For Dr. Abby DiMatteo, the road to Boston’s Bayside Hospital began with a tragic accident — and the desperate, awful weeks that followed as she watched her little brother, Pete, lose his battle to live. Despite her small-town roots and lack of money, Abby pushed through college and medical school, each achievement strengthening her ambition to reach higher. Now, immersed in the grinding fatigue of her second year as a surgical resident, she’s elated when the hospital’ elite cardiac transplant team taps her as a potential recruit. But Abby soon makes an anguished, crucial decision that jeopardizes her entire career. A car crash victim’s healthy heart is ready to be harvested; it is immediately cross-matched to a wealthy private patient, forty-six-year-old Nina Voss. Abby and chief resident Vivian Chao hatch a bold plan to make sure that the transplant goes instead to a dying seventeen-year-old boy who is also a perfect match. The repercussions are powerful and swift; Dr. Chao resigns, bowing under the combined fury of the hospital’s top staff and Nina Voss’s outraged husband. Abby is shaken but unrepentant — until she meets the frail, tormented Nina. Then a new heart for Nina Voss suddenly appears, her transplant is completed, and Abby makes a terrible discovery. The donor records have been falsified — Nina’s heart has not come through the proper channels. Defying Bayside Hospital’s demands for silence, Abby, with Vivian Chao’s help, plunges into an investigation that reveals an intricate, and murderous, chain of deceptions.