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A Heartbeat Away: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Harry Kraus
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.
The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.
Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.
And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.
Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Someone calls to her.
A man.
An evil man who is burning.
And then—darkness.
Surgeon Tori Taylor rules the operating room with a precision that makes residents feel faint, nurses cower, and colleagues take notes. But even with the honor of being a respected surgeon, Tori finds herself alone in her moment of desperation—dying on her own operating table.
Tori Taylor needs a heart transplant, but what she receives is far more than a donor organ. Lying loveless and friendless in the recovery room, Tori discovers that memories are surfacing in her mind that are not her own. Terrifying glimpses of murder drive her out of the world of medicine and into a homicide investigation.
As her ordered life grows more and more chaotic, Tori’s new heart begins to melt her icy walls from the inside out. This new heart of flesh is transforming her heart of stone, and there’s no going back.

About the Author

Harry Kraus, M.D. is a board-certified surgeon, medical missionary to East Africa, and accomplished writer of both non-fiction and fiction. Medical realism and gripping plotlines distinguish his writing, as he gets most of his ideas with a scalpel in hand. Dr. Kraus resides in Kenya with his wife Kris and the youngest of his three sons.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2601 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008VBPW3A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,078 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nonstop, heart-pounding fiction! September 3, 2012
By Kim W
Victoria "Tori" Anne Taylor, MD desperately needs a new heart and as a successful oncology surgeon, she knows what needs to be done but she's never had the surgery performed on her before. As a doctor, she is adored by her residents and hated by her nurses as she demands perfection in every aspect of critical care. When her job security is threatened and she is forced to stop working and go to therapy, she begins a rocky relationship with Phin MacGrath, the transplant team's social worker. Tori begins having memories that are not her own that she believes belonged to her heart donor. She begins her own investigation into the death of the woman who gave her heart and her new lease on life. Tori not only has horrific memories but she also has become more compassionate. She can sense what others are feeling and what they need. She is curious to find out more about whose heart she received.

Woven throughout the story is another story of Christian and his love for Emily. Christian's family is on furlough from the African mission field and is falling in love for the first time.

As Tori and Phin investigate what happened, someone begins to stir up trouble for her and threaten her as she tries to investigate further into the fire that she dreams about but never personally experienced. She senses that her memories are evidence of foul play and has no idea what she is delving into.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Dr. Harry Kraus. The medical details greatly enhanced the story and brought an authenticity to the story that I enjoyed. The characters were so believable and their development was natural. My only critique would be that the story starts out a little slow but it was an exciting mystery that I ended up solving along with the heroine.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a surgeon's most capable hands - a scalpel or a pen! September 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If Dr. Harry Kraus handles a scalpel like he handles a pen, I want no one else to operate on my body but him!

A Heartbeat Away is masterfully crafted to draw the reader in - deep into the story's brilliantly interwoven plot lines and fully-orbed characters! From the first broken phrases to the final whisper of the book, Kraus' gifted hands have penned a tale, once begun, that had to be finished as quickly as possible. He skillfully moved this reader between times and places, slipping subtle hints in unexpected ways, drawing the reader forward with anticipation and suspense.

This is no "Doctor's waiting room/ find something to pass the time" book! This book kept me "a heartbeat away" on every page.

I want to read...NO, I HAVE TO READ...more of Kraus' work! Bring it on, Amazon!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Medical Drama September 15, 2012
I love medical fiction and a good mystery. Harry Kraus provides both in A Heartbeat Away.

Tori Taylor is a surgical legend. Nurses hate her, students fear her, other physicians grudgingly respect her. But a virus has ravaged her heart leaving her barely able to function. The story opens as Tori receives word of a donor heart match and just in the nick of time.

Tori goes under the knife feeling the full frustration and dislike of the entire nursing staff and fighting fears she won't even acknowledge. She wakes up in the recovery room with a nightmare raging in her mind...memories of fire and hatred and the sense that someone was in grave danger.

Overnight, Tori's life turns upside down. Emotions and needs she never accepted because they were weaknesses haunt her, along with the continued nightmares and visions. Her reign as a queen of ice has left her life in shambles. Few friends, no family, staff members who'd rather see her suffer than comfortable, distrust.... consequences of who she'd been.

Then, the plot thickens and Tori finds herself in a thick mire of murder, abuse and terror. Two people help Tori, one believes her crazy ideas that the visions and nightmares might have been her heart donor's final moments.

Those that grow weak in the knees over blood may want to avoid this one. As are those who get a little squeamish with grittiness in relationships. One scene in particular gives the book a parental warning. There is a secondary plot line that involves teenagers who take a relationship a little far physically.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable novel September 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a completely original novel with much that is thought-provoking. Dr. Kraus clearly brings his knowledge as a surgeon to exploring the idea of whether memories can be transmitted with an organ transplant-- but even more he looks at the issues of the heart. What frightens us, or makes us open up our hearts to love? How are we transformed by being able to see the world through someone else's eyes? This novel is insightful and compelling on so many levels and utterly riveting. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I don't know why it is being given away because it is extremely well written and fascinating. But I'm glad i took advantage of this offer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Novel starts out great but stumbles at end October 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is hard to judge an author's complete works after only reading two of his novels, but I think I can safely say that Harry Kraus is a much better writer when the suspense is focused on the characters. His previous book, THE SIX-LITER CLUB, was on its way to being one of my most favorite books ever before a character acted unrealistically at the end. That book relied entirely on emotional and relational suspense. In A HEARTBEAT AWAY, Straus builds the suspense by creating two separate story lines. The stories are powerful when the author creates and builds on the relationships, but crumble a bit when people start dying, and the twists and turns start coming.

Dr. Victoria Taylor is about to have a heart transplant. After years of treating patients, she gets to see the other side. She realizes by the way she's treated that she hasn't exactly been kind to her co-workers. The transplant is a success, but almost immediately after the operation, Victoria begins having dreams of a fire, a scary man, and falling. She also has become much more emotional and longs for human touch. She's now a hugger!

Christian Mitchell is a missionary kid on furlough from Africa. Over the summer, he develops a close relationship with Emily Greene. He and Emily plan to run off together instead parting when Christian's family goes to Africa. But their plans are thwarted, and they part ways.

The best part of the book is watching Victoria change from a cold-hearted doctor to an empathetic woman who recognizes her faults. She must deal with her ex-boyfriend while forging a new relationship with Phin McGrath, her counselor. The suspense builds slowly as Victoria tries to find out how her new memories may relate to the heart she received.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from Harry Kraus
I have loved every Harry Kraus' book I have read, and this is no different. It is a real 'who done it' which keeps you guessing to the end, all underpinned with the (very subtle)... Read more
Published 12 days ago by DJP832
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique twist to a murder mystery
Unique premise for a story line. The author kept me interested until the end. This is the fourth book I have read by this author. All have been well thought out and well written. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Dr. Rosewater
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Kraus novel
Harry Kraus writes so well that it's easy to get caught up in the drama, forgetting housework, cooking, and even going to work! Read more
Published 27 days ago by Jane Daly
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy-to-read
I just finished this easy-to-read Christian mystery. Perfect for vacation reading. I hope to read more of Harry Kraus in the future.
Published 1 month ago by BlessedGG5
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
This novel has a compelling plot that really holds your attention and keeps you turning the pages to see what comes next.
Published 1 month ago by Rhonda H. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on so many levels!
I'm not sure I know what to say about this book, except that I highly recommend it. My only complaint is my busy schedule, which keeps me from reading as much as I would like. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sharon Erickson
3.0 out of 5 stars A Heartbeat Away by Harry Kraus
The plot was good and the surgical background gave the novel credence, The Christians belief was well involved in the relationships surrounding life's challenges The final ending... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Don Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! A page turner that kept me reading and just enough "foreshadowing" to keep,my sleuthing appetite whetted through the entire book!
Published 2 months ago by Granma Barbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Absolutely loved this book! Full of transparency, the Gospel, imagination, etc! I can't wait to read everything else by Mr. Kraus
Published 3 months ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel!
GREAT read! I love to read Harry Kraus' books, and this one was certainly no disappointment. Lots of convulated plot, as any good mystery novel should have, in addition to some... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jon Alderman
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More About the Author

As a board-certified surgeon, Harry Kraus has divided his professional life between Virginia and East Africa. His novel, "Could I Have This Dance?" was the number one CBA bestseller in the contemporary category. His novels are laced with his signature of medical realism. He has been both an ACFW Book of the Year and Christie Award for Inspirational Fiction finalist.

Harry loves miniature Schnauzers and motorcycles and is passionate about spreading the good news of GRACE. In addition to his love of writing fiction, he has written three non-fiction books: "Breathing Grace," "The Cure," and "Domesticated Jesus."

Visit his website: for information about books and to read his blog: Field Notes.
Visit his blog:

You can join Harry Kraus Readers Group on Facebook and become Harry's FB friend. His listing is Harry Lee Kraus.

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