Heart Failure, by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Thomas Nelson, 2013)
Dr. Carrie Markham’s freshly-healed heart is broken when her new fiancé turns out to be a man on the run, living under an assumed identity. Adam tells her his testimony put a powerful man in jail, but the man’s friends have been hunting him ever since.
Can she believe him? Does she want to? Or is it possible that the attacks are really directed at Carrie herself? Something’s definitely suspicious in the clinic where she works. Or is a former patient – or the family of a patient who died – holding a grudge?
Heart Failure is an intriguing mystery, with a nice play on the “heart” angle: Carrie is a heart doctor, her romance with Adam is an affair of the heart, and the courage of her heart may fail in the face of the unexpected danger.
An interesting sub-plot looks at a form of survivor guilt: Carrie can’t stop blaming herself for her husband’s heart-related death. It wasn’t foreseeable, but this is her field. Couldn’t she have noticed?
I enjoyed the novel. The one thing that bothered me was Adam’s insistence of sneaking through back alleys to Carrie’s house, so he wouldn’t lead his enemies to her. The enemies (are they his, or hers?) know where she works and could easily follow her home at any time.
[Review copy from my personal library.]