Amazon.com link to purchase A Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer
One of the most talented authors in the medical thriller genre has done it again! I don’t think I have ever read a bad Michael Palmer book and this one did not disappoint me at all.
The story opens on the night of the State of the Union address. In a split second the president has to make life and death decisions when terrorists release a highly contagious and deadly virus. The president must rely on virologist, Griff Rhodes, a man he sent to prison as a terrorist, to reopen his lab and work on a way to save the leaders of the free world.
The storyline is believable, and there is a good balance of the medical/lab information in the story without getting too technical. The story is fast paced, and I was not sure what would happen until the end. As a matter of fact, it fooled me a few times. The characters are believable, and I thought the terrorist organization was quite realistic. I even found myself matching some of the personalities of the characters with real life Congress men and women. Whether or not that was the author's intention for the characters, I don’t know, but I had fun with it!
I enjoyed the subplot that dealt with Griff’s pledge to use no animal testing in his experiments. He was challenged by his deep conviction to protect animals and the time constraints to save those who were exposed to the virus.
I enjoyed A Heartbeat Away very much and highly recommend it for those who love their thrillers with a little medical twist.