Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital. He has a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he'd prefer to keep hidden. Whether it's a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwa is a hit man for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Protection Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you'd want to see in your hospital room.

Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squilante, is Dr. Brown's new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might - just might - be the same person...

Now with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours - and somehow beat the Reaper.

Spattered in adrenaline-fueled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, Beat the Reaper is a debut thriller so utterly original you won't be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (6 discs/approx. 7 hours).

I won this in a contest so I felt obligated to listen to it and review it. It really surprises me what gets published!

While this was mildly amusing at points, and probably a more accurate hospital drama than I'd prefer to think about, it was still just marginal. It was more like the Sopranos on crack visit the hospital. There just seemed to be an inordinate amount of superfluous swearing and graphic violence, so much so that it really took away from the story rather than adding to it.

This one gets six stars. It was good,but not great. The characters were interesting, but not engaging. I just wasn't feeling it. I was neither shockingly entertained nor unable to put it down.

Rating: ★★★★★★


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