Author: Josh Bazell
Title: Beat the Reaper
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Publication Date: January 7, 2009
Number of Pages: 310
Geographical Setting: Manhattan, NY
Time Period: Present day
Series: Peter Brown #1
Plot Summary: The first novel by Josh Bazell (who is also a medical resident) follows a single, horrible day in the life of Pietro Brwna, an emergency room doctor and witness-protection program participant, living under the name Peter Brown. Flashbacks reveal that after Pietro’s grandparents (his only family) are murdered, he is taken in by David Locano, a mob boss and father of Pietro’s childhood friend, Adam. Fuelled by his hunger for vengeance, and aided by the Locanos’ resources, Pietro finds and murders his grandparents’ killers, and eventually becomes a hit man for the Locano family. A falling-out with the Locanos causes Pietro to enter the witness protection program, and to later become a medical resident in the worst ER in Manhattan, where a former mob associate turns up as a patient and threatens to rat him out.
Subject Headings: Assassins, Federal Witness Protection Program, Hospitals, Organized crime, Physician and patient, Physicians, Pseudonyms and anonyms, Secrets
Appeal: Fast-paced, relentless, dangerous, hard-edged, humorous, menacing atmosphere, suspenseful, eccentric, character-driven, strong secondary characters, action-oriented, cinematic, flashbacks, details of ER procedure, anatomy, and contract killing.
3 terms that best describe this book: Fast-paced, Dark Humor, Suspenseful
3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
1) Plugged by Eoin Colfer
“When his girlfriend and several people close to him are murdered, Daniel McEvoy finds himself targeted by the New Jersey mafia, corrupt cops, and an eccentric neighbor.” — NoveList Plus
2) Crisis by Robin Cook
“Shocked and humiliated by a medical malpractice lawsuit, physician Craig Bowman receives help from his estranged brother-in-law, medical examiner Jack Stapleton, who discovers trouble after exhuming the body of Craig’s alleged victim.” – NoveList Plus
3) The Contortionist’s Handbook by Craig Clevenger
John Dolan Vincent is a talented identity forger, on the run from both the cops and the mob.
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
1) Hospital Survival: Lessons Learned in Medical Training by Grant Cooper
“This book relates some of the countless, colorful stories that have occurred during the first year of clinical rotations and presents them in a manner that will not only entertain but will also mentor with the hope that the lessons of others will allow a smoother path for the next generation of students.” – Amazon
2) The Mob and Me: Wiseguys and the Witness Protection Program by John Partington and Arlene Violet
“This revealing first-person narrative, by one of the founders of the Witness Protection Program and a personal protector to more than five hundred informants, offers an eye-opening, dead-on authentic perspective on the safeguard institution.” – Amazon
3) Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier’s Life in the Gambino Crime Family by Dennis Griffin
This book chronicles the life of Andrew DiDonato, who began his criminal career at the age of 14 under the watchful eyes of the local mob. But by 1996, DiDonato had run afoul of both the law and his friends, turning him into a hunted man on two fronts.
Name: Vadim Seyfer