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Beat the reaper : a novel
Josh Bazell
Adult Fiction BAZELL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Crackling dialogue and rich characters distinguish Bazell's debut thriller. Dr. Peter Brown is living a double life and one of his patients may have uncovered the doctor's secret. Brown was formerly Pietro Brnwa, a vicious mob hit man who would be "the last person you want to see in your hospital room." Robert Petkoff delivers a solid performance as both Brown and Brnwa, distinct and well-crafted personalities whose flaws, needs and desires somehow coexist in this mystery. Bazell's writing is raw and endlessly witty, a combination that isn't always realistic, but with Petkoff behind the microphone it's a great ride. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 27). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Pietro Brnwa (aka Peter Brown) is a hospital intern who looks like an Easter Island monolith with lots of moxie. No Dr. Kildare, the former hit man has brought to his new position a thorough working knowledge of internal medicine. As part of a Witness Protection Program, he's crafted a new identity, until a former colleague is admitted to the hospital ward, and Peter's cover starts to unravel. A propulsive, savvy read featuring characters both well shaded and shady, this debut thriller by a physician polymath with a BA in writing from Brown also offers the garnish du jour in the form of elaborate and funny footnotes (Ø la David Foster Wallace). You can prescribe this to fans of Carl Hiaasen and quirky abrasive fiction, although anyone whose future plans include a trip to a hospital may want to steer clear, as Bazell is almost too informative about life behind the surgical mask. Doctors are pill-popping automatons, and when a surgeon tells you that you "have a chance," what he means is that he needs a bigger boat. Heartily recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/08.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Peter Brown
Formerly known as Pietro Brnwna; taken in by a mob family when he was 14 after thugs killed his grandparents; pursued and killed his grandparents' killers; his new family recruited him as a hitman; entered the witness protection program to change his life; intern at Manhattan's worst hospital; keeps his past to himself.

Nicholas LoBrutto
Former mobster known as Eddy Squillante; Peter's new patient; has three months to live; figures out Peter's past; threatens to reveal Peter's real identity.

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