Josh Bazell has a BA in writing from Brown University and a MD from Columbia University. He is currently a medical resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and is working on his second novel. Read more about Beat the Reaper at www.beatthereaper.com.
My favorite books are always crime books, and the best I read this year were The Cigarette Century – Alan Brandt’s awesomely readable true account of how a handful of advertising geniuses created the worst epidemic the world has ever seen – and Peter Lovesy’s The Reaper. Although I’ve always liked Lovesy, part of the reason I read The Reaper was because its title is sort of like the title of my own forthcoming book. So it was nice to discover that it’s something of a mainstream masterpiece. If you suspect you could love a dark comedy about a sociopathic priest who has to kill more and more people to cover up his previous crimes, you will love this one.