Racing the Reaper: Book Review

In the late 1980s when I was first going to EMT School there were very few true life EMS books out there. What ones there were I devoured. I specifically recall Paramedic by Paul Fischer and EMT: Beyond the Sirens by Pat Ivey. There was only one novel I was aware of — Street Dancer by the late Keith Neely. Like many of the books that followed in subsequent years they all followed the same pattern. Newbie takes an EMT class, gets certified, starts working, overcomes their fears and clumsiness and become competent, while encountering a variety of archetypes along the way. The books were great for someone like me looking for what the life was really like.

For many years, even after I had been working for a long time, I continued to read each new EMS book as I discovered them. After awhile, I got a little tired of the same stories, and stopped reading unless I heard something special.

Occasionally other authors have reached out and asked me to read and review their works and I have always done so if they sent me a copy. Recently I received a copy of Racing the Reaper by Jerrid Edgington, which he initially self-published but which I understand now is being republished by Master Koda Publishing, along with his second novel, Racing the Reaper: The Resuscitation. Congratulations to Edgington.

The book is not a memoir, but a novel, a work of fiction. I have actually come to prefer EMS fiction to the non fiction story type. I think with fiction you can get closer to the truth and are not always controlled by the need to be politically correct. The best EMS book I have read in recent years was a novel called Black Flies by Shannon Burke, which was a recreation of Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness recast in EMS. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I started reading Racing the Reaper at work on the ambulance, and thanks to an unexpectedly slow day was able to get through it before the shift was over. It is an easy read, and goes quickly. The story arc again follows the traditional newbie to confident responder structure. We see the narrator before he is in EMS, and follow him through class and from volunteer squad to commercial ambulance in a high volume system.

I confess when I started the book, I was under the mistaken impression that it was a vampire novel and kept wondering when the lead character was going to get bitten in the neck. I think this mistake came about because the author’s last name is the same as one of the vampires in HBO’s True Blood, (Russell Edgington), and because there is a paramedic out there writing a series of novels about vampires (actually zombies) in EMS. A third reason was the ominous line at the end of Chapter 2.

The lead character suffers a serious injury in the first chapter and after a hard recovery leaves the hospital at the end of chapter two. Here is the line; “If he only knew what turns his life was about to take, he wouldn’t have left the hospital.”

He is not bitten and turned into a vampire, but he does have to deal with an unsettling character. By the end of the book, we see what at least the first scary turn is, but we are left hanging about the future turns. The book is more of a opening sally to a larger adventure than a complete novel on its own.

Edgington’s second book Racing the Reaper : The Resuscitation is also available on Amazon. The description includes the following: “If he only knew what was going to happen to him, he wouldn’t have moved to Idaho.”

There may be many more books to come or it could be a simple two book set. Not certain.

Overall, an easy read, with lots of authentic EMS detail. Writing fiction is much harder than nonfiction, and Jerrid Edgington has succeeded in his task, adding his two books to the growing body of EMS fiction. Bravo!

Amazon Link for Racing the Reaper

4 Comments

  • Red says:

    Sounds like a good book, must add it to my Christmas list.

    It was actually your book, Paramedic, that solidified my desire for this career. I had large portions of it memorized because I read it so often throughout high school.

  • Jordan Collins says:

    I have read the first book and I must confess that I was sucked in quickly. While I admire the truly authentic EMS procedures I was also taken slightly aback. The amount of disaster seemed a little(lot) farfetched. I continued reading with an appreciation that it was fiction at heart. Finishing it with mixed feelings I must confess that I will be getting the second book. Peter’s books were my first EMS fiction/non-fiction. They have inspired me to begin looking into my own EMS novel. When are you putting out another book Peter?

    • medicscribe says:

      Hi Jordan, thanks for the comments. I have another book I am finishing, but haven’t had time to get it completely done up. It is another novel.

      Peter

  • I was surfing the web and came across this page. I am humbled by the review and comments. I can’t thank you all enough. The first two books that originally were self published, were re-edited by my publisher and re-released. The third book in the series, Reaper’s Requiem, will be released on December 6, 2014. My publisher has signed a fourth book to the series, The Reaper Returns.

    Again, thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Peter Canning

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

Recent Posts
ECG Quiz May 7, 2015
copy-medicscribeheader.png Intranasal Medication April 26, 2015
SW_Rectangle The Jug March 26, 2015
SW_Rectangle The Ideal Medic March 24, 2015
Categories
  • ems-health-safety (7)
  • ems-topics (705)
  • hazmat (1)
  • Uncategorized (421)
  • Archives
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • May 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006
  • June 2006
  • May 2006
  • April 2006
  • March 2006
  • February 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005
  • December 2004
  • November 2004
  • October 2004
  • September 2004
  • August 2004
  • Comments
    Casey
    Intranasal Medication
    Agreed Steve. Love IN Versed for combative/ictal patients. Also IN versed is used in ED for kids. Helps with pain relief and as an amnesic and wears off fairly quick- not sure that directly applies to prehospital but food for thought nonetheless
    2015-05-07 00:36:28
    Chris
    AHA 2015 Guidelines: A Preview
    I am a 25 year veteran firefighter/medic, and 9 year veteran critial care fixed wing medic. I work in Northeast Ohio. In this region, we have all but abandoned endotrachal intubation for the intent of ease of a superglottic airway. AHA de-emphasizing ETI and we have seen this coming for a while. We either bag…
    2015-05-05 20:54:08
    Steve
    Intranasal Medication
    "either because they are seizing or are violent, then the better and quicker route would be IM. " I'm quite hesitant about bring a needle against someone fighting me or shaking... those are the perfect times to be needleless.
    2015-04-27 18:34:14
    bill
    The Ideal Medic
    very well put! aggression can be a good in moderation but over aggression can do harm. 1 year to 30 years no medic will know it all epically with our ever changing job description. thank you for your input!
    2015-04-26 11:46:50
    Ben Leighton
    Adenosine
    Hi. Im a UK Student Paramedic and I have a few questions regarding adenosine (we currently dont carry it) and I was wondering if any of you guys could e-mail me at ben-leighton@hotmail.co.uk and start some correspondance. Im aiming to set a proposal to my service in order to carry this drug and wanted some…
    2015-04-20 13:36:03

    Now Available: Mortal Men

    Mortal Men is available as an electronic book for Kindle, Nook or any other e-reader. Here is a link to some of the places to buy it. The book sells for $3.99. Barnes and Noble Amazon Smashwords Scribd Also Available from iBooks

    Order My Books

    Support EMS Bloggers, Buy Their Books

    Google

    Order Books and Movies

    FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

    Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

    LATEST EMS NEWS

    HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS