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Publisher's Summary

An admired and lauded surgeon climbs to the top of his profession. But his callous and questionably moral determination angers colleagues and friends who vow to destroy him. He becomes a member of the president's cabinet when a personal family tragedy presents him with a dilemma that leads to a felonious crime. When his world of wealth and privilege collapses, only time can reveal if he rebuilds his life to garner always-desired esteem.

William H. Coles is the award-winning author of short stories, essays on writing, interviews, and novels in contests such as the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition, among others. He is the creator of storyinliteraryfiction.com, a site dedicated to educational material, a workshop, and examples for writers seeking to create lasting character-based fiction with strong dramatic plots that stimulates thought about the human condition. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

©2015 William H. Coles (P)2015 William H. Coles

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Surprisingly Great

The book is built on questions about McDowell. Some of the questions are answered and some of them aren’t. It’s a masterful story about how a person’s life it affected by things that happen to them throughout their life. Can a person affect their own life and the outcome? How much of your life is affected by what you do versus what the world does to you?

I enjoyed most of the book. I was invested and couldn’t put the book down. I looked forward to getting to know McDowell and learning what happened to him. There were some parts of the story that I felt were flawed.

Some moments in the book were very abrupt. There were a couple of really big moments, really pivotal plot drivers in the book that were written in one sentence. That was jarring and left me as a reader wanting to know more. It pulled me out of the experience of enjoying the story. One spot that was wrapped up too quickly was a key section in the ending.

The other part of the book that was difficult was the first couple of chapters. The beginning of the story was rough. The introductions of the characters felt chaotic, it was difficult to follow. That is why I felt it was surprisingly great. After the first couple chapters of the book the writing smoothed out and I began to enjoy the story.

After a dubious beginning, however, I fell in love with McDowell. I cheered for him, I was sad for him, I was invested in him. The character development of McDowell was deep and complete, it was really well done.

The journey McDowell takes through the book was so interesting. You meet him as a father, a lover, a husband. He is flawed and real. As a reader, my feelings for him were complicated. Often in the book I disliked him and had no sympathy for him. As his journey progresses, he is effected. He changes and my feelings for him changed. That complexity comes from great writing.

The characters around him also are conflicted about him. Most of the additional characters are women. Some love him, some hate him, and in almost every relationship, their feelings evolve about McDowell. Some who loved him are burned by him and seek revenge. Others who are seeking revenge end up liking him.

The twists and turns of the plot are believable and addicting. The ending felt good. It felt appropriate for the characters. Other than a couple of flaws, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend McDowell to other readers.

Another reason I was suprised by how much I enjoyed this book was because the author is the narrator. Often, authors are terrible narrators, but in this case, the narration was awesome. It was one of the best parts of the experience.

Overall, I enjoyed and would recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful