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Review: A Heartbeat Away

May 27, 2011

During President Allaire’s State of the Union address, several containers of a deadly virus explode, infecting the most important people in the US government.  The Capitol is sealed off and the President releases a well known scientist, Griffin Rhodes,  from prison to work on a cure.  A group called Genesis claims responsibility and says they’re the only ones with a cure.  It seems the only way to get the cure is to cooperate with them, unless Rhodes and his colleagues can discover a cure first.

A Heartbeat Away, by Michael Palmer, is fast paced and exciting, but parts of it fell flat for me.  The plot had lots of potential, but there were so many twists and turns, it all became just too unbelievable.  Since this is a plot driven book, there isn’t much character development, and I was fine with that.  I was a bit bothered with all of the issues – terrorism, privacy, animal testing, etc – that Palmer packed into the book.

I listened to the audio version of this book, and the reader, Robert Petkoff was its saving grace.  He did a great job with the voices and kept the story exciting.  Even with his great narration, this book was just okay for me.

I won a copy of this on Twitter from the author.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
22 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 6:51 am

    Totally the same reaction. Some of it just jumped the shark in my opinion!

  2. May 27, 2011 6:58 am

    You’re right, Petkoff is a solid narrator. I’ve never read anything by Michael Palmer, but I did just read his son’s debut novel. It was a wild ride. Just a tad unbelievable, but to his credit, he wraps it up nicely in the end. (He is quite good looking.)

  3. May 27, 2011 7:46 am

    I enjoyed this one but of course, had to suspend disbelief….

  4. May 27, 2011 9:08 am

    I would rather have character development rather than a fast-paced plot; so I don’t think this is the book for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. May 27, 2011 9:11 am

    I have read some positive reviews of this one, but it lost me at unbelievable.

    Greetings from Istanbul!

  6. May 27, 2011 9:15 am

    This book does sound like it could be a great suspense. Sorry that it didn’t quite work out well.

  7. May 27, 2011 11:07 am

    Thanks! for sharing this review.

  8. May 27, 2011 2:04 pm

    Thanks for your honest review! Have a good weekend, Kathy. 🙂

  9. May 27, 2011 2:45 pm

    I think I’ll skip this one. Thanks for the review!

  10. May 27, 2011 4:09 pm

    A good narrator is sure what I would need. Cos I would like to listen to more books

  11. May 27, 2011 9:26 pm

    I do think these kinds of books can get overdone very easily…and it sounds like that was the case with this one.

  12. May 27, 2011 9:35 pm

    I’m still struggling with listening to a book, so it has to be a really good book before I venture. My kids keep encouraging me, but, I just hate things in my ears.

  13. May 28, 2011 12:02 am

    i read and reviewed this one back in january. basically, i share your sentiments! it was allright but left me saying “meh” at the end. just ok!

  14. May 28, 2011 1:34 am

    While I love mysteris, I’m not a hug fan of thrillers. I have found them to be overly action filled and not enough character or plot. I know there are some good ones out there though and I wish this had been one. Thanks for the review.

  15. May 28, 2011 8:25 am

    I used to read all of his, but for some reason I haven’t read his last few.

  16. May 28, 2011 9:49 am

    I enjoyed reading your honest review and this is why I come to your blog daily!!! This book really doesn’t fall into a genre that I read but I will steer clear of this title in the future regardless.

  17. May 28, 2011 11:21 am

    I’ve kind of gotten away from thrillers because they so easily slip into unbelievable action and coincidence. And I don’t need cover to cover action or superman-type heroes to make me read a book. Just give me a good story and characters I can believe in, thank you.

  18. May 28, 2011 1:01 pm

    I don’t really enjoy these types of books, so I probably wouldn’t be the best audience for this one. Sorry to hear that it was a tad disappointing though.

  19. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 29, 2011 12:25 pm

    I like books set in DC, especially thrillers, but if you and Jill had the same lukewarm reaction I think I can skip this one.

  20. May 29, 2011 12:30 pm

    Maybe I’ll get it just to hear the narrator’s voice.

  21. June 6, 2011 7:36 pm

    Ahhhhhh!… This wasn’t good? I like the sound of it (lots of ingredients that are interesting) and I’m sorry it was unbelievable. Glad to know the narrator was good, though.

  22. June 10, 2011 10:51 am

    Sorry this one fell flat for’s not always the type of book that I go for so I think I’ll skip this one.

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