From the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a riveting thriller that probes the deepest terrors of the human psyche--and the ineffable mystery of what truly makes us who we are. Here a brilliant young man finds himself fighting for his very existence in a battle that starts with the most frightening words of all...
At thirty-four, Internet entrepreneur Ryan Perry seemed to have the world in his pocket--until the first troubling symptoms appeared out of nowhere. Within days, he's diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and finds himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant; it's his only hope, and it's dwindling fast. Ryan is about to lose it all...his health, his girlfriend Samantha, and his life.
One year later, Ryan has never felt better. Business is good and he hopes to renew his relationship with Samantha. Then the unmarked gifts begin to appear--a box of Valentine candy hearts, a heart pendant. Most disturbing of all, a graphic heart surgery video and the chilling message: Your heart belongs to me.
In a heartbeat, the medical miracle that gave Ryan a second chance at life is about to become a curse worse than death. For Ryan is being stalked by a mysterious woman who feels entitled to everything he has. She's the spitting image of the twenty-six-year-old donor of the heart beating steadily in Ryan's own chest.
And she's come to take it back.
Showing 1-7 of the 7 most recent reviews
1 . Boring, Uninteresting
Posted March 11, 2010 by Thundergirl , Saint PetersI waisted 8.99 on this book. I was very dissapointed. I love Dean Koontz, but this was a disaster! Did he even write this book?
2 . Attention keeper
Posted January 30, 2010 by Avid Reader , CaliThis book had my attention from beginning to end. I would recommend it to any Koontz fan.
3 . Not Dean Koontz!!
Posted January 17, 2010 by Rebecca , Salina, KsThis book was disappointing to my Dean Koontz expectations. If you read the book overview, you do not need to read the book. There was no exciting or weird twists to the book that is normal for Dean Koontz. It was rather boring!!!
4 . Fact or Fiction?
Posted November 29, 2009 by nmcquage , Bonney Lake WAThis book was dramatic and scary for me because it dances with emotion, romance, mystery, and survival all together in harmony and sometimes in discord. I enjoyed the mini tutorial on the roots of violence, especially the tap root. Overall I found myself wondering, "Could this be real?" Is the subtext of this novel fact or fiction?
5 . Suprisingly Disappointed
Posted November 01, 2009 by Karen , EdmontonThis story was a disappointment to me. It would have been better as a short story. I found no real reason for the main character's girlfriend to be in this at all. Just not the regular Dean Koontz high writing standard I have been used to for years.
6 . This is a first
Posted July 11, 2009 by Renssa , PhoenixDean Koontz is my all-time favorite author. Even when I wasn't terribly interested in a particular story, his writing style and warm, witty characters keep me entertained.
Not with this one, however. I didn't even make it to the "one year later" plot progression described in the blurb. It's just so boring.
I'll keep reading Dean, as he's still my all-time favorite, but I just don't recommend this one as a good example of his work.
Read the Odd books or....well, pretty much any other one instead.
7 . My Heart Belongs to Dean Koontz
Posted January 29, 2009 by Terry Morrison , Centreville, VAI can't remember when I first encountered this author, it may have been the Odd series. I must say I've never regretted reading any of his books, and this was no exception. They all grap you into the plot and take you for a non-stop thrill ride. This seemed to be on the short side in terms of some of his stories, but it's none the less enjoyable. I moved from Orange County over 3 years ago but reading books like this always take me back to where he lives and tells his stories from. The sign of a great author is taking you on a great ride into story land, and making you want to do it again and again. I'm sure I'll read this one again. Fun that thought is an interesting part of this great, realistic story. Bravo Zulu
November 24, 2008
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Excerpt from Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz
Ryan Perry did not know that something in him was broken. At thirty-four, he appeared to be more physically fit than he had been at twenty-four. His home gym was well equipped. A personal trainer came to his house three times a week.
On that Wednesday morning in September, in his bedroom, when he drew open the draperies and saw blue sky as polished as a plate, and the sea blue with the celestial reflection, he wanted surf and sand more than he wanted breakfast.
He went on-line, consulted a surfcast site, and called Samantha. She must have glanced at the caller-ID readout, because she said, "Good morning, Winky."
She occasionally called him Winky because on the afternoon that she met him, thirteen months previously, he had been afflicted with a stubborn case of myokymia, uncontrollable twitching of an eyelid.
Sometimes, when Ryan became so obsessed with writing software that he went thirty-six hours without sleep, a sudden-onset tic in his right eye forced him to leave the keyboard and made him appear to be blinking out a frantic distress signal in Morse code. In that myokymic moment, Samantha had come to his office to
interview him for an article that she had been writing for Vanity Fair. For a moment, she had thought he was flirting with her-and flirting clumsily.
During that first meeting, Ryan wanted to ask for a date, but he perceived in her a seriousness of purpose that would cause her to reject him as long as she was writing about him. He called her only after he knew that she had delivered the article.
"When Vanity Fair appears, what if I've savaged you?" she had asked.
"How do you know?"
"I don't deserve to be savaged, and you're a fair person."
"You don't know me well enough to be sure of that."
"From your interviewing style," he said, "I know you're smart, clear-thinking, free of political dogma, and without envy. If I'm not safe with you, then I'm safe nowhere except alone in a room."
He had not sought to flatter her. He merely spoke his mind.
Having an ear for deception, Samantha recognized his sincerity.
Of the qualities that draw a bright woman to a man, truthfulness is equaled only by kindness, courage, and a sense of humor. She had accepted his invitation to dinner, and the months since then had been the happiest of his life.
Now, on this Wednesday morning, he said, "Pumping six-footers, glassy and epic, sunshine that feels its way deep into your bones."
"I've got a deadline to meet."
"You're too young for all this talk about death."
"Are you riding another train of manic insomnia?"
"Slept like a baby. And I don't mean in a wet diaper."
"When you're sleep-deprived, you're treacherous on a board."
"I may be radical, but never treacherous."
"Totally insane, like with the shark."
"That again. That was nothing."
"Just a great white."
"Well, the bastard bit a huge chunk out of my board."
"And-what?-you were determined to get it back?"
"I wiped out," Ryan said, "I'm under the wave, in the murk, grabbin' for air, my hand closes around what I think is the skeg."
The skeg, a fixed fin on the bottom of a surfboard, holds the stern of the board in the wave and allows the rider to steer.
What Ryan actually grabbed was the shark's dorsal fin.
Samantha said, "What kind of kamikaze rides a shark?"
"I wasn't riding. I was taken for a ride."
"He surfaced, tried to shake you off, you rode him back down."
"Afraid to let go. Anyway, it lasted like only twenty seconds."
"Insomnia makes most people sluggish. It makes you hyper."
"I hibernated last night. I'm as rested as a bear in spring."
She said, "In a circus once, I saw a bear riding a tricycle."
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"It was funnier than watching an idiot ride a shark."
"I'm Pooh Bear. I'm rested and cuddly. If a shark knocked on the door right now, asked me to go for a ride, I'd say no."
"I had nightmares about you wrestling that shark."
"Not wrestling. It was more like ballet. Meet you at the place?"
"I'll never finish writing this book."
"Leave the computer on when you go to bed each night. The elves will finish it for you. At the place?"
She sighed in happy resignation. "Half an hour."
"Wear the red one," he said, and hung up.
The water would be warm, the day warmer. He wouldn't need a wet suit.
He pulled on a pair of baggies with a palm-tree motif.
His collection included a pair with a shark pattern. If he wore them, she would kick his ass. Figuratively speaking.
For later, he took a change of clothes on a hanger, and a pair of loafers.
Of the five vehicles in his garage, the customized '51 Ford Woodie Wagon-anthracite-black with bird's-eye maple panels-seemed to be best suited to the day. Already stowed in the back, his board protruded past the lifted tailgate windows, skeg up.
At the end of the cobblestone driveway, as he turned left into the street, he paused to look back at the house: gracefully sloping roofs of red barrel tile, limestone-clad walls, bronze windows with panes of beveled glass refracting the sun as if they were jewels.
A maid in a crisp white uniform opened a pair of second-floor balcony doors to air the master bedroom.
One of the landscapers trimmed the jasmine vines that were espaliered on the walls flanking the carved-limestone surround at the main entrance.
In less than a decade, Ryan had gone from a cramped apartment in Anaheim to the hills of Newport Coast, high above the Pacific.
Samantha could take the day off on a whim because she was a writer who, though struggling, could set her own hours. Ryan could take it off because he was rich.
Quick wits and hard work had brought him from nothing to the pinnacle. Sometimes when he considered his origins from his current perch, the distance dizzied him.
As he drove out of the gate-guarded community and descended the hills toward Newport Harbor, where thousands of pleasure boats were docked and moored in the glimmering sun-gilded water, he placed a few business calls.
A year previously, he had stepped down as the chief executive officer of Be2Do, which he had built into the most successful social-networking site on the Internet. As the principal stockholder, he remained on the board of directors but declined to be the chairman.
These days, he devoted himself largely to creative development, envisioning and designing new services to be provided by the company. And he tried to persuade Samantha to marry him.
He knew that she loved him, yet something constrained her from committing to marriage. He suspected pride.
The shadow of his wealth was deep, and she did not want to be lost in it. Although she had not expressed this concern, he knew that she hoped to be able to count herself a success as a writer, as a novelist, so that she could enter the marriage as a creative-if not a financial-equal.
Ryan was patient. And persistent.
Phone calls completed, he transitioned from Pacific Coast Highway by bridge to Balboa Peninsula, which separated the harbor from the sea. Cruising toward the peninsula point, he listened to classic doo-wop, music younger than the Woodie Wagon but a quarter of a century older than he was.
He parked on a tree-lined street of charming homes and carried his board half a block to Newport's main beach.
The sea poured rhythmic thunder onto the shore.
She waited at "the place," which was where they had first surfed together, midway between the harbor entrance and the pier.
Her above-garage apartment was a three-minute walk from here. She had come with her board, a beach towel, and a small cooler.
Although he had asked her to wear the red bikini, Samantha wore yellow. He had hoped for the yellow, but if he had asked for it, she would have worn red or blue, or green.
She was as perfect as a mirage, blond hair and golden form, a quiver of light, an alluring oasis on the wide slope of sun-seared sand.
"What're those sandals?" she asked.
"Are they made from old tires?"
"Yeah. But they're premium gear."
"Did you also buy a hat made from a hubcap?"
"You don't like these?"
"If you have a blowout, does the auto club bring you a new shoe?"
Kicking off the sandals, he said, "Well, I like them."
"How often do they need to be aligned and balanced?"
Soft and hot, the sand shifted underfoot, but then was compacted and cool where the purling surf worked it like a screed.
As they waded into the sea, he said, "I'll ditch the sandals if next time you'll wear the red bikini."
"You actually wanted this yellow one."
He repressed his surprise at her perspicacity. "Then why would I ask for the red?"
"Because you only think you can read me."