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  1. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    In McDowell, William H. Coles has presented a compelling story of atonement. The atoner is the titular character, Hiram McDowell, who is introduced to us as a gifted surgeon, a ruthless careerist, a shameless philanderer, and in general an amoral, nasty piece of work. His only redeeming feature is his love of his children. That aside, there is nothing to like about Hiram McDowell, and those who he has mistreated in the book will concur with the reader that he needs taking down a peg or two.
    Indeed, this is the initial hook of the story. McDowell is so narcissistic, callous and unlikeable that the reader will want to see him get his comeuppance. And when it comes, it is shattering for McDowell, and ultimately sobering. Stripped of his power and prestige, forced to go on the run from the law, he is forced to learn virtue while living as a poor fugitive. And this spiritual awakening sees the struggle of a deeply flawed man making an effort to become a better person.
    I have no hesitation in giving McDowell 4 out of 4 stars. Coles has provided a well-written and engrossing chronicle of how even the worst of us can improve with honest self-examination and genuine effort, and a story that can provide that is one that everyone can benefit from reading. In short, I recommend McDowell to everyone.
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  2. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    The life of the protagonist has forcible characters filled with a blemish, which at some stage, I had sympathy for. Hiram’s character has unlikeable traits, which changed through his walk to seek redemption. McDowell is a thought-provoking book that will leave readers with questions like “Can someone as pernicious as Hiram find redemption?”.
    The story is an interesting one which compromises of family, love, relationships, family feud, lack of parental guidance, greed, power, money and success. I like the writing style used by the author because it got me engaged immediately I started reading it. McDowell also talks about issues such as journalism, euthanasia, music, divorce, mental illness and the justice system of America.
    There was nothing I didn’t enjoy about this book. I didn’t find any errors in this book. It goes to show that it was professionally edited, therefore, I’ll give McDowell by William H. Coles a 4 out of 4 stars
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  3. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    I give the book 4 out of 4 stars. The style of Cole’s writing is reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor, clean and spare with moments of great beauty. There were scenes in the second half of the book (especially the section set in New Orleans) that were lyrical and conveyed McDowell’s progress on his journey. It isn’t a satisfying book to read. I think that would defeat its purpose, which is to open the reader to meditate about life and what it all means.
    McDowell is one of those books that is hard to classify. It will appeal to those who enjoy literary fiction, especially fans of Flannery O’Connor. And yet, I recommend it to anyone interested in the workings of the human heart. We don’t all climb Mt. Everest, but McDowell’s hopes and dreams are something we can all understand.
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  4. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    The plot is intriguing, and the writing flows smoothly. The author interweaves various topics in such a manner that it is not confusing. None of the issues overshadows each other. For instance, one of the themes is mental illness. One of Hiram’s daughters suffers from anxiety. Due to the events that unfold in her family, her condition worsens.
    I am not sure how I feel about Hiram’s character development. Sometimes, it is as though he is on the edge of some fantastic self-discovery. Other times, not so much. I felt as though there was little emphasis on Hiram’s change. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, the book was not just about Hiram, but also about how his actions affected the lives of others.
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  5. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    McDowell somehow sends us a message. It tells us to be open-minded and considerate with the persons around us. Oftentimes, we tend to be opinionated particularly if we see a pattern of wrongdoings in others. McDowell teaches us to be objective in looking at things and circumstances. For we, too, are not perfect. We do not and cannot know what’s running in someone else’s head and how the circumstances affect his inner being. After all, at the end of the day, life is not all about being on top or bottom, fame and glory. It’s about knowing – or rediscovering – who you are.
    William Coles is one author whose works are worth reading. In fact, I look forward to reading his other books. I recommend McDowell to any age group. Beginner writers can learn a lot from Coles’ style.
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  6. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    As you read this book, you begin to develop several questions. Is it possible to be forgiven for terrible crimes? Is it possible for someone who has lived the majority of their life with no remorse to change? And finally, does Hiram McDowell really deserve everything he gets, or is he treated unjustly because of who he is?
    This book was a different genre than I would normally read, however, I absolutely loved it. This book had me questioning how I felt the entire time I read it. The book had no qualities that I didn’t appreciate.
    I would give this book a 4 out of 4 stars. It was a very enjoyable read. I thought that the book was cleverly written, edited professionally, and contained no mistakes. The story line grips you and doesn’t let go until the very end. This book will make you feel so many emotions.
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  7. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    I believe the appealing quality of this book is its closeness to reality. You read and can actually relate with an event or a character’s emotion. Billie was passionate about music and drumming until he discovered his real gift. Sometimes in life, you may think you have it all figured out until an unexpected step takes you in the direction you were meant to go. At another point during the course of reading, I felt like giving Ann’s character a good shaking due to her anxieties and how it was affecting the children. Later on, I got to discover the origin of her issues and realized that in real life, we have judged a lot of folks without making an effort to make their lives better or discover what actually ails them.
    If you are in search of a good realist novel to curl up with, then I recommend this one for you. I rate it a 4 out of 4 stars. It has a wonderful plot, well-developed characters and can also be read by young adults who could pick some vital lessons from it.
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  8. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    This book is great for those who like works of fiction which most likely will have one reading again just to allow the story to sink and for some reflection. I recommend it to them. The nature of the story will leave the reader questioning the morally acceptable choices we ought to make during critical life and death moments of people who fall under our care. To some extent, such moments in the book may not be for the faint of heart. The role and effect of media on society is also explored in the book. Other themes of interest may stand out to the reader as they read through the book.
    I rate the book with 4 out of 4 stars. There were hardly any grammatical or spelling errors except for deliberate alteration to mimic the manner of speech of various characters. There aren’t many offensive moments in the book, so any grown person can read it without a problem. It may not be good for a young audience though. Like I hinted in the previous paragraphs, this book won’t be one to forget for a long time.
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  9. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    I thoroughly enjoyed the character development of McDowell. William H. Coles very expertly made this character come alive for us. Through powerful dialogues and intriguing plot the reader ends up holding their breath for what will happen next. The catharsis of McDowell redeems his character which makes the reader sympathize with him in the end. We see McDowell’s spiritual transformation when we see him tread the path of the downtrodden. These people are despised and held in contempt by McDowell earlier on in the book. This book gives a message of love and giving.
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  10. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    This novel is delightful, fun, and interesting fictional tale which can keep you glued to your seat turning the pages due to the curiosity of how his struggle will pan out. The novel has a very well mapped plot with much better pacing. The author did a splendid job in introducing characters and well-connected subplots which work as a support to the main story of Hiram’s journey. The author brought out a question on human capability when life turns out contrary to the expectations.
    The book was professionally edited since I found no grammatical errors. It has a nice flow, but it has one weakness where it is difficult to figure out the time differences between some scenarios. The story is appealing to a variety of readers especially those who are intrigued by the study of human nature through fiction, love, and crime, and mystery stories.
    I will conclude by offering this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. This is due to its well-plotted setting, and it is adventurous and filled with suspense together with reasons stated earlier.
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  11. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    The setting of the book was in multiple states of the US due to the travels of Hiram especially in part two, and Kathmandu, Nepal. The setting of the book worked well with the strong dramatic plot that was fast paced but smooth, keeping the reader intrigued and guessing at what may happen next until the very last page of the book. You literally feel as if you had no idea what he will throw at you next, something i particularly liked about it and due to this and the fact that there were few errors in the book, i rate it 4 out of 4 stars which i believe it earned.
    The way that Coles showed the direct and indirect effect that Hiram had on all the characters in the book up until his death was something that i liked due to the realism of the idea. I loved that Cole showed the growth and development of Hiram’s children once they were able to let go and come out from his shadow. This is especially so for Billie and Sophie.
    I recommend this book to those who are looking for something that will intrigue you from beginning to end, i can guarantee that thus book will not disappoint. I recommend it for readers who like to delve into the mysteries of the mind and are willing to deal with the harsh realities represented within which are sadly still a part of our reality.

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  12. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    I enjoyed reading this book. It grabbed my attention from the prologue and held it captive the rest of the way through the book. I also believe that there is also a hidden lesson in this book. It personally made me think about all of the things that I not so much as take for granted but look over and or do not show my appreciation for all of the time. I like that this book did make me feel a lot of emotions which means to me that this is something that I felt deep within my being.
    I give this novel McDowell a 4 out of 4-star rating. I gave it this rating because there were little to no errors that I caught while reading this book. I really enjoyed this book and I would not give it any lower of a rate because as I previously mentioned that I believe that there is a lesson within the contents of this novel.
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  13. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    Ultimately, we can only know another human being by what he says and does.
    That is exactly what author William H Coles gives us in McDowell; an objective examination of a man as seen from different angles – wife, children, co-workers, colleagues, friends, media and the ever-judging public with its own agenda. They surround him like a circle of spotlights flashing on and off. I found this approach challenging and refreshing. The facts are presented, and the reader is left to draw his own conclusions according to his own standards.
    This was a drama that made me ponder on the big questions of life and meaning, something I always cherish, while telling a vivid and nuanced story. I recommend McDowell to readers who are interested in character and motivation in a story which is probably best categorised as Other Fiction. I give this 4 out of 4 stars.
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