A Change of Heart

Kensington. Oct. 2016. 352p. ISBN 9781496705747. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781496705754. F
Dr. Nikhil Joshi is still an emotional wreck two years after witnessing the brutal murder of his wife, Jen, a doctor who was investigating a black-market organ transplant ring in Mumbai. He's been barely functioning in an alcoholic haze as a physician on a cruise ship. Now, a beautiful young woman called Jess tells him that she received Jen's heart in a transplant—and claims to have a message from Jen. How can Nikhil believe her? What does she want from him? Yet their mutual attraction grows as the two get caught up in a complicated mission to find the truth about Jen's killers. Their quest takes them from America to India as suspense slowly builds toward a satisfying if not surprising ending. The author of A Bollywood Affair and The Bollywood Bride, Dev takes on a tough subject here: the appalling abuse of the poor, especially unprotected young women, by merciless thugs.
VERDICT This combination of steamy romance and crime thriller with an issue-driven plot sometimes reads like two separate novels. Still, the triumph of love and hope over tragedy and despair provides an uplifting counterpoint to the dark heart of this work. [See Prepub Alert, 3/28/16.]
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