Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg
moonshadow

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

Title: Beat the Reaper
Author: Josh Bazell
Genre: Thriller
Setting: New York City, present day
Reason for Reading: I saw this on a "new mystery" newsletter I subscribe to via your friend and mine, the local library.
Pages: 336
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: No picture, just red letters and some abstractly exciting blue lines.
First line: "So I'm on my way to work and I stop to watch a rat fight a pigeon in the snow, and some fuckhead tries to mug me!" (When I tried to transcribe this line, my mind automatically and amusingly substituted "this guy" for "some fuckhead.")
Best part: It was wacky and funny.
Worst part: On the other hand, the view of human nature presented is pretty bleak.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Don't Fear the Reaper", which came into my head whenever I picked it up.
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Folks who like a thriller with some hard edges and belly laughs too.
Related Reads: Fatal February by Sheila Katzinger, The Genius by Jesse Kellerman, LA Outlaws by TJ Parker.

Ninety-nine problems? In describing the life of Dr. Peter Brown, the famous song would fall a few problems short. It's bad enough to be a retired hitman who is now trying to save lives. Bad enough to get mugged on your way to work. Bad enough to know that the cute girl in the hospital bed is about to get her leg chopped off. But when an old mob enemy of yours who isn't supposed to know you're alive shows up as a patient? Maybe you just shouldn't have gotten out of bed.

This book will keep you wincing, keep you laughing, keep you guessing, and keep you turning pages. It flew by. It would make a good airport read.
Tags: books 2009, fiction
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