Beat the Reaper: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Beat the Reaper is not for the faint of heart. This debut novel tells
the story of Dr. Peter Brown, an intern at Manhattans worst hospital. He
has a past he'd rather keep hidden.

Pietro “Bearclaw” Brnwa is a hit man for the mob with a bent for
violence. To put it mildly, he's a bad dude you wouldn't want to run
into in a darkened alley. He's your worst nightmare.

Nicholas LaBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is an aging mobster and Dr.
Brown's newest patient. Among other charming personality quirks, Eddy
thinks that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might, just might, be the same

Narrated by Peter Brown, Beat the Reaper, is wonderfully dark and full
of snark. (Yes, I rhymed that intentionally.) The pitch and tone are
prefect and it is a hugely run read. Think “The Soprano's” meets Jack
Donaghy from “30 Rock” and you've hit the nail on the head.

— Bess

January 2009 Indie Next List

“Josh Bazell's story of a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past goes down like a good Bloody Mary with a powerful kick. The briskly paced thriller offers an entertaining plot, quirky characters, and a shocking ending that will haunt the reader for a long while.”
— Amy Pierson, Toad Hall Bookstore, Rockport, MA


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.

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.

Praise For…

"Outrageously funny....BEAT THE REAPER may be the most imaginative debut of the year."—Carol Memmott, USA Today

"It's just what the doctor ordered....Think House meets The Sopranos."—Benjamin Svetkey, Entertainment Weekly

"Completely outrageous...genuinely entertaining."—New York Times Book Review

"A fast, funny ride....Bazell keeps the story moving at warp speed."—Charlotte Observer

"A breakneck cross between a hospital drama, The Godfather, and a Quentin Tarantino film."—Bloombert News

"It's too much fun and too much gore to take your eyes off the page."—Washington Post Book World

"Savagely diverting....BEAT THE REAPER only gets better, turn by turn, page by page."—New York Daily News
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316032216
ISBN-10: 0316032212
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: September 14th, 2009
Pages: 336
Language: English

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