(click the title to go to Dean Koontz's new interactive website)
From the Cover: 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.....
Ryan Perry just isn't rich, he's mega wealthy. His Internet company, Be2Do, is the reason. He has all life can give and more. He is free to be anyone he wants to be, right? But he can't predict genes, can't tell the future, life expectancy is unknown. While Ryan is enjoying his life and his love, Samantha, his body betrays him. He starts having episodes of disorientation, anxiety, fear. His heart pounds, his nerves shaken. He no longer can hide from himself. Something is terribly wrong.
With a visit to his doctors, Ryan is diagnosed a debilitating chronic incurable disease, Cardiomyopathy. His only hope for survival is a heart transplant. As rich as he is, he can find no solution. Money cannot cure his ill. At thirty-four, he's going to die.
Into the picture strolls Dr. Hobb, renowned surgeon to the very wealthy. He assures Ryan that there is hope, that he won't let Ryan die. Ryan is unsure, paranoid, investigating all those around him. Even Samantha cannot be trusted. His life changes so that he encloses himself in a plastic bubble where only he has the keys, he trusts no one outside of Dr. Hobb and his private investigator, William Mott. He becomes secretive and furtive.
Then the call comes, a heart has been found, but he needs to travel to Singapore to receive it. With bells tolling, he arrives and is given the only thing that can save him, a young beating healthy heart of a car crash victim.
Now, a year later, fear of rejection passed, Ryan's life is lived inside a bubble, he doesn't interact his others, he will never suffer fear of his health again. Until, inexplicably, he finds tiny candy hearts on his pillow with one word--mine.
The next night he finds a heart pendent. He sees a stealthy figure on the lawn that's not on the security cameras. Is he finally going crazy, is his paranoia taking over?
Finally, he discovers the truth he has known in his heart of hearts, Dr. Hobb helped to take a life so that his could be saved. Can he live with this truth and will the survivors of the victim let him?
Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz was published in November 2008. Dean Koontz has been known to write under many names including Anthony North, Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, Deana Dwyer, John Hill... and many others but most of his books have been re-released under his name. He has been prolific over the years with close 100 short stories and books in print. He has been one of my favorite authors since I was able to turn the pages. When I started to read this book, I was afraid that I had found one of his books I didn't like. For the first 190 pages, I wondered if I should stopping reading it. Then, the ride began, the roller coast took off and it was all I could do to hold on. This novel is all about subtext, the story within the story, lessons that Perry needs to learn. I wasn't sure I was going to like the self-imprisoned Ryan Perry. He was too into himself, looking at the world from a distance, almost like he was afraid to get dirty. But by the end of the book, I was shocked, surprised, stunned--Perry was human after all, and he put his good heart to good use. Though it starts slow, I suspect on purpose for those faint of heart, it ends with a bang. Try Your Heart Belongs to Me, I'm glad I did.