Mister Miracle: A Thailand Suspense Thriller
Hugh Gallant, aka Mr. Miracle, has survived a lightning strike and a suicide attempt. He’s also won millions in the lottery. Can Hugh survive the machinations of his ex-wife Denise and two thugs, LaGarrett and Bobby who are desperate to steal his money? The action takes place on an exotic Thai beach where Hugh, the thieves, Hugh’s best friend Dutch and singer Dakota find themselves in a labyrinth of plots and counterplots.
Theme of the Book
Mr. Lewis has succeeded in writing a noir novel to rival those of the masters. He has used the human qualities of greed, despair and love to tell a story full of action.
What I Liked About the Story
Most of the characters in Mr. Miracle are highly unlikeable. Hugh is a bully to his Thai assistant, is a loud and obnoxious drunk, yet, as are many bullies, is a weak man who is always seeking attention and approval. Denise, the ex-wife, is hard and grasping and ready to do anything to get the money she thinks she deserves. LaGarrett, a dope-smoking “rapper”, is street smart but greedy and is able to be cold-bloodedly violent. Bobby, the luckless thief, has a violent temper that leads him into all kinds of trouble.
Having said this, these characters make the story move at a pace that is sometimes hard to keep up with. Their ineffective plotting has elements of both humor and despair. They provide enough twists and turns to keep the reader wondering what they will come up with next.
The other two main characters, Dutch and Dakota, provide a bit of romantic relief. Meeting by chance, they feel an instant connection and it is through these two that the romance of a Thai island beach is presented to the reader. The daydream of finding love on a tropical beach is brought to life by the interactions of Dutch and Dakota.
The setting of the novel is perfect for the story. The characters find themselves in Thailand, on an island beach where time has little meaning and life is a slow and easy. This atmosphere contrasts perfectly with LaGarrett’s hectic plotting of ways to steal Hugh’s money.
The reader sees the story from each character’s point of view. This shifting point of view keeps the action immediate and shows the reader the weaknesses and few strengths of each of the protagonists.
What I Didn’t Like About the Story
At times I had problems understanding LaGarrett’s dialect. I would not suggest changing the way he speaks as this is part of his character, but would warn readers that they, too, may have to read bits of the dialogue more than once.
I also did not particularly appreciate the portrayal of the Thai characters who seem to be either sex workers, rip-off artists, or toadies. Only Hugh’s assistant seems to have more depth as we see his resentment and his strengths. The other Thai characters seem more like stereotypes, without much humanity or depth.
I enjoyed Mr. Miracle very much as the noir novel it is. It is full of action and humor, romance and despair. Readers need to be aware of strong language and violence, but it is certainly worth the time and will provide a much-needed change from the thousands of “cozy” mysteries that have been published recently.