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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oh how the mighty fall… Multiple award willing literary fiction author William H. Coles has used his life experiences in the worlds of medicine, music, and writing to create this unforgettable thriller filled with mystery and suspense. Creator of storyinliteraryfiction.com a resources website for the authors, illustrators and readers, William Cole lives and writes in Salt Lake City, Utah. The stories main character Hiram McDowell is a respected surgeon, set on a glorious path to success. However, like many before him, whilst travelling on his meteoric rise to greatness Hiram has no compunction in leaving in his wake the lesser beings (in his opinion), who for a short while have entered his life, fulfilled their roles as wives, sponsors and allies in his rise to fame. An arrogant and self-centred globetrotting celebrity, used to being the centre of attention, he is calculating, ambitious, and domineering towards his children. Highly regarded and used to basking in praised for his good works, he has grown to consider himself invincible, spending his time indulging in his great loves of mountain climbing, music and captivating beautiful women for sex. Throughout the story it is clear how controlling he is towards his children, yet how much he supports and protects them. However, when as a result of a terrible event his grandson Jeremy is left on life support he takes control to a new level when decides to take things in his own hands, and as a result is accused of an horrendous crime, and given a prison sentence. Life changing events do just that, and at this point in the story, the character we know as Hiram changes beyond recognition, as he escapes from prison and becomes a fugitive on the run. Crossing America, living inconspicuously in quiet locations, he evolves into someone totally different, kind and caring, with empathy for those whose lives cross his, everything is documented in his biography, but will it ever be published? Can we escape our past decisions in life, or are they destined forever to define us? This is the question I found myself asking at the end of this absorbing book. Hiram’s character captured my rapt attention from the very first page because of a myriad of reasons, fascination being just one of them. With a totally unexpected end, this story is packed full of mystery and suspense and is one of the best I have ever read.
"McDowell” by William H. Coles is truly a great piece of storytelling, and any literary and character drama fan should go and read this (and the other novels by this author). There are several familiar arch types and tropes that border on cliché, but Coles manages to just avoid it with compelling backstory and genuine character development with the believable relationships that develop amongst the characters (especially with McDowell and his family). While Hiram McDowell is clearly the main figure in this novel (hence the title), he only exists due to the strength of the supporting cast. As with his other novels, Coles’ writing is terrific. However, the strongest part of this book for me is how Coles does a great job of fleshing out his characters so as not to be the stock cut-outs or even the caricatures they could so easily be due to their extraordinary situations (esp. McDowell). It gets close at times, but they are flawed enough and real enough to maintain a sense of believability and gets better as the books progress. Great descriptions and character intrigue pulls us into the world, and complex personal drama and scandals keeps us there. Some adult scenes and language but suitable for mature teens and older.