Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wild Thing

Wild Thing by Josh Bazell

In Josh Bazell's debut novel Beat the Reaper, he introduced Peter Brown, a medical resident who also happens to be a former mafia assassin turned state's evidence and is now in the witness protection program. The story that followed was like a Jason Stathem movie - outlandish, full of action, and a little bizarre. I liked it.

In Wild Thing three years have passed in Brown's life. He's now a physician on a cruise ship, going by another name, and still hiding from his former associates in the mob. He's soon taken away from his life on the seas, hired to protect Dr. Violet Hurst, a paleontologist who's being sent to investigate some gruesome and mysterious deaths.

The deaths have been occurring on a Minnesota lake where for years people have been claiming to have caught glimpses of something that was previously only believed to reside in Loch Ness. The bodies found along the lake's shoreline recently have been giving credence to the stories being told and Dr. Hurst is being sent there to get to the bottom of things.

Like its predecessor, Wild Thing gets moving quickly. Both the action and Bazell's biting sense of humor never let up as things unfold in an ever-increasingly ludicrous storyline. Unfortunately Wild Thing lacks a little of Beat the Reaper's stamina. Parts of it were great - the footnotes were frequently the highlights of the book, but at times it lost its appeal. Sarah Palin's appearance as a character was a high note, but I don't know what the point of the appendix was. One more thing, I'm not usually put off by strong language in a book, but this time I feel obligated to mention it as a warning. It's consistent and would be an issue for some.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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