Susan's Reviews > Heart Stopper

Heart Stopper by R.J. Samuel
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's review
Jun 21, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

Heart Stopper is RJ Samuel’s first book. Priya and Reyna are well developed, and the setting well described. It takes place in Galway, Ireland, with several references to street names, town names and landmarks. There are several mysteries within the plot that need to be solved, revolving around a medical clinic and research related to implanted heart pacemakers.

I have a medical background, and I found the medical premise to be believable as it was written, even if it was fictionally enhanced. I like technical details, and find that technical descriptions add validity to the premise. The constraints of research are illustrated, including the fact that researchers are often blinded as well as the participants in a study.

Priya is an incredibly intelligent PhD, but has been numbed into a sort of dullness due to past emotional trauma. She must wake up her brain and re-engage in order to solve the complicated problems in which she winds up being involved. Reyna also has a troubled background, and a great deal of anger and confusion toward Priya that slowly evolves. She takes much longer to reveal her secrets, but makes her interest in Priya noticeable if not clear. Priya is somehow involved with the death of Reyna’s brother, and they must team up to understand how and why. The other characters help to support without distracting, and the list of possible suspects continues to grow. The relationship between Priya and Reyna is pained as one might expect, but they both are trying to overcome their differences. There is a great deal of tension that builds between Priya and Reyna, which I appreciate as a draw to continue reading. Reyna’s mother helps to push things along, and brings a much softer edge to Reyna’s carefully guarded character and the interactions between the two women.

The dialogue flows, and it is easy to follow why some things are revealed, and some things are held back as the book progresses. The timeline is set using a distantly related character in alternating chapters that underscores the main purpose of the pacemaker mystery, but reveals little bits at a time, to keep from giving the solution away.

I was able to really feel for Priya and Reyna in Heart Stopper, buy into the story, and appreciate the technical aspects that made it all believable. Heart Stopper kept me hooked. I look forward to more books by RJ Samuel. Actually, Falling Colours is in the works.
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