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I took the day off from reading Corrupts Absolutely? Yesterday, what with reviews of Star Trek: Into Darkness and having to catch Thursday’s Hannibal on demand for review. But I’m back to it today. This story, “Hero” by Joe McKinney, puts me just past the half done mark. I went in imagining this story as being the cleanup hitter if the collection were a baseball team. Aside from being an author, McKinney has been a San Antonio patrol officer and a homicide detective. How well did writing all those reports serve him when writing “Hero”? Let’s find out.

“Hero” is the story of Dr. Gene Lange, a psychiatric practitioner with a most unusual patient. Robert Hanover, the patient, claims to have the ability to see exactly seven minutes and twenty-two seconds into the future. Of course, most doctors would write this off as a mental delusion – except there is a history of Hanover saving person after person. In fact, the doctor’s own life is saved by this man’s ability to glimpse the future. So why is he still a captive in the Paulsen Institute? The answer is a sweet little twist in a plot device that has been used before, including in the Nicolas Cage film Next. It is an ending that brought a wicked little smile to my face and use a single word to describe it – clever.

Joe McKinney manages to take a power that has been used time and time again and add a little something new to it. The story is well written and excellently plotted. Little things throughout the story make us ask ask why. Why will the doctor have to erase the conversation with Hanover? Why is Hanover being restrained and doped up if he really can see the future? The ending brings a satisfying answer. It earns 

It was an excellent choice on the part of Lincoln Crisler, the anthology’s editor, for the midway story. It maintains Corrupts Absolutely? At 4 alien heads and makes me very anxious to get to the next story in the book. Again, I strongly suggest it if you love superheroes, particularly the anti-hero approach.

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