(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In PULSE, Miami accountant Frank Douglas receives a new heart and a second chance to be a husband and father. However, he is plagued by dreams and visions and tracks down Rory Alexander, the widow of his donor, Daniel. Although Daniel’s death had been ruled a suicide, Rory believes he was murdered. As Frank attempts to untangle Rory’s finances, he discovers almost all of the couple’s accounts were closed before Daniel’s death, leaving Rory with little but the money from an insurance policy. Frank’s visions of a shadowy figure and his obsession with Daniel’s death and his widow cause his wife, Kathleen, to believe that he is having some kind of mental breakdown. Frank begins to believe that Daniel is still alive and that the heart beating in his chest belonged to whoever was killed in Daniel’s place someone with a fondness for Tabasco sauce. In an attempt to determine what was going on before Daniel’s death, Frank arranges to meet his former business partner, Ron Harrington, but discovers Ron’s body instead. Rory and Frank— now a suspect in Ron’s murder—escape to the West Coast in search of Daniel.

Pulitzer Prize-winning crime fiction writer Edna Buchanan, whose previous novels featured a tough Miami newspaper reporter, Britt Montero, uses her considerable writing skills to produce a gripping novel and a sympathetic portrayal of a driven, obsessive man.