Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Heartbeat Away - by Harry Kraus

Tori Taylor is an accomplished surgical oncologist, at the top of her game and climbing the professional ladder.  Only two things stand in her way: a virus that has substantially weakened her heart, and the staff that she has belittled and criticized in her pursuit of perfection.  Now, that same staff is in charge of her own surgery and rehabilitation as she undergoes a heart transplant in the very hospital in which she has previously been untouchable.  Once the new heart is in place, Tori begins to change.  She has nightmares about things that aren't from her own memories, she cries more, and she has compassion for the people around her.  The new Tori wants to understand where these changes came from; whose heart was this before it became hers? Has the new heart changed her?  Or has God used the experience to change Tori?  As Tori seeks answers, she may find more than she bargained for, and not everyone is happy that she's searching.

This was a fantastically written book.  The suspense kept me guessing, but never with blind turns to throw me off course.  Information was revealed in a logical way, where I never felt that things were being intentionally hidden; instead, I learned things as the characters discovered them.  Even with three stories unfolding simultaneously, I was enthralled with every character in the book.  Each time the point of view shifted, I was eager to find out more about that aspect of the story, and I couldn't wait for them to all come together.  I know that the science vs. religion conflict is a big one in the medical community, and Tori's initial doubts and inner debates felt very real, as well as her eventual realization that even science requires faith.

A Heartbeat Away is one of the best books I've read recently, and I debated between giving it 4 stars or 5.  In the end I give it 4 stars, but it's probably closer to a 4.5.  I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a well-written suspense novel, or even to try it if you don't usually!

I have read several of Harry Krause, M.D.'s novels and have enjoyed all of them.  This is another author from whom I keep an eye out for new releases.  Reading the "Getting to know Harry" section at the book only made me appreciate him and his writing more.  I hope you'll try one of his books!

I received this book for free from David C. Cook publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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