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Beat the Reaper
By Josh Bazell
Read by Robert Petkoff

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Beat the Reaper

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Beat the Reaper
By Josh Bazell
Read by Robert Petkoff
Hachette Audio, (2009)
An Unabridged Recording on 6 CDs
ISBN 13: 978-1-60024-432-2
Genre: Fiction, Thriller

Reviewed by Angela Evans - February 5, 2009

Beat the Reaper is an off-beat and totally entertaining, although somewhat overly bloody, first-novel by Josh Bazell. The story centers about Dr. Peter Brown, an intern at a Manhattan hospital. Dr. Brown, is not, however, all he seems. Years ago, Dr. Brown was better known as Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwa, who just happened to have a steady job as a hitman for the mob. His transformation into Dr. Brown occurred after he entered the Witness Protection Program. All seems well with Dr. Brown's new life, no longer is he killing people, but he's saving them. That is, until former associate, Nicholas LoBrutto turns up as one of his patients. Recognizing Dr. Brown as the former "Bearclaw," LoBrutto threatens to rat Dr. Brown out to a group of individuals that were not amused by Dr. Brown's change of heart. Will Dr. Brown have to return to his old modus operandi in order to protect his new identity, or will he discover a new method of maintaining his secret and his new life?

Written with wry humor, full of excitement, and a large dose of violence, this is a fast paced and lively book that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. As well, Bazell, who earned his MD from Columbia, has filled this book with a solid dose of accurate medical information.

Robert Petkoff's suspenseful reading of this audio edition of Beat the Reaper highlights Bazell's biting dialogue and adrenalin packed action. Beat the Reaper is the best book I've listened to so far this year, but due to the coarse language and violence, this book is definitely not suitable for all readers.

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