Book Review – Beat the Reaper

This is a faaaaaaaaaast read by Josh Bazell. And I don’t just mean that it’s short or easy writing. I mean the pace doesn’t let up, even with the flip flopping between flashbacks and the storyline. If you’re looking for something deep and heavy with plot, this isn’t it. If your looking for a fast shoot-em-up kinda story for summer, this fits nicely.

The premise is that an ex-mob hit-man is trying to make a go of it as a doctor, when he’s recognized one day while on rounds by an old mob acquaintance. This, of course, throws his drug-laden brain into overdrive. So we’re thrown into his day as he deals with the mob, the past, modern medicine, and interns.

It’s full of the gratuitous violence and sex that modern crime/mob books have. But it all seems tempered, just a tad, when you’re reading through the eyes of a medically trained hit-man. It’s one thing to put a hurting on someone, it’s a whole other thing to do it while giving pithy commentary, piling on footnotes and explaining the science of why the body does what it does. I for one enjoyed all the footnotes.

This is the quintessential summer reading novel. Nothing more. Great fun. As ewwwww as the final showdown in the freezer is, the scary part is thinking that half his footnotes may actually be right and that doctors may all really be that hopped up.

I give it 3 out of 5.

One thought on “Book Review – Beat the Reaper”

  1. This book has been on my list since publication and I will now have to put it on the fast track to the top! I’m about to crack open Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’ new book, The Strain, though so no new books until I finish it!

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