A Heartbeat Away (Mass Market Paperbound)

By Michael Palmer

St. Martin's Press, 9780312587512, 516pp.

Publication Date: August 2, 2011



On the night of the State of the Union address, President James Allaire expects to give the speech of his career. But no one foresees the horrific turn of events that leads him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building.

A terrorist group calling itself "Genesis" has unleashed a highly contagious virus into the building, and the only one who fully knows its deadly consequences is the president himself. Desperate, he turns to virologist Griffin Rhodes, whose alleged theft of the microbe landed him in a maximum-security federal prison. Griff knows he's innocent but is forced to barter with the government: his attempt at a cure in exchange for his release.

About the Author

Michael Palmer (1942-2013) wrote internationally bestselling novels of medical suspense, including The First Patient, The Second Opinion, The Last Surgeon, A Heartbeat Away, Oath of Office and Political Suicide. His book Extreme Measures was adapted into a movie starring Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. Palmer earned his bachelor's degree at Wesleyan University, and he attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals. He spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine. In addition to his writing, Palmer was an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency. He lived in eastern Massachusetts.

Praise For A Heartbeat Away

Praise for Michael Palmer’s


“When it comes to inventive plots for medical thrillers nobody does it better than Michael Palmer…  This premise is explosive and compelling and grabs the readers from the very first page.”—Huffington Post

“Palmer never fails to thrill when he presents a tautly constructed puzzle, with characters that make readers whiz through pages late at night.”—RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars) 

“A non stop action ride…Having made a career with medial thrillers, this latest adds political intrigue and terrorism into the mix. …Palmer makes what Clancy writes look like the Boxcar Kids.”—Crimespree magazine

“Perfect.”—Marblehead Reporter

“Michael Palmer anchors his thrillers in high concept and steeps them in medicine. A Heartbeat Away opens with a prologue, and from the opening line, the reader knows things are not going to go well…This is the book for readers who wholeheartedly believe politicians are capable of anything.”—Boston Globe