Beat the Reaper while peeking through my fingers? Yeah, well, I couldn't stop myself and I ended up reading Wild Thing, the second novel featuring our former Mafia hit man turned doctor, Peter Brown. Only now he's Lionel Azimuth and he's working on a cruise ship, courtesy of the Witness Protection Program.
Dr. Azimuth, as he is now known, is hired by Rec Bill (short for Reclusive Billionaire) to check out a possible scam in Minnesota that might or might not involve a dinosaur living in a lake. He is accompanied by paleontologist Violet Hurst and discovers (as you might expect) that things are not as they first seem in the dying town of Ford, Minnesota.
I thought this book was a much easier (i.e. less gory) read than the previous one and said as much to a friend.* I neglected to mention the part at the very beginning with the two teenagers being chewed in half while swimming in a lake, possibly by a monster. So there's that. Then there's the paleontologist (a much more complete female character than the one we had in the first novel) who offers a theory on why the world is going to go to hell in a handbasket in the next 50 years or so. Not comforting. So there's that, too. That's the point where my friend stopped and say "Really? This is better than the last one?" Good thing she stopped before the meth lab scene.
So "less gory" is a relative term. But what can I say? I thought it was good. Really interesting characters and a convoluted but compelling plot. I've got to say, though, that the footnotes that seemed an interesting device the first time just got annoying this time around.
Clearly, however, I can't stay away from Bazell and his vivid imagination. So we'll see if Dr. Brown/Azimuth returns in another installment and what alias he takes. Just stay out of the water, OK?
*It should be noted that this is the friend who gave me a copy of Beat the Reaper saying, and I quote, "It's funny."