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A Heartbeat Away
A Heartbeat Away
Author: Michael Palmer
The New York Times bestselling author and master of suspense delivers another novel at the crossroads of politics and medicine in this shocker of a thriller On the night of the State of the Union address, President Max Hilliard expects to give the speech of his career. But no one anticipates the terrifying turn of events tha...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781427209931
ISBN-10: 1427209936
Publication Date: 2/15/2011
Edition: Unabridged
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5

4 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Heartbeat Away on + 175 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed again..., April 19, 2011

This review is from: A Heartbeat Away (Audio CD)
I have read all of Michael Palmer's books -- some better than others. This was an "other" and a disappointment to me. This was not so much a medical thriller as it was a chance for the author to get on his soap box about ethical and political issues such as the use of animals for drug and disease testing, the efficacy of homeland security, and the government's approach to terrorism -- to name a few.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the plot premise was sound. Someone (we are led to believe it is a terrorist group known as Genesis) releases a deadly virus into the hall of the Capitol as the President is giving his State of the Union address. All who are present are subsequently quarantined and President James Allaire locates someone he previously imprisoned to try to make a serum that will cure everyone. From that interesting start, the story spirals out and tries to deal with too many subplots and those ethical issues I mentioned.

Although the narrative moves along at a rapid pace, the writing really irritated me and detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The author writes using one string of metaphors or similes after another. Everything is "like" something. The escapes that the main characters make from professional hit men are ludicrous and totally unbelievable. I didn't like a single character in this book -- not even the savior Griffin Rhodes or his girlfriend and sidekick, investigative reporter Angela Fletcher. The characters in the book are typical black and white caricatures and stereotypes of good guys and bad guys (or gals). Nothing was surprising and the entire resolution was completely predictable.

So, I suggest you pass on this one if you are looking to read a good medical thriller. I hope that Palmer returns to his original style and sticks to books that focus on the medical aspects rather than the political.

An aside -- I listened to this book on audio CD and I must give kudos to the reader. He did an excellent job of voicing the characters - both male and female. It was easy to tell them apart and he did a very nice reading. If you really want to get this book, buy this audio version!
reviewed A Heartbeat Away on + 175 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed again..., April 19, 2011

This review is from: A Heartbeat Away (Audio CD)
I have read all of Michael Palmer's books -- some better than others. This was an "other" and a disappointment to me. This was not so much a medical thriller as it was a chance for the author to get on his soap box about ethical and political issues such as the use of animals for drug and disease testing, the efficacy of homeland security, and the government's approach to terrorism -- to name a few.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the plot premise was sound. Someone (we are led to believe it is a terrorist group known as Genesis) releases a deadly virus into the hall of the Capitol as the President is giving his State of the Union address. All who are present are subsequently quarantined and President James Allaire locates someone he previously imprisoned to try to make a serum that will cure everyone. From that interesting start, the story spirals out and tries to deal with too many subplots and those ethical issues I mentioned.

Although the narrative moves along at a rapid pace, the writing really irritated me and detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The author writes using one string of metaphors or similes after another. Everything is "like" something. The escapes that the main characters make from professional hit men are ludicrous and totally unbelievable. I didn't like a single character in this book -- not even the savior Griffin Rhodes or his girlfriend and sidekick, investigative reporter Angela Fletcher. The characters in the book are typical black and white caricatures and stereotypes of good guys and bad guys (or gals). Nothing was surprising and the entire resolution was completely predictable.

So, I suggest you pass on this one if you are looking to read a good medical thriller. I hope that Palmer returns to his original style and sticks to books that focus on the medical aspects rather than the political.

An aside -- I listened to this book on audio CD and I must give kudos to the reader. He did an excellent job of voicing the characters - both male and female. It was easy to tell them apart and he did a very nice reading. If you really want to get this book, buy this audio version!
Read All 6 Book Reviews of "A Heartbeat Away"


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