My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I needed a Y for a challenge and the library had this on disc and it still was barely worth it. I usually like Koontz but sometimes he's a miss for me. This was a definitely miss. Honestly it didn't start out that terrible.
Ryan is a dot com millionaire dating a novelist, Samantha and life is pretty damned good. Until he gets ill and learns he has cardiomyopathy, damage to the heart muscle and it might have been from poison. So literally the first two-thirds of the book (or maybe it's just half but it felt more like it was more than half) Ryan is using his contacts to find out who might have poisoned him including Samantha whose mother had euthanized Sam's twin sister after a car accident left her brain dead. Mom is now sleeping with the doctor who performed the procedure, a doctor who keeps plasticized cadavers (like the Bodies exhibit) in his home (including the bedroom) and volumes of perimorteum photos.
As his paranoia ramps up, even as his doctor tells him this was more likely genetic and not poison, Ryan switches to a different doctor at a bigger practice and luckily within a month has a heart transplant.
The last part of the book fast forwards to about a year later. Samantha has left him (and I was never clear why that was) and Ryan is feeling fairly good until he realizes he's being stalked by an Asian woman who claims his heart belongs to her not him.
And this is where a rather plodding medical thriller jumps the shark while wearing sparkly hot pants and firecrackers in its hair. And I'm going to spoil chunks of the end because it deserves it. So that's your warning to jump ship if you don't want a spoiler.
Okay it's painfully obvious that the woman out to kill Ryan is the donor's sister but she wasn't a donor. She was in some Chinese prison and the new surgeon has a deal with that prison cutting up healthy people. She won't believe Ryan had no idea and he doesn't. That part isn't the thing that kills this story, not even when she nearly murders him for it. No the actual end is HE believes he's guilty and deserving of punishment then ends up in a monastery training service dogs living a penniless life to atone. Atone for what? He had no idea the surgeon was doing this. He assumed he was lucky to find a donor so fast so his atonement and enlightenment is false earned and hollow and really makes no sense. This is just bad and not worth the time it takes to read it.
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