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In "Downfall" by Mark Rubinstein, readers are thrust into a pulse-pounding world of suspense and intrigue as protagonist Rick Shepherd finds himself ensnared in a twisted game of cat and mouse with a relentless killer. From its gripping opening scene to its heart-pounding conclusion, Rubinstein delivers a masterclass in psychological suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

The novel begins with a shocking act of violence outside Rick Shepherd's office—a passerby is brutally murdered, bearing an eerie resemblance to Rick himself. As the stakes escalate with the murder of Rick's own father in a chillingly similar fashion, the tension mounts, leaving Rick and his fiancée Jackie in a state of perpetual fear and uncertainty.

Rubinstein expertly weaves together a complex tapestry of mystery and intrigue, drawing readers into Rick's desperate quest for answers. As he teams up with detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan to uncover the truth, Rick finds himself descending into a labyrinth of secrets, past traumas, and dangerous revelations. With each twist and turn, the tension tightens, propelling the narrative forward at breakneck speed.

One of the novel's standout features is its meticulously crafted characters, each imbued with depth, complexity, and humanity. Rick Shepherd is a compelling protagonist whose vulnerability and determination make him instantly relatable, while Nager and Callaghan are a formidable duo whose dogged pursuit of justice adds layers of tension to the story.

"Downfall" is more than just a thrilling whodunit—it's a gripping exploration of the ripple effects of violence and the enduring power of resilience in the face of adversity. Rubinstein deftly examines themes of loss, grief, and redemption, infusing the narrative with emotional depth and resonance.

As the mystery unfolds and the stakes escalate, readers will find themselves utterly engrossed in Rick's harrowing journey, rooting for him every step of the way. With its razor-sharp prose, intricate plot, and unforgettable characters, "Downfall" is a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers and crime fiction alike.

In "Downfall," Mark Rubinstein delivers a tour de force of suspenseful storytelling that will leave readers breathless and eagerly anticipating his next literary offering. This is a novel that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned, a testament to Rubinstein's skill as a master storyteller.

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A gripping and high octane thriller that will get your adrenaline pumping. Someone has been mistaken for Dr Rick and is murdered. Rick is in for the fight of his life but first he has to discover why!

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I enjoyed this book much more than I expected. It was very intriguing to read. The story revolves around Rick Shepherd and his fiancée Jackie, who discover that a man who looks exactly like Rick has been killed outside of his office. They later find that Rick's father had also met the same fate. Detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan are assigned to investigate the case. Meanwhile, Rick and Jackie receive several hang-up calls at home, leading Rick to question whether he is also a potential target.

A potential murderer is on the loose, and Rick may be their next target. What is the motive behind these killings? Meanwhile, Rick travels to Connecticut to check on his deserted Uncle Harry's house. What led to its current state? As Rick uncovers dark family secrets and past tragedies, he becomes entangled in a web of revenge. Will he escape with his life? This gripping murder mystery had me captivated from start to finish. "DOWNFALL" is a psychologically intricate work that combines intense character analysis, a family saga, and a suspenseful murder mystery. It lingers in your thoughts long after the heart-wrenching tale concludes. With its elegant prose and multi-layered narrative, this book presents a realistic portrayal of human nature and the intense emotions that accompany it.

The concept is genuinely intriguing! The falsehoods we deceive ourselves and others with. How our history shapes our identity. The challenge lies in maintaining equilibrium between work, personal life, and familial relationships. Simultaneously, we grapple with self-reflection, the influence of our past, decision-making, feelings of remorse and regret, jealousy, bitterness, dishonesty, ambitions, the significance of time, and the enigmatic nature of memory.

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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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