A Heartbeat Away

A Heartbeat Away

Large Print - 2011
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On the night of the State of the Union address, President Allaire must quarantine everyone in the Capitol building because a terrorist group has released a deadly, contagious virus into the building. The only expert who might be able to help is virologist Griffin Rhodes, currently imprisoned for alleged terrorist acts himself, including the theft of that same virus.
Publisher: Detroit : Thorndike Press, 2011.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781410435552
Branch Call Number: L.P. Fic Palm
Characteristics: 595 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.


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Feb 04, 2013

A good story with well thought plots. 9 of 10 stars

Aug 09, 2012

Not as good as The First Patient but still an absorbing read.

Nov 10, 2011

Beautiful. Absorbing. Compelling. Dramatic. A triumph of both medical and political thrillers with black-and-grey morality that forces the heroes to make difficult decisions under difficult circumstances with sometimes questionable results. The novel feels somewhat removed from the typical pandemic scenario, specifically because the outbreak is so quickly and so efficiently contained, and instead focuses on the politics behind the struggle to obtain a cure when the cost is the lives of 700 people and, sadly more importantly in the eyes of the antagonist, the leadership of the free world *ahem* the United States. In this novel, power may lead you to deceive, but it is the desire for power that is truly corrupting.

My one criticism: the identities and motivations of the terrorist group behind it all, Genesis, are simply explained to us at the end by the omnipresent narrator. This takes all the fun out of having one of the protagonists figure it out piece by piece. And given that one of the main characters is a news reporter, it could have been a nice piece of journalistic investigation to complement the main plotline. As it stands, the reader has few clues to figure out the solution to this part of the puzzle themselves, and the solution. Also, the goal presented as the motivation for the terrorist attacks seems somewhat weak--while one should never underestimate human greed, I suppose, the setup just isn't there to make it believable to the reader.

The resolution of other elements in the plot, however, is mostly satisfying. I have another complaint about Ursalla Ellis, but to speak on that would be to ruin a major plot twist. And so, I will conclude by noting that the book succeeds much more often than it fails, and is accordingly all the things I said at the beginning: beautiful, absorbing, compelling, dramatic, and well worth the effort.

MerlinsMum Jun 19, 2011

Fast paced, somewhat incredulous, but fun nevertheless.

gwsuperfan Mar 06, 2011

Not up to the level of Palmer's previous novels. Vast bioterrorism conspiracies are clearly outside the realm of the author's expertise and it shows in this book, detracting from the ability to suspend disbelief.

debwalker Feb 09, 2011

A medical thriller in which terrorists release a virus in the Capitol during the State of the Union address.


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