Spence Tailor is a lawyer who actually cares about doing the right thing. Opting out of a lucrative career as a corporate shark, Spence chose instead to fight injustice on behalf of the poor and needy.
Spence's dear old mom, Rose Tailor, has advanced dilated cardiomyopathy and the rarest blood type. Waiting patiently, Rose has worked her way to the top of the UNOS transplant list. She's first in line for the next available AB-negative heart.
Meanwhile, the presidential election is three months away and the incumbent, President Webster, plans to run for a second term. All systems are go until his heart craps out while jogging for a photo op. President Webster needs a transplant if he's going to live through November 4th. But wouldn't you know it? He, too, is AB-negative. The odds of finding a heart are terrible.
But lo and behold, a heart becomes available and Rose goes to the hospital to await the harvest.
However, the White House chief of staff, unwilling to wait for nature to take its course, orders the FBI to swoop in, prompt the harvest, and steal Rose's heart in the name of democracy.
When Spence learns someone is trying to steal what rightfully belongs to his mom, he goes into action. Along with his reluctant older brother, Spence steals the heart and goes on the run, inadvertently kidnapping a beautiful cardiac surgery resident along the way.
The president's people -- the FBI and the Secret Service -- give chase hoping to get the heart back before its ischemic time expires.
The president's political opponent is Senator Peggy Check who happens to sit on an obscure Senate Intelligence subcommittee. When she hears terrorists have stolen the heart intended for her political opponent, the senator sends the CIA to make sure the terrorists succeed at their objective -- whatever it might be.
With his ingenious imagination and sharp, biting wit, one of America's brightest comic novelists takes us on a frenzied road trip featuring a broad satiric meditation on politics, democracy, the media, and the current state of the health care system. Ultimately Fitzhugh raises the question: What would you do if it was your mother?