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Review: Beat the Reaper

January 7, 2009


Peter Brown is a doctor at Manhattan Catholic Hospital with a horrible secret in his past.  He is part of the Federal Witness Protection Program.  Raised by his grandparents, Pietro Brwna, as he was known as at that time,  comes home to find them brutally murdered.  Having nowhere else to go, he attends an exclusive prep school and becomes friends with Adam Locano, the son of a Mafia lawyer.  The Locanos treat him like family and eventually, Peter becomes a member of the Mafia.

Things go fine for a while but then Peter meets Magdalena and wants out of the mob.  It looks like he’ll be able to once he helps Adam get “made.”  When Peter is tried for the murders he and Adam execute, he is offered a place in the Witness Protection Program, but refuses.  Peter is acquitted and assumes things will be fine until Adam blames him for killing another member of the mob and targets Magdalena, her brother and Peter.   Peter realizes then that he has to go undercover.

One day, while making his rounds in his new identity, Peter encounters a patient who knew him in the Mafia.  The patient tells him that he has called someone so that Peter will be targeted if the patient dies.  What happens after that is an action packed, thrilling ending.

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell is a fast-paced thriller with a bit of a medical mystery thrown in.  There are a lot of twists and turns in the story, but it’s not hard to follow the plot.   Peter’s attitude reminded me a little bit of Dr. House.  While I was reading this book, I could picture it being made into a movie.  I really enjoyed it, even though it has some foul language and can get a bit gruesome at times.  Gory scenes don’t usually bother me in a book, but I have to admit that the one at the end of this one made me cringe a little bit.

Josh Bazell is a medical resident, and he has a Bachelor’s in Writing.  Beat the Reaper is his first novel.  He included  some interesting medical footnotes in this book.  He is currently working on his second novel, and I can’t wait to read it.  I wonder when he sleeps.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2009 8:29 am

    It seems as if you liked this one a bit more than I did. It just wasn’t for me.

  2. January 7, 2009 8:55 am

    Ooooh! Can’t wait to get my copy in the mail!

  3. January 7, 2009 9:11 am

    This one is in my pile to be reviewed. I’m slowly catching up with all the reviews I put off through November and December. I liked the book, but had a tough time buying the gory scene in the end. First, a little too much “ewwww” factor, second….”oh please, seriously??……..)

    Totally off topic, I love your little quilt icons. Are you a quilter?

  4. January 7, 2009 9:40 am

    Great Review Kathy. The book sounds really good. I marked it on the TB list.

  5. January 7, 2009 10:59 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one – nice review!

  6. January 7, 2009 11:21 am

    Sounds like a wild ride for sure! Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. January 7, 2009 11:28 am

    Sounds like a convoluted plot, but exciting too.

  8. January 7, 2009 12:07 pm

    The review sounds interesting, but MAN that cover would put me right off. I admit, I (sometimes) judge a book by it’s cover!

  9. January 7, 2009 12:35 pm

    It was exciting, but I would have liked less language. And I don’t think I’ll be going to a hospital anytime soon – at least not voluntarily.

  10. January 7, 2009 2:21 pm

    As long as he doesn’t sleep with the fishes…
    I’d like to try this one, especially since I’ve never heard of it or the author. Thanks!

  11. January 7, 2009 3:13 pm

    Ha… I have to read this.. but am a little worried about the gory scene. I will have to ask my son about it. Great job!

  12. January 7, 2009 4:53 pm

    sounds like fun. this book is going to be everywhere soon so i’m glad to read your review! 🙂

  13. January 7, 2009 6:19 pm

    Sounds great, I’ve been interested in reading this and I like that the character reminded you of House – I would absolutely love to see a book series based on House!

  14. January 7, 2009 9:29 pm

    I haven’t heard of this one, but your review definitely makes me want to check it out.

  15. January 7, 2009 11:04 pm

    I’m with Lisa…the cover is like getting hit upside the head with the book.
    Although I’m quite envious of the author’s over-achievering (over-achieverness?).

  16. January 9, 2009 11:35 am

    I like the odd medical thriller once in a while, I like to read a crime-fiction at least once a month and I don’t mind foul language or goriness. This sounds like a book I would like to read! Great review, I will put it on my TBR-list 🙂

  17. January 9, 2009 2:12 pm

    I must agree, this one sounds pretty good. It is going in my TBR pile!

  18. January 9, 2009 8:26 pm

    This sounds great – I’m going to be *listening* to it soon! I, too, wonder when he sleeps — talk about multi-tasking!

  19. January 10, 2009 7:44 am

    You have me curious. I am not sure that this part of my normal fare, but I might want to check this one out.

  20. January 10, 2009 9:37 pm

    I’ve heard so many great things about this book! I have got to get a copy.

  21. January 12, 2009 11:30 am

    I’ve heard such great things about this one. I hope to read it one day. Great review, Kathy!

  22. December 3, 2009 10:16 am

    Thanks this was a good read

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