The Gifted One
by William D. Hoy
Stratton Press

"Maji still has the Beretta in his hand, and his fingers reflexively squeeze off two rounds."

Andre Roberson is an adventurous young man who spends his time traveling and seeking mental enlightenment as well as physical fitness. Andre's father runs a very successful company that covers Andre's expenses. When news arrives that his father has had a stroke, Andre and his new best friend, Jing Xian, head to San Francisco. They discover that Andre's father is in good health, although there is some stress at the company. The three take the opportunity to go on a camel safari across the Sahara Desert. What begins as a great trip ends in tragedy after a wall collapses, killing Andre's father and paralyzing Andre from the waist down. However, Andre and Jing believe there may be more to the death than just an accident.

Hoy's novel focuses more on the mental growth and enlightenment of the protagonist than it does on the action and adventure parts. Andre reaches an extraordinary level of cognitive ability, which Hoy writes about in detail during Andre's healing. Those interested in mystic arts and enlightenment in general may find this section particularly fascinating. Hoy exhibits a good command of the writing craft. His book is easy to read and well-edited. Also, he does a good job with locations. There are times when the plot seems to be stitched together a little too easily, and the protagonist and his friends always seem to have whatever resource is necessary whenever it is needed. Still, plenty of readers will enjoy escaping into the world of a rich playboy who hones his body and mind to perfection and uses his connections, wealth, and talents to bring evil men to justice.

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