The Touch by F. Paul Wilson.
G. P. Putnam's Sons: NY, 1986.

The healing Touch is transferred from one person to another. Like a parasite, its power is fed by the brain of its host. As the host deteriorates, the Touch transfers itself to a new body, always in search of those needing healing.

In this story, the host is Alan Bulmer, a general practice physician in New York. A dwindling breed, Alan believes in hands-on treatment of patients. During a treatment, he feels a transferal of energy, and for the first time sees spontaneous healing. As it continues, he notices a pattern of when it comes and goes but cannot retain enough of his memory to figure out what exactly is going on. Naturally, he is surrounded by people needing miraculous cures, both in his practice and in his personal life. Each healing takes its toll, and the inevitable uproar regarding this new ability destroys his practice and marriage. He develops a few strong bonds with others, based in part on the awe he inspires as a doctor and healer.

There is no Repairman Jack in this book, but the Touch is one of the more appealing concepts in Wilson's interconnected books. Wilson explores the idea of the healer and how the gift works, what it would do to a physician who dared to practice it, and how people respond in different ways to the idea. It is an engaging story with more excitement and twists than expected, and I'm looking forward to seeing how else the Touch is used in Wilson's books.

related-healing touch and healers, doctors, incurable illnesses, politics
RL=YA-adult, adult book

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