Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harry Kraus's A Heartbeat Away ~ Reviewed

A Heartbeat Away: A Novel [Paperback] 
Harry Kraus (Author) 
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143470257X
When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.
The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.
Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.
And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.
Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.
I love medical fiction and a good mystery. Harry Kraus provides both in A Heartbeat Away.

Tori Taylor is a surgical legend. Nurses hate her, students fear her, other physicians grudgingly respect her. But a virus has ravaged her heart leaving her barely able to function. The story opens as Tori receives word of a donor heart match and just in the nick of time.

Tori goes under the knife feeling the full frustration and dislike of the entire nursing staff and fighting fears she won't even acknowledge. She wakes up in the recovery room with a nightmare raging in her mind...memories of fire and hatred and the sense that someone was in grave danger.

Overnight, Tori's life turns upside down. Emotions and needs she never accepted because they were weaknesses haunt her, along with the continued nightmares and visions. Her reign as a queen of ice has left her life in shambles. Few friends, no family, staff members who'd rather see her suffer than comfortable, distrust.... consequences of who she'd been.

Then, the plot thickens and Tori finds herself in a thick mire of murder, abuse and terror. Two people help Tori, one believes her crazy ideas that the visions and nightmares might have been her heart donor's final moments.

Those that grow weak in the knees over blood may want to avoid this one. As are those who get a little squeamish with grittiness in relationships. One scene in particular gives the book a parental warning. There is a secondary plot line that involves teenagers who take a relationship a little far physically.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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