Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Open Heart by Harry Kraus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Open Heart
David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him ...

They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.

It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maeltsrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Open Heart, go HERE.

 My review:
    Harry Kraus' books were the first medical suspense novels I read, and I loved everything he has written. He has moved to write for David C Cook, and it seems to be a good move for him. His first book for them, A Heartbeat Away, was awesome. This book, An Open Heart, was totally different, but I enjoyed it just as much.

  Most of the book is set in Kenya, and Harry does a great job of painting a picture of what life is like there, and what it is like to be a doctor there, something he knows personally since he is there himself as a doctor.

  I found myself relating to the main character, Jace, quite a bit. Although he is a fictional character, his struggles with God mirror mine so much, it was like reading about my own. And even though he is a fictional character, it was a great message to me that not everyone gets it as easily, not everyone who grows up in a Christian home just naturally has all the faith in God to make it, but instead struggles to find that faith. It was a great message that maybe won't resonate with a lot of readers, but it did with me, and I won't give any spoilers, but Jace's struggles with God did have a happy ending in the book.

   There was a lot of suspense, and the book helped remind me that there is a very real evil in this world. We may never face an outright attack brought on by witch doctors, but evil is there, and the devil is fighting us all.

   This is a book that I would read in one sitting, but I started it too late last night to finish it, as I had to be in bed earlier than normal, but it was good enough that I had a hard time putting it down. I highly recommend it, and am giving it 5 stars.