(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Medical advancements that save lives, when paired with greed and desperation, can open doors for unscrupulous use of technology. In a thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat, former internist Tess Gerritsen brings her knowledge of the operating room into play with visions of horrifying possibilities when the demand for viable transplant organs exceeds the supply of legally available ones.

Dr. Abby DiMatteo, a second-year resident of Bayside Hospital in Boston, has everything going for her: good looks, top-notch skills, and a loving boyfriend, Mark Hodell, who is already a surgeon on the hospital’s elite cardiac transplant team. From the moment that she is invited to join the team, events go wrong. The heart that should go to the transplant candidate at the top of the prioritized list is assigned instead to wealthy patient Nina Voss, raising questions of whether organs can be bought. Abby risks her career to get the heart to the patient for whom it was originally intended, but makes an enemy of Voss’s husband Victor, whose wealth clearly buys power.

Miraculously another heart becomes available for Voss’s wife, but Abby discovers that the organ failed to come through proper channels. The vindictive husband then plants evidence linking Abby to the mercy killing of a terminal patient and instigates malpractice lawsuits that threaten to keep her in litigation for the rest of her life. While Abby must be wary of police investigating that she herself is a murderer, she hurries headlong into an inquiry into what is happening to her and the transplant team. In a bone-chilling confrontation with the enemy, she almost loses her own life while coming face-to-face with the conflict between her dreams and the reality of her future.