The Recipient by Dean Mayes.
Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant and a rare second chance to begin again. Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping. When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realizes her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare.
Top Customer Reviews.
By Georgina Penney on April 16, 2016
Definitive 5 star read. I began reading The Recipient when I had little time to spare and I’m afraid I have less time now because I became completely immersed in the plot. This was a thoroughly captivating story. Dean Mayes has a rare ability to built tension and create memorable characters. It’s a skill that is truly enviable and provides no small amount of exasperation to this fellow writer. There wasn’t a point that I was completely sure where the narrative would go and the fact that it frequently took me by surprise was a novel experience, especially of late when I am frequently able to predict the ending of the story before I’m even a quarter of the way through.
The whole idea of a donor organ communicating with a recipient was completely novel to me and Mayes handled it brilliantly. Casey is a solid protagonist and the reader is with her the entire story. I found her particularly relatable. Her confusion and struggle to untangle the mystery haunting keeps the reader riding the roller coaster and at the end I put the book down feeling immensely satisfied by the ending.
This was a brilliant read, the tension was riveting, the characterisation spellbinding. I’ll definitely be re-reading on a regular basis!
By Bridgett B. on April 27, 2016
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and this is my honest review.
This was a great book!!! If you ever thought about what would happen to you if you got a heart transplant, would you feel what the donor felt, then this is a book for you to read. This was a fast pace who done it.
Casey is a girl who is happy with life, until she travels to a foreign country and gets infected with a parasite that badly damages her heart. Now she needs a heart transplant. Finally she gets the call they have a heart for her. After the transplant she lives a very different life then she had before, she has constant nightmares, so bad that she has resorted to doing drugs to keep her awake, or to put her in a non-dream state. Finally she listens to “her” heart and digs a little deeper into who her donor was.
It’s a plot-driven story, with characters I liked (Pa, Sasquatch), and everything flows well from scene to scene, taking us right along. Lots of medical stuff, plenty of cyber intrigue, scary villains. What I really liked is that I didn’t need a chart to keep track of characters, as is the case nowadays.
I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Mystery/ Thrillers.
Thanks Dean Mayes for such a great read. 🙂
By SERIESous Book Reviews on April 19, 2016
<b>**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by my source.**</b>
I was really intrigued by the premise for this novel. As someone who is studying to become a part of the health-care field, organ transplants have always been an area of curiosity. So I was eager to see how it would add to the larger mystery and dove in.
You might think the plot revolves around Casey coping with the random memories of her donor and that is the “thrilling” part–like a scary movie. But it actually reads more like a mystery once the concept is unraveled a bit. I found the first part (less than 25%) a little dry because it’s establishing Casey as her character and her situation–but once the plot starts going, it really keeps going at an accelerated pace.
The mystery was great! I truly wasn’t able to figure it out until the big reveal and that always gets bonus points in my eyes. It’s high level suspense and danger that really kept me on my toes and engaged as a reader. It’s a well crafted story that makes a seemingly unrealistic idea (the idea a person’s memories are transferred during an organ donation) but makes it entirely plausible.
By Molly R. on April 28, 2016
By Gemma on April 16, 2016
Dean Mayes’ new book (which I received as an Advanced Reader’s Copy) is an extraordinary psychological thriller that eases you in at a well-paced speed, and then smacks you with every emotion possible on an epic whirlwind of suspense and mystery. And the twists, boy, will the twists claw at your insides! I give ‘The Recipient’ 4 out of 5 stars.
The plot is extremely clever and original. I enjoyed seeing the story pan out from different characters’ points of view. Although not necessary to have read Mayes’ other stand-alone books prior to ‘The Recipient’, there is an overlap that adds a familiar and interesting element. Mayes is particularly skilled at writing high-drama scenes with exhilarating tension. I could see the characters and the settings playing out in front of me.
The reason I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars is because I found some descriptions long-winded, mainly in the first few chapters, and a few word choices throughout were frustrating. I say this to be completely honest in my review, however, on the whole, the writing is superb. I want to know when the movie will come out…a movie-maker would be a fool to not want this story!
‘The Recipient’ is the first book I have read for quite some time that was impossible to put down. Well done Dean – this is a book to be proud of!
About The Author: Dean Mayes.
Emerging in 2010 as a self professed “late bloomer”, Adelaide based Intensive Care Nurse and author Dean Mayes, had almost given up on the prospect of ever being published by the time he was in his mid 30’s. But Dean had an idea for a story that he wanted to tell and, rather than allow it to wither and die in his imagination, he decided to blog the story.
Quite unexpectedly, the blog took off as a rapidly growing audience “tuned in” to Dean’s dream like tale of a young man who discovers he has taken on the memories and dreams of a complete stranger in the aftermath of a near fatal drug overdose.
Following a chance meeting with Canadian based publisher Central Avenue in mid 2009, Dean was signed by Creative Director Michelle Halket to an initial two year contract. In 2010, Dean’s humble blog became his début novel “The Hambledown Dream” – a lyrical and moving romance about a young man’s journey on both sides of mortality. The novel has since gone on to receive global attention and critical acclaim.
Dean set about penning a follow up novel that was not merely a repeat performance. After 2 years of meticulous research, Central Avenue Publishing released the powerful Australian family drama “Gifts of the Peramangk” in October 2012. Chronicling a dysfunctional Aboriginal family in the struggle streets of Adelaide’s suburban fringe, “Gifts of the Peramangk” has been described as significant literary achievement. In October 2013, it was nominated as a finalist in the prestigious EPIC Awards for contemporary fiction.
A third project, an experimental sci-fi novella entitled “The Regenesis Cluster”, was released in 2013. Dean describes this piece as an exploration of death and life, an artistic interpretation of reincarnation using words. Also in 2013, Dean participated in the landmark anthology “Tales of Australia – Great Southern Land” – a show case of this country’s finest independent voices. Dean’s short story “This Corner Of The Earth” is described as a love letter to his childhood home town.
Dean’s third feature length novel, a psychological thriller set in Melbourne called “The Recipient” was released on May 1st 2016.
He lives in Adelaide, Australia with his partner Emily, their two children Xavier and Lucy. He can often be found lying on a hospital gurney at 3 in the morning with a notebook in hand, madly scribbling ideas while on break.