Organ transplants are frequent now but there may still be some unknowns about them. What about “cell memory,” where some memories of the donor seem to be transferred to the recipient?
Elin was fortunate to receive a new heart, a perfect match. Before long, however, she begins to have nightmares, flashbacks of the donor's murder.The terror for Elin is just beginning. Her experience receives media coverage and soon she has a stalker and begins receiving death threats Someone wants her dead. Is it the killer?
Marc is an FBI agent investigating the donor's murder. He is convinced his partner was killed because he was pursuing the same case. Marc is forced to take leave because of the emotional involvement he has in the investigation. He continues the case on his own time and decides to talk to Elin. He is hesitant to talk to her after that night so many years ago. When he does see Elin again, he experiences a shock.
After a home invasion and more threats, Elin reluctantly lets Marc stay around to protect her. Their lives become more complicated as they begin to have feelings for each other. The danger increases when Marc receives death threats too. Will the killer strike before Elin can remember his face?
What an interesting plot for a novel. Having done a little research on “cell memory,” I found that attitudes are mixed. It doesn't seem possible cells in the heart could retain memories of the individual. Others claim it is a very real phenomenon.
Coble has crafted a novel that is a great reading experience on several levels. There is the suspense of being stalked by a killer. There is the whole concept of cell memory and the fear of literally becoming a different person. Elin experiences change in clothing and food preferences after her heart transplant. She is haunted by thoughts of no longer being her true self. A book group might have a great discussion of what really gives a person identity and how it changes over one's lifetime. There is also a reading group guide included in the book.
Romance comes to play in the novel too. Marc and Elin have a “past” and there is hurt on both sides. Much forgiveness needs to be given before romance has a chance.
I enjoyed the location of the book too, a remote island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina accessible only by boat or ferry. While a fictional island, it is based on a real one, Ocracoke.
This is the third book in the series but it can be read on its own. (Previous books are Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage.)
You can read an excerpt of the book here.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.
Colleen Coble is the USA Today best-selling author of several novels. You can find out more about her and her books at http://colleencoble.com/.
Thomas Nelson, 336 pages. You can purchase a copy here.
Release date: July 1.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.