Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Heartbeat Away / Review

Author: Michael Palmer
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
(February 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780312587529

Book Description:

On the night of the State of the Union address, President James Allaire 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 Allaire, 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 Allaire 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.

Tense, thrilling, and entirely plausible, A Heartbeat Away will make you reflect, wonder, and be truly afraid.

About the Author...
MICHAEL PALMER is the author of fifteen novels of medical suspense, all international bestsellers. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. In addition to this writing, Palmer is an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency. He lives in eastern Massachusetts.

My thoughts:

A Heartbeat Away is a true to life drama with all the suspense and thrill you would expect from a seasoned, best-selling author like Michael Palmer.

This book grabbed me at the first page and wouldn't let go; I hadn't changed my mind on the last page either. This is definitely one of Palmer's best. There is everything a good suspense novel needs to keep the reader happy--edge of your seat action, drama, and believability. This has it all. 5 stars*****

(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Toys / Review

Author: James Patterson Hardcover: 400 pages Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (March 14, 2011) ISBN-10: 0316097365 Book Description: James Bond and Jason Bourne have just been topped! A battle for the world is set into unstoppable motion and Hays Baker is the only one who can save it. Hays Baker and his wife Lizbeth possess super-human strength, extraordinary intelligence, stunning looks, a sex life to die for, and two beautiful children. Of course they do--they're Elites, endowed at birth with the very best that the world can offer. The only problem in their perfect world: humans and their toys! The one with the most toys--dies. The top operative for the Agency of Change, Hays has just won the fiercest battle of his career. He has been praised by the President, and is a national hero. But before he can savor his triumph, he receives an unbelievable shock that overturns everything he thought was true. Suddenly Hays is on the other side of the gun, forced to leave his perfect family and fight for his life. Now a hunted fugitive, Hays is thrown into a life he never dreamed possible--fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction. He enlists all of his training to uncover the truth that will save millions of lives--maybe even his own. James Patterson's Toys is a thriller on a hyper plane--with a hero who rivals both James Bond and Jason Bourne. My Thoughts: Although, the Book Description gives Toys a glowing review, my own experience is a bit different. Patterson seems to be putting out books faster than he can come up with good solid material. Yes, indeed, he may be smiling all the way to the bank, but it would be nice to if he would sit still for awhile and reconnect with his muse. Having said that, true Patterson fans will never turn down another of his works-- if only to add it to their personal collection. (Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)