Cover Image: Downfall


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Member Reviews

I did not finish this one, it was not for me, I couldn't relate to the characters, and just did not care for the story.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this.

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. this was a very intriguing book to read.

Rick Shepherd and his fiance Jackie learn that a man who looks identical to Rick is killed outside his office's front door, and later learn that his father also followed the same fate, Detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan are assigned the case, and they launch an investigation. Someone though has been calling Rick and Jackie’s apartment and hanging up and he begins to wonder if he’s a target as well
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I found this story very intriguing and a thrill to read. An interesting mystery and an easy summer read. Highly recommend.
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Thank you, Oceanview Publishing and Netgalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!

This book is 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. This book had a great pace and the right kind of amount of suspense. I like the little twist at the end. What I really liked was that the book was written from multiple POV. There were a bit too many conversations for my liking. I would have liked to see more inside the mind of the characters instead of clear conversation.
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First off thank you to #NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Downfall, kept me on the edge while reading for the first 3/4 of the book trying to figure out if the main two events are truly coincidental or if they are connected. Following Rick Shepard, a doctor who may look like he has it all together on the outside, through a mystery plaguing his family gives a real life look into what it means when what we see may not add up to what is truth. This compelling mystery with a twist at the conclusion was at times slow moving but overall a good read that I would recommend to those that like a good mystery.
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*4 Stars*

Copy kindly received via NetGalley for an honest review.

This book has you thinking who the killer could be and why. When you find out who it is, it's surprising along with the reasons behind the killings. Good characters and a good ending, would recommend.
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When a man who could almost be his double is killed in front of his office building, Rick Shepherd finds the coincidence to be a bit unsettling.  But, when his father is murdered a few days later and in almost exactly the same way, Rick begins to wonder if he’s a target as well.  Anonymous phone calls at all hours of the day only add to his concerns.

Downfall has a great premise that drew me in almost immediately and for a while I was quite engaged.  Sadly, though, the plot seemed to revolve more around Rick’s anguish over his relationship with his father and the regrets he had.  The thriller aspect was, for the most part, lacking and the pace was choppy. Eventually. I also found that I didn’t have much empathy for any of the characters in the story. 

Downfall definitely deserves 3 *s for the plot and the final, well-done twist at the end.
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This started out with two murders and that looked to be unrelated, but are they?  This was a fast paced-book, that set the stage for a whodunit.  This takes place in New York City.  Rick is working with NYPD, and he is struggling with secrets, and things that happened in the past.   This book was a really fast read, and the author did an excellent job, with the characters and the plot.  I couldn't put the book down.   This book is definitely one of the books that I would recommend over and over.  I give this book five stars.
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This is a character driven psychological thriller that moves at a consistent and methodical pace. There is much character thought in relation to action. We have the thoughts of Rick, the targeted doctor. We have the thoughts of Art, the detective investigating the case with troubling issues with his ex. We also have periodic chapters with the thoughts of the villain.

The pace of the plot movement was not engaging. I found myself skimming paragraphs of thoughts to get to the next dialogue or action scene. There was not much psychological tension. Rick received hang up calls and that was about it. Even those stop when he changes his phone number. There is one scene of suspense near the end.

Rubinstein does explore several issues in the novel such as perception and memories as well as the impact of childhood experiences. Readers who enjoy lots of character reflection will like this novel.

I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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I have always enjoyed author Mark Rubinstein's work and Downfall, his latest novel, is a great read!
Set in the 1980's in New York City this riveting psychological murder mystery surrounds the murder of an elderly doctor as well as the murder of a man that could be the identical twin of his son (who is also a doctor).
After the murder of his father and the man that could be his doppelganger Dr. Rick Shepherd, along with the police, uncover dark family secrets and lies in their search for the truth.
A fast-paced intriguing novel that you won't want to put down.
Highly Recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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A physician is approaching his office and finds a crime scene of murder victim who was shot at his office doorstep.  When he and his fiance are watching the news and see the photo of the murder victim, they are shocked it looks like it could be Rick’s twin and little did they know this would be the beginning of life turning upside down for them.  Two nights later, Rick’s father is killed in the same way, shot three times in the back.  It appears to Rick that someone intended to kill him.  The plot takes a number of twists and turns and is a good read.  I would recommend the book and the author.
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A psychological thriller with a mystery to solve.

The synopsis of the book is good; really got my attention. The author has an interesting and good writing style which fits with the book and its story. However, it wasn't enough to consider this book as a "masterpiece".

The story starts off well from the beginning, the characters (and and mainly the main character) are written in a well/decent way, however the plot went on too long and at one point I lost interest. 

It's not that complicated to understand and the 'plot twists' aren't that surprising and shocking, but I still recommend it if you want to read a decent thriller.
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I was intrigued by the blurb and let down by the story. I would say the first half of this book kept me the most interested but then it fell flat for me. There was a lot of concentration on certain relationships that I felt had nothing to do with the story as a whole, especially when those people had little to do with the conclusion in the end. It all just felt disjointed the last half of the book. 

This normally would have been a DNF for me but I really wanted to know who the killer was. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in that also.
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Thanks to Net Galley and Oceanview Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.  
This is my first book by this author and I will definitely be reading more.  
A fast paced psychological murder mystery thriller. 
Dr Rick Shepherd  is watching the news, a man who looks like his double has been shot dead outside The building where Rick works. 
Rick feels shaken and anxious  and is asking himself was the shooter after him, and if so why, what could the motive be?   
A few evenings later, Rick’s father, who is nearing retirement and is also a doctor, is making a housecall to an apartment block, when he is shot dead,  Rick feels that the two cold blooded murders are related.  The two detectives working the case are not so sure and are treating the two shootings as separate cases. 
Rick becomes more stressed and anxious, again asking himself who would want both his father and himself out of the picture, so he begins his own investigation. 
The suspense and tension builds as the story unfolds.  The reader is kept guessing as to who did it!  A very clever twist, lots of tension as Rick’s investigation unknowingly leads him to the shooter, an action packed clever conclusion.. 
Really good characters in the two detectives. Great read. 4.5 stars.
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Mark Rubinstein's latest riveting psychological murder mystery, DOWNFALL, features a doctor that realizes the murder of his father was identical to another shooting outside his office—begging the question—who was the intended victim?

Little does he know the frantic search will unravel a dangerous web of dark family secrets and lies.

Set in the 80s in New York City, 34-year-old Dr. Rick Shepherd, divorced, is on staff at a Manhattan practice. He is pondering the mistake of joining this medical practice a few years earlier.

He has his family, Jackie (live-in girlfriend), sister, Katie, and Mom and Dad (separated). There is also his Uncle Harry, his dad's twin brother.

Then some guy gets shot outside his office in broad daylight. The man was 33, Robert Harper, an elementary school teacher. An unknown assailant. The weird thing is the guy could be Rick's twin brother. Random or intentional?

It is uncanny how much they look alike— from their hair, jaws, and blue eyes. A dead ringer, doppelganger—could be his double. He was killed at the entrance to his office. Shot three times. Was he the intended target?

Also, ironically, he had been receiving hang-up calls.

Two nights later, he receives a call from his mom—his dad, also a doctor, is dead at age 64. He was making a house call in Brooklyn at an apartment and was shot in the back—MURDERED.

This is up close and personal for Rick. What is going on? Were the bullets meant for him? Do they have enemies?

Detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan are assigned to the case, and they launch an investigation. There are no clues.

Could it be Katie's rough violent ex-boyfriend, Brock? Rick regrets the last words with his dad the night before he died. Death has no do-overs.

Rick is thinking of his dad and how medicine and practices have changed. How to practice medicine for the next thirty years. You have to be in a group with a treadmill of patients where billing and revenue drive everything. Was he the Golden Boy who wanted to please his father?

A killer is still out there, and Rick may be next. Motive?

In the meantime, he has to go to Connecticut to check on his Uncle Harry. He is afraid of what he will find. The house looks abandoned. What drove him to this condition?

In Rick's search for the truth, he is drawn into a web of dark family secrets of the past and tragedies. Will Rick make it out alive before meeting the same fate? Someone is out for REVENGE!

Compelling! An intense murder mystery page-turner I read in one sitting.

Rubinstein is a fantastic crime writer and knows his stuff (check out his impressive bio). I would classify DOWNFALL as psychologically rich—leaning more towards an intense character study, family saga, literary fiction, part medical thriller, detective, and a whodunit/whydunit suspense murder mystery.

I hope this book ends up in the right hands of a reader who will appreciate it. The book stays with you long after this heartwrenching story ends, leaving you with a hopeful, satisfying conclusion.

I am a big fan of literary fiction, where the action often takes a back seat and focuses on what is going on at the moment. More character-driven rather than plot-driven and a reflection on the human condition —as why I enjoyed this immensely.

Classic, elegantly written, lyrical, and layered, a realistic tale of human character. Yes, there is the crime thriller, detective, and cop procedurals; however, the story shines at its best as the author explores what it means to be human and its intense emotions.

Thought-provoking! The lies we tell ourselves and others. How the past defines you. The struggling, balancing work, career/personal, and family dynamics. All the while dealing with self-awareness, the power of the past, choices, regrets, remorse, envy, resentments, deception, aspirations, the importance of time, and the mysteries of memory.

Highly charged topics are addressed: suicide, infidelity, murder, mental health, child abuse, grief, complex relationships, sibling rivalry, revenge, family dynamics, and the power of memories.

DOWNFALL would make for an ideal book club pick, and discussion questions included. There is much meaning to the title.

"Memory is such a strange thing. When you think about it, this instant in time is the only one that's not a memory. Our entire lives from this moment back are just memories. Yes, without our memories, we'd be empty vessels."

Some people choose to rewrite their memories.

My only comment: It would have been helpful to identify the chapters of POV. It switches around, so you spend a few paragraphs trying to figure out who is speaking when it changes.

DOWNFALL is for fans of authors Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, Michael & Daniel (DJ) Palmer, and John Hart (favorites). I highly recommend it and cannot wait to see what comes next from this talented author.

Thanks to #OceanviewPublishing via #NetGalley for a gifted e-ARC for an honest review.

Blog Review posted @
@JudithDCollins |#JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: April 4, 2023
My Rating: 4.5 Stars, rounded to 5
April 2023 Must-Read Books
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This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review.  Thanks to the publisher and the author.  This story of murder and intrigue is written by a talented author.  The story moves quickly, and the characters are realistic.  Trying to discern the ending is not easy, but that is a characteristic of the mystery genre.  I liked this book.  I liked the linear timeline; I liked the guessing; I liked the red herrings.  The secrets were part of the story.  Father and son, both doctors, were at the center of the story.  The women were mostly on the edge, blending in when necessary.  This book is from one of my favorite publishers.  Their work is quality.  Enjoy this.
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Clues and events have led Rick Shepherd to work closely with the detectives investigating.  As his life slowly falls apart, more and more questions arise as to why he's being hunted.  Mark Rubinstein builds the suspense in layers, leaving few clues to follow.  I missed many clues and had to go back to find them.  This book demands your attention, it's not one to read while the TV is on.  As the reveal gets closer, the pace accelerates and you'll feel the tension build. spoilers, you'll have to read it for yourself.
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Thank you Mark Rubinstein, Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC e-book. A physician who has followed in his father's footsteps has his entire life turned upside down and dumped for all to sift through. Someone is stalking Rick and this seems clear when first a man who looks just like him is killed on his way into Ricks work and then his father. This twisty psychological mystery keeps you guessing from beginning to end as you try to decode why Rick has been targeted and what he can do to right whatever wrong has begun this entire ordeal.
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When Rick Shepherd, a physician, approaches his office on a busy Manhattan street, he finds police cars, an ambulance, and crime scene technicians. He soon learns a passerby was shot three times in the back, murdered at the front door to Rick’s office.  Later that evening while watching the local news, Rick and his fiancee, Jackie, see a photo of the victim—to their horror, the deceased looks identical to Rick.  Two nights later, while making a house call in a Brooklyn apartment building, Rick’s 64-year-old father is shot and killed in the exact same way. Detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan are assigned the case, and they launch an investigation. There are no clues leading to the perpetrator.  Even more ominously, someone has been calling Rick and Jackie’s apartment and hanging up. Whoever is targeting Rick must have murdered his father, and they now have Rick in their crosshairs. Nager and Callaghan seem to be making no progress with their investigation. Rick’s quest for the truth draws him into a labyrinth of secrets, past tragedies, and the agonizing pain of lives shattered by a single event. Can he make it out before he meets the same fate as his father?

I have read several of this author's books and enoyed them, so I was excited to read this one.  Unfortunately, this one fell a little short of expectations for me.  It wasn't bad, don't get me wrong.  It just wasn't great.  At some points it seemed to plod along, and then other points it was somewhat suspenseful.  Once it was revealed who the killer was, it seemed to devolve even further from there.  At times this felt like I was reading a police procedural, other times a mystery, and other times a psychological thriller.  Overall this one gets a solid 3.
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Set in the 1980s, Downfall is a psychological thriller that drops us into the mind of your ordinary, everyday citizen who is suddenly confronted by the possibility that he has been targeted for murder. This is a mystery that combines the psychological thriller elements with a police procedural investigation with each running in parallel with each other.

When a man is shot to death in broad daylight out in front of Dr Rick Shepherd’s surgery his concern for the poor man turns to fear for himself when he discovers the man looks almost identical to himself. Could this shooting have been a case of mistaken identity and was he the true target?

Shortly after this first troubling murder, Rick’s father, also a doctor, is murdered, shot in the back while making a late-night housecall. This clearly rocks his world and his mind immediately returns to the other shooting, not to mention the increasing number of hang-up calls he’s been getting.

Investigating the doctor’s murder is Detective Art Nagel and his partner Detective Liz Callaghan, a pair of Brooklyn detectives who, for quite some time appear to be spinning their wheels. While they grind through the process of trying to pick up the killer’s trail, we slowly get a clearer picture of what makes each of them tick. It’s this part of the story where we’re given a full picture of both cops which gave me a firm stake in their success or failure.

Although there is an attempt to build the drama through occasional first person narratives from the perspective of the killer who is clearly still on the trail of Rick Shepherd, the actual danger feels rather removed. There was a great deal of “I’m gonna get ya, I’m gonna get ya” but not a lot of doing.

In fact, this turns out to be a story more inclined to the mental anguish felt by Rick as he does a great deal of reevaluating of his life. His reasons for becoming a doctor, his relationship with his murdered father, his dissatisfaction with the current job situation and questions over whether he is truly content in his relationship with his girlfriend all burn within him. Churning through all of this comes the specter of a family tragedy that has clearly made its mark on the entire Shepherd family. 

The resolution, when it comes, aims to provide an unexpected twist which really didn’t hit the mark, although it was a valiant effort. The twist aside, the final confrontation was packed with energy, anguish and self-doubt and it was here that I found myself most deeply invested. 

A moderately paced psychological thriller, I ended up rating it three stars. This came down to the fact that, after devoting a significant portion of the book to the building relationship between the detectives, Nager and Callaghan, they disappointingly play an extremely minor role in the outcome. I would call this more a psychological examination of the human mind than a true thriller.

My thanks to Oceanview Publishing through NetGalley for the digital ARC of the book to allow me to read, enjoy and review Downfall.
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