Your Heart Belongs to Me
By Dean Koontz
Random House Large Print, 2008, 448 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - September 3, 2009
Dean Koontz is a master writer and one of the best authors of suspenseful thrillers. His books generally make the best seller lists, and properly so.
This volume tells the tale of a young successful and very wealthy businessman Ryan Perry who required a heart transplant. Prior to having the transplant or even knowing he needed one, he falls in love with his beautiful girl friend Samantha and he proposes marriage. She turns him down. She tells him that he has a fault. Ryan does not know what she means. Is there something wrong with him? If so what does Samantha see that he is unable to see? Or, perhaps, it is just the opposite; Samantha is telling him that there is something wrong with her. If so, what is it? Why, if there is something wrong with her, did she continue a relationship with him for so long and then reject him?
Samantha is writing her first novel. When Ryan discusses it with her, without going into its details, she tells him that good novels have a subtext. Readers need to read the surface story, and people who can mine the tale for its subtext, get more, much more out of it. Is Samantha writing about him, Ryan wonders, and our relationship? What is she revealing in the novel that she isn't telling me?
Ryan is puzzled. Samantha tells him that she loves him and knows that he loves her. Since this is so, why not marry him. Ryan decides to investigate her. What he finds out about her mother and her mother's boy friend shock him. The boy friend is involved in many assisted deaths. Ryan finds the picture of Samantha's twin sister among the pictures of assisted suicides. Is Samantha somehow suggesting that she started her relationship with him to later hand him over to her mother's paramour? If so, why? It seems clear to Ryan that there is some kind of conspiracy, but what is it?
Then he discovers that he needs a new heart and he begins to suspect virtually everything. His friend a doctor refers him to a specialist. Ryan is placed on a list for donors. But is this doctor really helping him? Against Samantha's warning and without telling her Ryan switches surgeons. The new surgeon places him on a new list, and within a month he is shipped to an oriental country for a replacement heart. The surgery is very costly but successful, and Ryan never felt better. But then his life becomes complicated and he is threatened.
Ryan, being very rich, lives in a highly protected house. There are all kinds of alarms, videos of people coming near the house, hidden rooms, codes, locks; yet someone somehow enters his house and leaves candies on his pillow on which there are the words, "Your heart belongs to me." The intruder is able to get passed all the security apparatus, and is even able to wipe out the incursion in the video. Soon, he finds out that the intruder is an oriental woman who shows that she can do what she wants with him by stabbing him, enough to hurt but not kill, yet. But she promises to kill him.
Ryan finds out that the woman is a twin of the woman whose heart he took, and she wants it back. This is another twin; the first being Samantha's sister. Are twins somehow a key to the mystery?
There are many other seeming supernatural events in the tale, which moves along excitingly and is well worth reading.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of a series of books on Maimonides, a twelfth century rational philosopher, and the co-author of a series of books on Targum Onkelos, the earliest existing translation of the Hebrew Bible. Both are published by Gefen Publishing House, www.israelbooks.com.