McDowell by William H. Coles is an engaging audiobook that follows the tragic story of a successful surgeon, McDowell. He is brilliant and very skilled, a man who is good at his job and who also gets the attention of the White House. But his arrogance and pride make him detested by his peers but that doesn’t worry him. He only cares about his family. His troubles begin when his grandson goes on a killing spree and then attempts suicide, which leaves him brain dead. When his grandson dies under questionable circumstances, McDowell is convicted for second-degree murder. Imprisoned, he succeeds in escaping jail and becomes a fugitive. Can he ever find meaning and restore his life?
The protagonist is a compelling character that is so well-developed. He is an intelligent and resourceful character but ruined by pride and arrogance. The contrast between his life before capture and while on the run is brilliantly portrayed and it reflects the reality where people are forced to learn and be humbled by life. The humanity of the characters is well-developed and the author ensures that the story feels real to readers. The elements of the setting are also well crafted, allowing readers to situate themselves when it comes to place and time. The prose is excellent and the themes of family, profession, humanity, and murder are well-developed. The story is narrated by William H. Coles in a voice that mimics the drama and the emotions of the characters. McDowell is professionally recorded and I enjoyed how the narrator honors the pacing, the punctuation, and the POV.