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A Heartbeat Away: A Thriller


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About the Author

Michael Palmer (1942-2013) wrote internationally bestselling novels of medical suspense, including The First Patient, The Second Opinion, The Last Surgeon, A Heartbeat Away, Oath of Office and Political Suicide. His book Extreme Measures was adapted into a movie starring Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. Palmer earned his bachelor's degree at Wesleyan University, and he attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals. He spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine. In addition to his writing, Palmer was 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 lived in eastern Massachusetts.


Robert Petkoff proves to be the perfect choice to narrate Palmer's latest medical thriller. During the president's State of the Union address, the terrorist group Genesis exposes him and the 700 congressmen, senators, and spectators inside the capitol building, to WRX3883, a deadly, highly contagious virus with no known cure. Their only hope is disgraced virologist Griffin Rhodes, who worked on the development of WRX3883 until he was arrested for supposedly stealing samples of the virus and plotting a terrorist act. Now, the president offers this presumed criminal his freedom in exchange for finding a cure for the virus. Although reluctant to help those who imprisoned him, Rhodes eventually agrees and soon it's a race against time and an omnipotent enemy, as he works round the clock to save the president, the other exposed victims, and the nation itself. Petkoff never misses a beat in his reading of this high-octane medical thriller, fully realizing each scene and character with ease. His energetic and skillful performance will keep listeners on the edge of their seats. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

On the night President James Allaire is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address, a fatal, virulent, and highly contagious virus is mysteriously released in the capital. Desperate for an antidote, Allaire turns to virologist Griffin Rhodes, who has been languishing in solitary confinement in a maximum-security federal prison for alleged terrorist acts. Actor Robert Petkoff ( does an exceptional job of narrating Palmer's ( follow-up to The Last Surgeon (2010), perfectly capturing each character's unique accent, quirks, and personality and rendering Griffin's best friend and colleague Melvin especially well. Sure to keep listeners on the edge of their seats; highly recommended for mystery/thriller fans. [See Major Audio Releases, LJ 1/11; the St. Martin's hc, which published in February, was a New York Times best seller; the mass-market pb will publish in August 2011.-Ed.]-Ilka Gordon, Siegal Coll. of Judaic Studies Lib., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"When it comes to inventive plots for medical thrillers nobody does it better than Michael Palmer... This premise is explosive and compelling and grabs the readers from the very first page." --Huffington Post"Palmer never fails to thrill when he presents a tautly constructed puzzle, with characters that make readers whiz through pages late at night." --RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars)"A non stop action ride...Having made a career with medial thrillers, this latest adds political intrigue and terrorism into the mix. ...Palmer makes what Clancy writes look like the Boxcar Kids." --Crimespree magazine"Perfect." --Marblehead Reporter"Michael Palmer anchors his thrillers in high concept and steeps them in medicine. A Heartbeat Away opens with a prologue, and from the opening line, the reader knows things are not going to go well...This is the book for readers who wholeheartedly believe politicians are capable of anything." --Boston Globe

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