Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Author:  Josh Bazell
Genre:  Medical Thriller
Published:  2009
Personal Rating:  2.5/5
Yearly Count:  146  

From the back cover:

He's a doctor with a past . . .
He's a hit man with a conscience . . .
And he's got 24 hours to beat the reaper.

Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him.  His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a s*xy young pharmaceutical rep, topped off by a visit with a new patient - and from there Peter's day is going to get a whole lot worse and a whole lot weirder.  Because that patient knows Peter from his other life, when he had a different name and a very different job.  The only reason he's a doctor now is thanks to the Witness Protection Program - and even that can't protect him from the long reach of the New Jersey Mob.  Now he's got to buy some time to do whatever it takes to keep his patient - and himself - alive.  

Beat the Reaper is not just the only novel that will be compared to Quentin Tarantino's films, Grey's Anatomy, and Chuck Palahniuk - it's also the most original and entertaining debut you'll read this year.

Okay . . . the title did not draw me to this book, but "Witness Protection Program" and "He's got 24 hours to beat the reaper." is what made my curiosity peak.  I knew some of it would be questionable due to the Mob reference, but the medical aspect was intriguing and I thoroughly enjoy a good chase, so I decided to give it a try.

Well, in the long run, the crude behavior of the main character was not appreciated at all.  I don't recall anything he said or did being funny, and in a general sense, he wasn't even a nice guy.  However, the medical information (along with some footnotes for us laymen) held my attention and the look into a hospital through doctor's eyes was interesting.  Unfortunately, the medical aspect turned ridiculous, so blah to that.  And, last but not least, there was a chase, but I thought it was outlandish.  

I knew I was taking a chance with this one, but I did want to finish it.  Despite the above, the actual writing was good, but maybe it's just more of a man's book.  I don't know.  I do know it wasn't for me.

Beat the Reaper will be released on January 7, 2009.

Thank you, Miriam, from Hachette Book Group USA for sending me this ARC.


  1. Anonymous11:41 AM

    I have this one waiting for me, but after your review, it may have to wait a while.

  2. Bermudaonion ~ You might love it - ya never know. There are 5 well-known authors that loved it on the B&N site and a lot of happy readers on Goodreads. It's a personal preference - I just don't find much enjoyment out of this type of book.

  3. I had seen this one out there but the concept didn't even appeal to me. Too bad you didn't enjoy it more.

  4. Thanks for an honest review. I won't read this book after what you had to say about the main character. I do not appreciate crudeness. I guess it sells books to some, but I'm not buying.

  5. Dar ~ There were a few aspects about the book that were intriguing to me and I knew I was taking a chance - oh well. You were wise. :)

    Booklogged ~ There was definitely crudeness in this book. Blech!

  6. This one is on my November read list. Hummm... can I actually read two mob books in one month. It certainly will be a first for me.

  7. The concept does sound good but the sex and crudity of the main character doesn't really do it for me. I don't expect chaste but I'm a little burnt out on porn in action/mystery novels.

  8. Toni ~ Interestingly enough, I read two mob books this month. I find that that happens a lot. I pick up a book about "whatever", then soon after I find myself reading another "whatever" with no intention. It'll work out. :)

    Carrie K ~ It's not for me, either.


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