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Don't Be Afraid of the Dork

Covered in dog hair, Obsessed with books, Wondering what it's all about. I suspect the answer is ice cream and the ocean.

Beat the Reaper - Josh Bazell This review is dedicated to T.J. This is only book number seventeen this week –I’ve had a lot going on at work;0)

This book was entertaining from the very first word. It’s violent, fantastical, fast paced and hilarious. It centers on the idea that people are not always what they seem to be. The chapters alternate between telling the story of the former Pietro Brnwa bad-ass thug and assassin for the mafia and the present re-invented Peter Brown, a medical resident at one of the worst hospitals in New York.

Peter gets involved with the Mafia after his grandparents are murdered and he has his heart set on revenge. But after a few years he falls in love and get’s tired of the killing and wants to quit but the mafia doesn’t let him out so easy. After a truly horrific event, he eventually testifies against his patron and goes into witness protection – becoming a doctor in order to make up for all the life he has taken. We learn all of this background in flashback chapters. In the present day, he has been dragged back into trouble when one of his former associates shows up as a patient.

There were times when I thought the book was trying too hard to be shocking but it was lighthearted enough that it usually avoided being too heavy-handed and obvious. Despite being an assassin Peter is a very likeable character and there is a supporting cast of rather wacky characters that give the book a whimsical feel at contrast with the subject matter. If you are queasy about hospitals this book will not help though I think medical professionals may enjoy it in a thank god I don’t work there sort of way. At least hopefully that is how they will enjoy it.