Cover Image: Downfall


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The beginning seems a bit predictable: a guy is murdered in cold blood on a Manhattan street, under the eyes of a doctor who is, for all intents and purposes, his doppelganger, and the reader thinks he already knows what the possible developments of the story will be. Some of these possible developments are indeed explored by the investigators, who at some point, however, seem intent on dismissing the case for lack of clues. Until the doctor's father, himself a doctor, is killed in the same way. The dig into the family's life becomes an archaeological work on interpersonal relationships, family dynamics, parenting and much more. In fact, although this book is a very successful thriller, for me it is best in this respect. The writing is excellent and the whole makes it a book that you read all in one night, from which you cannot tear yourself away.
Was this review helpful?
Downfall is a fast-paced novel set in New York City in the 1980s. It is something of a mashup of a police procedural and character-driven fiction and includes the points of view of the two detectives, a physician, Richard Shepard, whose father is murdered, and the murderer himself. Two murders occur close together and seem unrelated except that one of the men killed is Richard’s Doppelgänger. Because of this, Richard believes he is being targeted, though who would want to kill him and his father? The premise is fascinating.

As a police procedural, it reads a bit odd. The detectives spend little time actually “detecting.” The point of view of the murderer seems somewhat superfluous as it doesn’t provide but a bit or two of information that isn’t duplicated elsewhere.

That said, the prose is clever and tight. There are some great one-liners such as: “the body heat in the place could bake a loaf of bread,” “his beer gut’s big enough to have its own zip code,” and “the marriage has soured like a carton of milk that’s past its sell-by date.” The points of view change fairly frequently with no indication of whose POV the reader is in, and the voices of the individual characters aren’t sufficiently different that the reader knows instantly. Overall an interesting read but not a great one.
Was this review helpful?
Downfall by Mark Rubinstein
This is a mystery that has as an aside a sad commentary on the medical field.   Rick Shepard is an Internist in a high pressure NYC medical practice.  His father, also a doctor, is a dying breed that still makes house calls.  Rick’s father is murdered which starts the events of the story. 
Rubinstein is able to sandwich in a mini-romance with two emotionally wounded detectives as well as noting the sad state of medical practice factories.   They mystery was good as it was certainly not obvious who did the killing.   
The anguish Rick went through was well portrayed.   Jackie could have had more depth but overall the characters were well portrayed.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting premise. Some one murdered outside your office and looks like you. And the mystery and suspense go from there. Who did it and why is not revealed until end of book. Good characters and interesting plot.
Was this review helpful?
This was certainly cleverly written and engaging. I didn't find it an easy read. Its a very character driven police procedural which is fine but it all just felt like people chatting to each other constantly with no other forms of investigation which felt odd. The entire book felt like its conveyed through conversations. The povs also switched at random and made the book feel really disjointed. There wasn't any signalling to indicate who's pov it was or that it had switched so you did have to be on the ball. I loved the premise so much and thought it'd make such a good story but it just felt like ot dragged quite a bit. I did enjoy how cleverly written it was and how many plot lines were weaved throughout. The characters were well defined and 3D and you can easily picture every second of this book. I jist felt like nothing really happened but I do personally prefer more action led thrillers or police procedural where you're involved with all the aspects of the investigation and not just talking to people of interest. I didn't seem to come across much evidence collecting or public appeals or work back at the station....... I've no idea why I noticed that because I'm not about to claim any knowledge on what going into police investigations! It just felt very dated maybe? I've no doubt it'll appeal to a lot of people and will be loved by those who do like this style of book but I struggled. Oh and every so often the pov switches to the killer who just seems to skulk in the background going on about how he killed someone. N I already know that so didn't really need to hear from him
Was this review helpful?
4.25/5 stars! I really liked this book because it felt closer to an 'old-timey' crime novel than most of the newer thrillers. This 1980s thriller was a romp from beginning to end. I was shocked at the ending, which is always a plus with this genre. I found the characters to be 3-dimensional and I really wanted to discover who had killed Dr. Shepherd's father. 

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much to Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC! 

This book had me hooked from the beginning. All the characters are so likable. I really liked the dynamic between Nager and Liz. The twist of who the killer was is quite the surprise too.
Was this review helpful?
I usually find Rubinstein's books to be incredibly fast paced but felt like this one took a little while to speed up. The change of perspectives I typically enjoy but switching from first to third person would often throw me and sometimes felt like a type. With the version I received from NG it almost felt like the book wasn't quite yet finished. While this one wasn't my favorite, I would definitely continue to read Mark Rubinstein's books!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for the opportunity to preview Downfall. This is a fast paced novel.  The locale and the decade make this more interesting. Set in NY city in the 1980s the stage for two murders seemingly unrelated until one of the men looks strangely like the son of one of the men who was killed. Coincidence.  Dr Rick Shepard starts to think he was targeted and some other man was killed because he looked like him.  
Two police detectives start to investigate the son’s father and in doing so start to think the doctor may be right.  He was the target
But who would kill the sons father.  He too was a doctor and at 64 years old he was an old school physician who barely ha d a practice left
This book really is character driven and a good ending.  I was pleasantly surprised with what a good book this was.  4 stars.  Definitely a good book to read in one day.  Recommend
Was this review helpful?
So, I was intrigued by this story, however, the formatting of the copy sent to me by Netgalley was a mess and it was so distracting and difficult to read. On top of that, the author switches points of view way too often and randomly which yanked me out of the story every time. Also, this story was rushed; I would have liked more detail and proper pacing in scenes. All in all, it has potential . . .
Was this review helpful?
With his doppelgänger is shot dead in front of his office door and his father shot under eerily similar circumstances, Dr. Rick Shepherd wonders if he is next.

The story follows Rick and the detectives assigned to his father's case as they cope with the aftermath of the murders. I found the story to be interesting and entertaining.   Fairly well written with a couple of interesting surprises.

The story unfolds from several perspectives, some times with a first person narrative and at others from the third person narrative.  I found the random switching to be a little distracting.  Some parts of the story also felt rushed, and I think providing a little more detail in those parts would have made for a richer, more enjoyable story.
Was this review helpful?
Having never read a novel written by Mark Rubinstein, I had no expectations. However, once I started reading Downfall, his latest novel, I was blown away. The plot revolves around a murder on the city streets of New York of a man who bears a striking resemblance to the doctor who is the central character in the book. Underlying issues in the book are family relationships and a commentary on the current status of the medical profession wherein the profit motive is more important than patient care.

The writing, in my opinion, is extraordinary. How can one not marvel at prose such as:
 1) His beer gut’s big enough to have its own zip code
2) ….the marriage has soured like a carton of milk that’s past it’s sell-by date
3) ….the body heat in the place could bake a loaf of bread

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all readers and look forward to reading more of Mr. Rubinstein’s novels. I thank NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication.
Was this review helpful?
Downfall by Mark Rubinstein is a spine tingling thriller. 
Rubinstein's writing left me thoroughly entertained. 
This story has all the elements of clever plotting, multiple threads which twine into each other to provide the reader with a well crafted and layered read.
And the plot was good, I liked the layers, and the twists and turns, the characters and how they interacted with each other and I was especially pleased when the book ended satisfactorily, with all questions answered.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Oceanview Publishing,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
Was this review helpful?