Monday, February 7, 2011

A Heartbeat Away

published by:  St. Martin's Press
publish date:  February 15, 2011

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 that forces him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building. A terrorist group calling itself “Genesis” has unleashed WRX3883, a deadly, highly contagious virus, into the building. No one fully knows the deadly effect of the germ except for the team responsible for its development—a team headed by Hilliard, himself. The only one who might be able to help is virologist Griffin Rhodes, currently in solitary confinement in a maximum security federal prison for alleged terrorist acts, including the attempted theft of WRX3883 from the lab where he worked. Rhodes has no idea why he has been arrested, but when Hilliard offers to free him in exchange for his help combating the virus, he reluctantly agrees to do what he can to support the government that has imprisoned him without apparent cause.

Meanwhile, every single person in line for presidential succession is trapped inside the Capitol—every person except one: the Director of Homeland Security, who is safely at home in Minnesota, having been selected as the “Designated Survivor” for this event. With enemies both named and unnamed closing in, and the security of the nation at stake, Griff must unravel the mysteries of WRX3883 without violating his pledge as a scientist to use no animal testing in his experiments…and time is running out.

First off, I'm really sorry I've been so absent lately.  Work is CRAZY!!

On to this was very good.  If you've read Michael Palmer in the past and liked him, you'll enjoy this book.  This was a great medical thriller wrapped in a suspenseful political thriller. 

This book had all the things you want in a good action story;  lots of twists and turns, the unlikely hero, the beautiful love interest, and the diabolical bad guys.  The progression of events seemed fairly realistic to me.  How the virus got into the Capitol building wasn't too terribly far fetched.  I could definitely see this being made into a Hot Zone.

My only issue was with the end.  I wasn't really impressed with who Genesis was.  I guess I was expecting something else, like Dr. Evil maybe.

As a little side note, I had first started reading this book right before the real State of the Union Address.  It was kinda creepy.  I kept waiting for something to happen.  Cue Twilight Zone music...

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