Suspense Magazine's Reviews > A Heartbeat Away

A Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer
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's review
Oct 11, 2011

it was amazing

Always exhilarating, Palmer ratchets the tension to a breathtaking level with the release of “A Heartbeat Away”. Stunning in its realism and truly terrifying, Palmer keeps a frantic, anxiety-driven pace, giving his fans a ringside seat as the nightmare unfolds.

As President James Allaire begins his second State of the Union address, he’s prepared to captivate the public with his charm, but doesn’t get the opportunity. Within moments of launching his message, puffs of vapor begin pouring out of strategically placed locations on the floor of the House Chamber. As the haze subsides, he receives a horrifying message. Genesis—a domestic terrorist group—has released a deadly, contagious and incredibly aggressive virus into the Capitol building and all hell is about to break loose.

Allaire is all too familiar with WRX3883 and the lethal consequences of its release. He is, in part, responsible for its origination and is very aware that the outcome has become dire for the hundreds of beautifully coifed attendees of this evening. Trapped with all but one successor for the office of the presidency, Allaire must reach out to the one man who has absolutely no reason to help him.

One time virologist, Griffin Rhodes is now a permanent resident in solitary confinement at a maximum-security prison in Colorado. Being held for alleged terrorist acts and unaware of his crimes, Rhodes faces a personal challenge when granted freedom in exchange for his assistance. With a grim outlook, amplified as he walks into the nightmarish scene of the crime, Rhodes understands that the hope of the nation lies heavily on his shoulders.

Palmer’s genius lies in his ability to never underestimate the intelligence of his readers as he takes us into thought-provoking territories meant to keep us up at night.

Reviewed by Shannon Raab for Suspense Magazine
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