In A Heartbeat by Rosalind Noonan
Ben McGann is spending his summer at a baseball camp, a nice break after his first year in Boston College. Having been born an athlete, Ben quickly came to love baseball specifically and has dedicated his life up to this point at perfecting the sport. When Ben's arrival at the baseball camp bristles some of the senior players who attended during the past summer, rivalries soon begin and threats are exchanged. One team member takes it too far and Ben ends up the victim of a severe beating by none other than a baseball bat. A 3am phone call summons Kate, Ben's mother, to leave her house in Woodstock and drive with her estranged husband, Eli, to Good Samaritan Hospital, where a son she doesn't recognize lays unconscious following emergency brain surgery. Eli and Kate's relationship is further strained while they are forced to sit helpless by their son's bedside - Eli itching to be anyplace but there, Kate itching to find out who did this to her son. But it is up to Greg Cody, police investigator, to piece together the evidence and find out who could have commmitted such a vicious act on such a well-liked boy before someone else falls victim. The question is: will Greg Cody find the perpetrator in time?
Wow! Just like Rosalind Noonan's other novel One September Morning, this novel will keep you at the edge of your seat, frantically turning pages as you attempt to uncover the mystery - a real "whodunit". Rosalind Noonan has done an excellent job in keeping the end a secret right up until the very last couple of chapters. She throws a few curve balls to keep readers guessing and it isn't until the very end that everything previously disclosed throughout the novel seems to fall into place. This novel was exciting and interesting right from the start, and is one that cannot be read fast enough. My only real critique (and this is only me making a mountain out of a molehill, really) is that I found many similarities between the character personality of her antagonist in this novel and her previous one, One September Morning. I hope this is merely coincidence, and in future novels I hope to see her develop the antagonist in a different way. So despite that small hiccup, I absolutely recommend this novel. I will definitely be re-reading this at some point and I cannot wait until she publishes another novel. This is an author whose work closely resembles that of Jodi Picoult. She is an author to watch out for and I hope she continues to write novels for a long while yet!