Wild Thing by Josh Bazell is the sequel to 2009’s most hilarious adult novel Beat the Reaper. Before I dive too far into WT, let me back up and tell you just a few things about our hardcore mobster/Doctor protagnoist, Peter. Or is it Pietro? Ishmael? No wait, it’s Lionel. Or, well, whoever the heck he is calling himself now-a-days.
Pietro Brnwna lost his parents, then his grandparents (to a brutal murder), and was quickly scooped up by his best friend’s loving, rich, mafia-tied family, the Locano’s. He killed some folks for his new employer/father figure, but ended up in some trouble, landing him as a state’s witness. (Hence name change number one.) He got a mentor who helped him get into med school, earning him an M.D. So he went from taking lives to saving lives. Wouldn’t you know…his two lives collide right inside of the Manhattan hospital he is a resident at, when a former fellow-mobster is battling hear disease. The story of Beat the Reaper is one that I have not stopped recommending to adult males, and young adult males who can deal with mature content such as sex and violence (and understand it in its setting, not in the “oooh cool, sex! Murder! kind of way).
Wild Thing is the continuation of Peter’s story. We re-acquaint ourselves with him on a cruise ship in the Caribbean where he is the resident doctor. His old mentor has a job for him that is too intriguing to pass up…as is the super sexy paleontologist who was assigned to join him on the excursion, on behalf of the reclusive billionaire (nicknamed Rec Bill by the two) who bought their admission onto the monster hunt of a lifetime: finding the creature that lives in the White Lake in Minnesota.
His mob roots do not creep up nearly as much in this novel as I suspected they would (although the skills he exposed in BTR made numerous appearances in this second novel). This novel was definitely more of a mystery than his last, which was just utterly gruesome at times (breaking your own limbs, death by shark), and LOL hilarious at others.WTstill had the sarcasm, but not as much humor.
All that being said, I was not completely let down. I will still recommend the pair of novels to adult men and women, and mature young men. The stories are weaved so well, and I never saw the twists coming. That is the making of a good mystery, yes? An element of Bazell’s novels that I just cannot get enough of are the little facts. I swear, some times I think Bazell has an agenda to, like, teach his readers random facts. And…I freaking love it.