Thursday, March 30, 2023

ARC Review: Downfall by Mark Rubenstein


Mark Rubernstein
Publication: Oceanview Publishing (April 4, 2023)

Description: First, his doppelganger is killed—then it’s his father. Rick Shepherd is being stalked by a murderer.

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?

My Thoughts: This multi-viewpoint mystery centers around the death of a 64-year-old doctor who was making a house call. It also includes the death of a man outside a doctor's office. Both methods of murder - three shots in the back - are the same. 

Dr. Rick Shepherd and his fiancée are watching TV when they see a picture of the man who was shot outside Rick's office and are dismayed to learn that he looked very much like Rick. When Rick's father is killed the same way, Rick feels that there has to be a connection. He's wondering is someone is also targeting him. He's had a high frequency of hang-up calls on his phone lately.

Detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan have the case of the death of Rick's father and are busy looking into his life to find out who wanted him dead. They are also building a relationship with each other despite their trainer/trainee relationship and complicated pasts. 

The killer also has a viewpoint as we see him planning his kills and learn something about his past. 

This was a pretty introspective mystery with all the characters spending a lot of time reflecting on their past experiences. Fans of the introspective will be the best audience for this one. 

Favorite Quote:
Only a few days ago, Rick could never have imagined his father being murdered while he wonders if he's in some maniac's crosshairs.

When is murder part of anyone's life?
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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