Friday, September 20, 2013

LOVE GONE MAD by Mark Rubinstein

Author: Mark Rubinstein
Edition: paperback, 348 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Thunder Lake Press
Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense novel, psychological thriller
Rating: 4.5 stars
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"This book is Stephen King scary. Some of the scenes were so intense I found myself wanting to get up and go check the locks on my doors and windows."--Scott Pratt, bestselling author of the Joe Dillard Series

Blurb--When heart surgeon Adrian Douglas and Megan Haggarty, RN, meet at the hospital where they work, neither has any idea of the scorpion's nest into which they've stumbled. Strange and frightening events begin happening to each of them; someone is after them both--and the stalker is not only brilliant and crafty, but vows to exact revenge for the ultimate betrayal. As things spin out of control, Megan and Adrian fight for their lives. When a spine-tingling trial for attempted murder is resolved, things return to normal--or so it seems. But more chilling surprises await the couple as LOVE GONE MAD rockets to a conclusion that brings the legal, medical, and psychiatrist communities to their knees.

My review--If you're looking for an adrenaline-spiking thriller, you don't need to look any further. Love Gone Mad by Mark Rubinstein will fit your bill. I breezed my way through its streamlined plot, archetypal characters and primal emotions: a shifting third person POV in the present tense narrative style isn't exactly my comfort zone when it comes to reading, but once I got used to it I was completely absorbed in the unrelenting pace and throttling dose of fear-factor, tragic and suspenseful elements that the author generously poured throughout the chapters. Whether a pulse-pounding scene of stalking and attempted murder, a tender longing and delicate courtship between lead characters, or an engaging courtroom interrogation, Rubinstein hits the mark with the poignant simplicity of our most basic emotions and impulses--love, jealousy, fear, revenge, compassion, greed. To that purpose, the 'triangle' Megan-Conrad-Adrian (namely the beautiful and sweet damsel in distress, the beastly and obsessed ex-husband, and the virtuous knight in shining armor) embodies one of the most compelling tropes in the thriller/suspense genre: when jealousy escalates into obsession, into violence and murderous intent, divorce and restraining orders are not enough to protect the victim of an abusive husband. And what is worse, neither is the legal system with all his fallacies and malfunctions. For an extraordinarily bright and unstable mind, manipulating the jury and turning the table in his favor is an easy game, and the villain of the story can shrewdly escape imprisonment using his insanity in his own defense.

I applaud the author for using a narrative style that could sound fragmentary at a first impact, but turned out to be, on second thoughts, extremely rewarding and functional. If Rubinstein's aim was to put his readers in a front seat spot and get them to experience, from that privileged position, the anticipation for the unfolding action, the rawness of emotions, the unfiltered stream-of-consciousness of his characters, he definitely succeeded.

***Review copy graciously provided by the publicist in return of an unbiased and honest opinion. 


Photo Credit: Philip W. Kaufman
About the author
Mark Rubinstein grew up in Brooklin, NY, near Sheepshead Bay. After earning a degree in Business Administration at NYU, he served in the U.S. Army as a field medic tending to paratroopers of the Eighty-Second Airborne Division. After his discharge, he went to medical school, became a physician, and then a psychiatrist. As a forensic psychiatrist, he was an expert witness in many trials. As an attending psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell, he taught psychiatric residents, psychologists, and social workers while practicing psychiatry. His first thriller, Mad Dog House, was released in the fall of 2012. Before turning to fiction, he coauthored five books on psychological and medical topics. He also is a contributing blogger to Huffington Post and Psychology Today. He lives in Connecticut with as many dogs as his wife will allow in the house. He is currently working on his next novel. To learn more, please visit his website.

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