Book Review: Hurt Runs Within, Zoltan Vincze

Book Review: Hurt Runs Within, Zoltan Vincze









Thriller: Hurt Runs Within, Zoltan Vincze


Mackay Connolly’s life changed when the truck he was driving hit two IEDs. His two companions were killed instantly. He should have been as well. His rib cage was completely and irreparably shattered. No amount of time or immobilization would fix that damage.


However, Mackay did not die. His doctor performed a radical and novel procedure, replacing Mackay’s rib cage with a synthetic structure. Part of this replacement also included a chemical change to his blood so it would support the new structure as though it were actual bone.


Returning to England after his medical discharge, Mackay struggles with PTSD and the lingering effects from his wounds. His friends suggest he reach out to the boxing instructor at the facility where he goes for physical therapy. Renee Cross had been an expert in removing mines. Unfortunately, that expertise only allows for one mistake. She lost both of her legs in an explosion. Now, she coaches boxing from her wheelchair, using her mind and her extremely salty vocabulary to train soldiers and former soldiers in the fine art of pummeling.


Mackay and Cross quickly become friends, then more than friends. And Mackay discovers he needs Renee’s help more than he could have imagined. His new body, now healed, gives him incredible speed and stamina. He can run faster than any other human, and maintain that pace over long distances.


These new abilities get put to the test on a far distant shore. Mackay’s brother and his family were vacationing in Australia when the unthinkable happened. They stumble across a secret criminal enterprise. Mackay’s sister-in-law and one of his nephews were killed, his brother was critically wounded and unlikely to survive, and his very young, autistic nephew was missing. 


In 1970s America, I became hooked on “The Six Million Dollar Man.” The show followed former astronaut Steve Austin. He nearly died in an accident, but his body was repaired with “bionic” parts which gave him enhanced abilities. As a kid, I would run in slow motion and mimic the sound on the show which told you the bionics were at work. 


I wasn’t particularly believable as a super agent, but I suppose few 9 year olds are. 


As I read Hurt Runs Within, my mind kept playing the “bionic” sound. It brought back happy memories of a simpler time of my life. 


This is not a nostalgic book, at least for most people. It is a fast-paced, violent techno-thriller with a sci-fi motif. Yet it is very human. Wounded soldiers, an autistic child, brotherly love and commitment to family are core elements of the story, and those elements resonated strongly with me. 


Origin stories are the bread and butter of superhero movies. They often work, capturing huge audiences if not critical acclaim. Hurt Runs Within is an origin story with a very human heart. Wounded soldiers, amputees, autistic children all have a place in our world. Ignoring and forgetting them impoverishes us all. 


Our thanks to Zoe from Zooloos for our copy of Hurt Runs Within, given so we could write an honest review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers on this tour. 









Book Review: Hurt Runs Within, Zoltan Vincze

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