A Heartbeat Away

  • by Michael Palmer
  • Narrated by Robert Petkoff
  • 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


As a critical care RN, I can see this being an easy reality. Americans need to realize how easily this could happen anywhere and anytime. As a work of fiction -- excellant
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- nancy

Well worth the cost and time. Great Story.

If you could sum up A Heartbeat Away in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, interesting, and exciting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Heartbeat Away?

When they discovered the living person from the research trials. It gave hope and continued excitement to the story.

What about Robert Petkoff’s performance did you like?

He was clear, consistent, and showed emotion / excitement without over doing it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Scientific thriller that could actually happen anytime and anywhere in our present world.

Any additional comments?

Great story line and plenty of excitement.

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- Sherry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-15-2011
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio