Well-written medical suspense with a twist: My review of "A Heartbeat Away" by Harry Kraus

Heartbeat Away


When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed. The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table. Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble. And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation. Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.


What a fascinating premise! I do believe that my favourite element of this fantastic book is the idea that someone could have a heart transplant and experience memories that belonged to the heart donor. Such a concept makes for a compelling story-line, and Kraus takes this premise and spins it into a very well-written book filled with twists and turns as the reader follows Tori's journey to uncover the truth of the murder. Tori is a great character, original and likable and yet one who undergoes a highly believable transformation over the course of the story. Kraus succeeds at weaving together the lives of several main characters into a unified whole, tying everything together at the excellent conclusion. This book has a little bit of everything - medical drama, suspense and intrigue, and even love found in an unexpected place. I finished the book feeling well-entertained!

I'm always excited to see a new book from Harry Kraus - and this one lived up to the standards set by his past works. I award this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

An egalley version of this book was provided courtesy of the publisher, David C. Cook, via netgalley, for the purposes of this review.


Image of Harry KrausHarry Kraus, M.D. is a board-certified surgeon, medical missionary to East Africa, and accomplished writer of both non-fiction and fiction. Medical realism and gripping plotlines distinguish his writing, as he gets most of his ideas with a scalpel in hand. Dr. Kraus resides in Kenya with his wife Kris and the youngest of his three sons.