Jack Getty is the CEO of pharmaceutical company Algen. He is about to make a major announcement at an industry conference in front of ten thousand attendees. A young conference assistant convinces him to take a drink of lemon flavored water to moisten his throat before he goes on stage to speak. Minutes later Jack suffers a major heart attack as he approaches the podium. Is the heart attack natural or was it induced?
Song For This Book: Technologic by Daft Punk
Why? A song that focuses on technology seems perfect for a book that deals with so much technology hacking and interference.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Cardiac follows the story of Jack Getty, CEO of a fancy drug company and all around good guy. He’s getting ready to speak at a conference when he takes a heart attack. Thankfully, he’s fine, but he’s been given a fancy, new-model pacemaker that works on wi-fi signals. But when it starts acting up, and he begins getting strange messages, he starts to wonder if it’s an issue with his heart, or with someone interfering with the pacemaker.
There is so much that goes down throughout this book that you feel like you need a nap when you’ve finally reached the last page. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that has left me so exhausted by the end, in the best way possible. This book is set to the speed of a launching rocket ship, which makes it hard to put down, for fear of being sucked into the great unknown of outer space. It makes it a fast read, if only for the desperate desire to find out what on Earth is going on.
This book also plays on our tendency to question new technologies, and plays on our fears of how secure our interactions with technology can be. And it’s done so well. There’s a perfect mix of ‘wow, that’s so cool’ and ‘holy macaroni, batman, why do I even have wi-fi!’. It does make me wonder what sort of response this book would get in a few years, when the tech in this book is long outdated, but it’s perfect for our current time.
The Good Points of Cardiac:
The pacing is amazing. Thrillers should always be paced quickly, because you don’t want to reader spending too much time thinking about it (or I wouldn’t, so they can’t figure it out before it’s revealed). There were a couple of points where I got a bit lost and confused, but I was easily redirected to where I needed to be.
For the first… 30% or so of the book, I thought Monaghan was giving away the whole plot and making the hints stupidly obvious. And then things went down, and I realized that I was falling right into the assumptions I was probably supposed to. The twists and turns in this book are fantastic and so addictive. There are some bigger name thriller authors who need to learn from Monaghan.
There are so many things that happen in this book that belong in this section, but I can’t include for fear of spoilers. So you’ll just need to trust me on this one. There are many amazing plot points in this book.
The Downsides of Cardiac:
For what I think is the first time ever, I will say that the editing was very well done. The writing I did have some issue with. It was fine, but the characters all talked a little like greeting cards. They were very reasonable and well-spoken, even in awful situations, and sounded a little too much like social stories for my taste. Matter of preference, though.
Jack drove me absolutely bonkers. He couldn’t make a decision and stick with it, and what he wanted to do depended on who he spoke to most recently. He was completely reasonable when bad things happened, which just isn’t normal, and he had a bit of a saviour complex. Thankfully, this book focused mostly on what was happening rather than Jack, so it wasn’t too bad.
The ending was disappointing. After everything that happened, that was all there was to it?
All in all, I did enjoy this book, and I actually read it in about two hours because I got so sucked into the drama. I enjoyed the fast pace, and loved to watch how the whole thing unfolded, especially once I realized that my assumptions were completely wrong. If you love a thriller that will surprise you at every turn and will suck you into the drama, you should definitely give Cardiac a try!