Just finished a book, and it was amazing! Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell is the hilarious story of Pietro Brnwa, a mob hitman living in witness protection as a doctor. Of course when an old associate shows up, Brnwa doesn’t feel safe for long, and does his best to keep his new life. In the synopsis according to Goodreads:
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.
Bazell writes the story with such wit that you find yourself laughing at things that really shouldn’t be found funny. As the story is told from Brnwa’s point of view in both the present and through flashbacks, you slowly discover who this man is, and how he came to be in this situation. Though Brnwa shouldn’t be a sympathetic character, you can’t help but like him, and hoping he’ll survive the next 8 hours. Beat the Reaper was a great read, and I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. Can’t wait until I begin the sequel, Wild Thing.