Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review ~ A Heartbeat Away

A Heartbeat Away
By Michael Palmer
Published By St Martin's Press
Release Date: February 15th 2011

Summary (Goodreads)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.

Dislikes: You can always tell when I liked a book because this section is more about characters than the book/story itself.  You would think it would be the terrorists or someone among them but no for me it was the second in line for the presidency(after VP), Speaker of the House, Ursula Ellis. This character is everything I dislike about politics, power hungry, overconfident, and even if it's wrong as long as they are doing it it's right. She plays a large role in this book and there were a couple of times I had to set the book down after reading about her to refresh my brain.

Likes: It's a medical thriller set in Washington DC, sets the right tone from the very beginning. I enjoyed some of the main characters more than others. I love quirky sidekicks so my favorite was Melvin Forbush, he is a virologist who worked/works with Griff on trying to find a cure for the virus. He is a movie trivia buff who is constantly spouting facts based on the situation (kind of made me think of Tony from NCIS). I also thought Angie was a great character. With the background given the romance that happens between her and Griffon is believable and fits into the story without taking over.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book.  The struggles the characters had,  making tough decisions in this extreme situation, was well done and made you think, would you think about what was best for the group or would you do what was best for you? As I stated there were a couple of times  I put the book down but this was a personal thing rather than a book thing.

Rating: 4

1 comment:

  1. Great quote on your sideline! I concur about the YA connection.