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Publisher Description

The New York Times bestselling author and master of suspense delivers another novel at the crossroads of politics and medicine in this shocker of a thriller

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.

Mysteries & Thrillers
February 15
St. Martin's Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Roaming reader ,


Not a bad premise; however, the suspension of disbelief required is just far too great. Notwithstanding some useless sidetracks on the plot, it would have worked if a higher dose of realism had prevailed throughout. It isn't just the impossible breaches of security that are allowed to take place as much as how the central characters deal with them. Too many "this couldn't have happened" scenarios take place giving way to frivolous action at the expense of a more rational plot.

Perhaps a good read on the last few days of your Pacific island vacation.

Gayle Stuart ,

Heartbeat Away

As always, Michael Palmer delivers!

RyanKing2008 ,


Great great great!!!! Loved this book.

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