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Beat the Reaper: A Novel

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital, with 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" Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you want to see in your hospital room. Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, 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.
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About the Author

Josh Bazell holds a BA in writing from Brown University and a MD from Columbia. He is currently a medical resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and is working on his second novel.


In this debut thriller, an intern at a run-down Manhattan hospital who's atoning for his former life as a mob hit man encounters in the course of a single day a patient with a mystery illness, a 21-year-old girl about to have a leg amputated, and a former mob associate. His attempts to avoid the mob and see his patients are interspersed with an account of his past misadventures. Actor Robert Petkoff does an excellent job of voicing the protagonist as a cynical, street-wise young man who wants to do the right thing and remain alive. Highly recommended. [Audio clip available through; the Little, Brown hc received a starred review, LJ 12/08.-Ed.]-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Completely outrageous...genuinely entertaining." "New York Times Book Review"" "A breakneck cross between a hospital drama, "The Godfather, "and a Quentin Tarantino film." "Bloombert News"" "It's just what the doctor ordered....Think "House" meets "The Sopranos."" Benjamin Svetkey, "Entertainment Weekly"" "Savagely diverting....BEAT THE REAPER only gets better, turn by turn, page by page."--New York Daily News "It's too much fun and too much gore to take your eyes off the page."--Washington Post Book World "A breakneck cross between a hospital drama, The Godfather, and a Quentin Tarantino film."--Bloombert News "A fast, funny ride....Bazell keeps the story moving at warp speed."--Charlotte Observer "Completely outrageous...genuinely entertaining."--New York Times Book Review "It's just what the doctor ordered....Think House meets The Sopranos."--Benjamin Svetkey, Entertainment Weekly "Outrageously funny....BEAT THE REAPER may be the most imaginative debut of the year."--Carol Memmott, USA Today

Making a hit man turned medical intern a sympathetic figure would be a tall order for most authors, but first-time novelist Bazell makes it look easy in this breezy and darkly comic suspense novel. The Locanos, a mob family, take in 14-year-old Pietro Brwna (pronounced "Browna") after a couple of thugs gun down the grandparents who raised him in their New Jersey home. Bent on revenge, Pietro pursues the killers and executes them a year later. Impressed by Pietro's performance, David Locano recruits Pietro as a hit man. After more traumas, Pietro tries to make a break from his past by entering the witness protection program. Now known as Peter Brown, he eventually lands a position as a doctor at a decrepit Manhattan hospital, where by chance a former Mafia associate turns up as a patient and threatens to rat him out. The hero's wry narrative voice, coupled with Bazell's artful use of flashbacks to sustain tension and fill in Pietro's past, are a winning combination. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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