressions in the novel. This makes the reader curious enough to continue reading. The characters were also absolutely fascinating, and one of the things I loved most about this novel is that it took the time out to provide an intimate look into the lives of each, and every single one. This made it a lot more enjoyable when they mingled and combined to affect the life of Hiram McDowell. The character revelation and development, not just of Hiram but everyone around him, is very realistic and well-done with no situation or character seeming unnecessary or out-of-place.

I will give McDowell by William H. Coles a well-deserved 4 out of 4 stars. I have no complaints whatsoever. It was professionally edited, and a delight to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the genres mentioned above and finds enjoyment in fast-paced plot twists. I would not, however, recommend it to anyone who wants a light read; this novel requires your utmost attention to appreciate it fully. Reading is also discouraged if you dislike strong language. Another point I wish to make is that, although of course interests are very diverse and can vary, I feel that if one finds their primary source of enjoyment in fantasy, then this novel might not be for them. If you are, however, someone looking to explore crime or family genres, then this book is a pretty good place to start.

******
McDowell
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gen_g
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Post by gen_g » 03 Nov 2018, 11:34

Thank you for the detailed review - the book definitely seems heavy, but with an interesting premise.

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Post by Dael Reader » 03 Nov 2018, 11:56

I am not nearly as much of a fan of this book as you are. McDowell never really came across to me as likable or sympathetic, so I really don't see a "major" change in him leading to redemption. But the book does introduce a lot of intriguing issues. Nice review.

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Post by TheRVMom » 03 Nov 2018, 16:14

Very good review. I liked reading your opinions on especially the character development and types of readers who would enjoy this type of book. The fact that you explained the characters are well developed without the unnecessary additions and this is a more fast-paced book makes me think it would be good for me to read. Very helpful! Thanks!

Sahar Majid
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 04 Nov 2018, 03:14

gen_g wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 11:34
Thank you for the detailed review - the book definitely seems heavy, but with an interesting premise.
Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by topdan30 » 04 Nov 2018, 03:49

A book that delights a reader is a book i love reading. Thanks for your review. Great work.

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Post by Cotwani » 04 Nov 2018, 03:52

I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Like Deal Reader I didn't get the feeling the change in Hiram was that drastic. But I agree the author masterfully crafted it. Great review!
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Sahar Majid
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 04 Nov 2018, 04:22

Dael Reader wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 11:56
I am not nearly as much of a fan of this book as you are. McDowell never really came across to me as likable or sympathetic, so I really don't see a "major" change in him leading to redemption. But the book does introduce a lot of intriguing issues. Nice review.
I can definitely understand that perspective because I thought he was absolutely detestable at first. The only thing that was close to saving him for me in the first part was how he loved his children despite disliking a lot of aspects about them. However, I do think that he sincerely tried to make a change later on, and he might have not completely succeeded, but I did find that to be something that I personally needed to appreciate.

Either way, thank you so much for stopping by!

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Post by kdstrack » 04 Nov 2018, 12:25

You give some interesting comments about Hiram. I especially liked the thought about an evil person having the capacity to change. Great writing!

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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 04 Nov 2018, 13:22

kdstrack wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 12:25
You give some interesting comments about Hiram. I especially liked the thought about an evil person having the capacity to change. Great writing!
Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by Quinto » 04 Nov 2018, 23:01

The story on McDowell and his family sounds like an interesting one to read about. The fact that he is self-serving, narcissistic, and sexist, and married to his third wife, only makes his character intriguing. Thanks for an enjoyable review.

Sahar Majid
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 05 Nov 2018, 00:28

Quinto wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 23:01
The story on McDowell and his family sounds like an interesting one to read about. The fact that he is self-serving, narcissistic, and sexist, and married to his third wife, only makes his character intriguing. Thanks for an enjoyable review.
It does. Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by Miriam Molina » 05 Nov 2018, 06:24

I also liked this book. I believe there is a Hiram in each of us. We all have the tendency to be self-serving, but also the capacity for selflessness.

Thanks for an insightful review, Sarah Majid!

Sahar Majid
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 05 Nov 2018, 10:06

Miriam Molina wrote:
05 Nov 2018, 06:24
I also liked this book. I believe there is a Hiram in each of us. We all have the tendency to be self-serving, but also the capacity for selflessness.

Thanks for an insightful review, Sarah Majid!
I completely agree. We all have bad sides to us (but hopefully not as bad a Hiram in the first part). Thanks for reading and commenting!

Sahar Majid
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Sahar Majid » 05 Nov 2018, 12:36

Cotwani wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 03:52
I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Like Deal Reader I didn't get the feeling the change in Hiram was that drastic. But I agree the author masterfully crafted it. Great review!
Thanks for stopping by!

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