I'm a huge Palmer fan, but this is not worth the read. Too unbelievable and too corny. Read one of his others if you have a choice.
One of the things I really dislike about political/techno thrillers is when I can predict the outcome from just reading the first few chapters. "A Heartbeat..." follows the formula so closely that I found myself begging my iPod -- "please! don't do it -- do something else!" And then the characters would do what I expected them to do -- and their predictable actions did not even make sense.
Michael Palmer has done better in the past -- this time however, he phoned it in.
Like the other reviewer, I too wish I hadn't wasted a credit on this book.