Michael Palmer ~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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A Heartbeat Away

Michael Palmer

St. Martin's Press

Paperback

978‑031258729

*****

 

                 Virologist Griffin Rhodes ended his relationship with news reporter Angela Fletcher because the dangers of his job would shorten his life considerably. One of these dangers was a lethal virus called WRX3883. Little did he know that WRX would one day bring them back together.

            The story begins with a crisis. President Jim Allaire is giving a State of the Union address at the Capital. He doesn't realize it until far too late that one of the security people who is supposed to check purses and handbags for weapons did just the opposite. That person concealed glass cylinders in those bags that would release WRX3883.

            Rhodes led the team that produced the virus and is the only one who can find an antidote that presently does not exist. Here's the problem: Nine months earlier, Allaire thought Griffin was trying to steal the virus and put him in jail without a trial or even letting him make a phone call. The real culprit is a terrorist group called Genesis. The President offers Griffin a full pardon if he at least tries to find a cure, but there is a lot of tension between these two men. Allaire tells Rhodes he still thinks he tried to steal the virus, and Rhodes lets Jim Allaire know in no uncertain terms that he is not one of his favorite presidents. Uncertain if Allaire will keep his word even if he finds a cure, Griffin demands that a civilian be put in charge that would oversee everything and go public if promises were not kept. That person turns out to be news reporter Angela Fletcher. Meanwhile, the Genesis people are not sitting on their hands doing nothing. They have eyes and spies everywhere. 

I really enjoyed the story.

Paul Zunino

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