Tag Archives: murder mystery

A Heartbeat Away

{28D833CC-BD09-4475-B8F0-B0439C21365C}Img400It’s time for another book review.  This one, A Heartbeat Away, is written by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Harry Kraus.  He is a surgeon who serves as a medical missionary to East Africa.

“A novel is way too long of a project to write simply for entertainment.  Don’t hear me wrong! I think entertainment is important; if I can’t capture and entertain, no reader will hang in there to the end.  But in the process, I hope that a small message of hope, faith, or grace is absorbed.” Dr. Harry Kraus

The story follows the life of a surgeon Dr. Tori Taylor whose cold, unforgiving demeanor and perfectionism toward her colleagues and nursing staff makes her and island.  Still, her work is outstanding and she is well-respected.

Tori maintains complete control of her life, that is, until a virus attacks her heart, making a heart transplant imperative for her to survive.  Once the transplant procedure is complete she begins having vivid dreams, so real she believes she is witnessing some horrid event.  But these are someone else’s memories not hers.

Kraus introduces two teenage lovers seemingly unrelated to the plot and the two separate story lines race along in parallel.  Are they connected some how?  Once Tori begins receiving warnings and threats to cease pursuing the identity of her heart donor, she realizes the dreams are memories to witnessed murder.

Kraus does not let the reader relax at any point in the story.  Several late plot twists keep the reader guessing until the last pages.  Dr. Kraus’ experience as a medical surgeon adds authenticity to the writing.  This is a must read for anyone interested in fiction, murder mysteries or dramas with a medical theme!

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Except the Dying

1521690Goodreads asked how many books I planned to read in 2019.  I said I would read 10.  Here is the first one : Except the Dying.  It’s the first book in a series of murder mysteries by Maureen Jennings set in the 1890’s in Toronto.  I became interested in the author because of the wildly popular “Murdoch Mysteries” television series, which I can’t seem to get enough of.  Except the Dying was the title of the first TV episode.

Except the Dying is Jennings debut novel and it’s a good one.  She takes her time revealing subtle clues linking the reader to the detective as the story unfolds. Having watched five seasons of “Murdoch Mysteries,”  I was already familiar with the lead characters Detective Murdoch, Constable Crabtree and Inspector Brackenreid of Toronto’s 4th Constabulary police.  For me, part of the appeal of the book and the show is getting a feel for the turn of the century way of life and the language used.

The story begins with the discover of a murdered young women in her late teens who turns out to be with child.  Who was she?  Once the women is identified, the list of suspects begins to pile up.  The murderer is not revealed until the end with surprise ending.  A very good read indeed.