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Friday, February 21, 2014

Midwest Book Review Generously Shares Review with New Book Review

Title of Book:  Miracle Man                                           
Author:  William R.  Leibowitz
Publisher:  Manifesto Media Group               
Publication Date:  January 16, 2014
Genre:  Thriller                                                   
Editions:  Paperback and E-book                    
Number of Pages:  385 in E-book;   428 in paperback
Paperback: $12.95  E-book: $4.99
Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Diane Donovan originally for Midwest Book Review

Miracle Man opens on a rainy day with a sad scenario: a baby is abandoned in a dumpster by people too young to be burned with a child and too involved with drugs to care about a tiny life. Fast forward four years: Bobby is being raised by loving foster parents and has a good life despite his near-death experience as a baby; but something is still wrong - which is why they have taken him to a child psychologist for evaluation.

Bobby is developing patterns of behavior that are odd (trances, disturbing nightmares, broken sleep); but what the psychologist discovers is even more disturbing. Far from being a victim of childhood trauma, Bobby is actually a genius operating on a level far removed from anything intelligence tests have measured before.

Bobby's abilities are superhuman and his early interest in the medical field leads to a fascination with curing diseases; something that diverts from the purposes of the military group controlling his advanced education.

To call this novel a 'medical thriller' or a 'political story' would be to do it an injustice. Miracle Man is about miracles, motivations, ethics and morals, and the influence of special interests in the work of genius minds. It's about one 'super' boy's devotion to solving some of medicine's greatest mysteries against forces that would divert these great talents to something darker; and it's ultimately about the ability to withstand moral and ethical temptations against all odds.

Readers are treated to a plot with many twists and turns: it holds intrigue, describes compulsions and diversions, shows how a genius battles dark forces within and outside of himself, and generally paints a powerful picture of a search for privacy as much as meaning: "Every time he received an award or made a discovery, it became an impetus to the press to dredge him up as the subject of a story or special report. The snooping began anew. He hated to admit it, but in retrospect, he was grateful to Orin Varneys for having taken possession of all records relating to his childhood and sealing them under the protection of the OSSIS. Bobby shuddered to think about the field day the media would have if they had been able to discover his past."

A dash of romance would seem impossible under such conditions but even this emerges, even as Bobby's work threatens to separate him from anything resembling a normal life - including love…."But as the weeks went by, Susan began to notice a difference in him. He was becoming increasingly detached from present reality. Even when he wasn’t in one of his frequent trances, he didn’t seem present. Reclusive and paranoid,

he sequestered himself in his office with the door locked—or worked from the guest house for days on end."

Is Bobby a savior or a destroyer? A miracle man or a tortured genius with the power to annihilate himself and the world?

Miracle Man pinpoints the true wellspring of Bobby's genius and what amounts to an ultimate illness defying everything he's worked for and believes in. And so a gripping novel of psychological tension becomes much more than your usual 'medical thriller', and is a pick for any who want high octane action and emotionally-charged reading right up to an unexpected, gripping conclusion.

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