The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld

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Reason(s) for Reading:
  • The summary looked fantastic (as did the cover)
I  also recommend:

Summary from GoodReads:

Under a clear blue September sky, America’s financial center in lower Manhattan became the site of the largest, deadliest terrorist attack in the nation’s history. It was September 16, 1920. Four hundred people were killed or injured. The country was appalled by the magnitude and savagery of the incomprehensible attack, which remains unsolved to this day.

The bomb that devastated Wall Street in 1920 explodes in the opening pages of The Death Instinct, Jed Rubenfeld’s provocative and mesmerizing new novel. War veteran Dr. Stratham Younger and his friend Captain James Littlemore of the New York Police Department are caught on Wall Street on the fateful day of the blast. With them is the beautiful Colette Rousseau, a French radiochemist whom Younger meets while fighting in the world war. A series of inexplicable attacks on Rousseau, a secret buried in her past, and a mysterious trail of evidence lead Young, Littlemore, and Rousseau on a thrilling international and psychological journey-from Paris to Prague, from the Vienna home of Dr. Sigmund Freud to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., and ultimately to the hidden depths of our most savage instincts. As the seemingly disjointed pieces of what Younger and Littlemore learn come together, the two uncover the shocking truth behind the bombing.

My Review:

This is not my “normal” genre of book to read.  I’m not a big detective/historical mystery type reader, but this book looked interesting so I took a chance on it – and boy did it pay off.

When I picked up the book (after procrastinating long enough, see above comment), I was immediately drawn into a world that was filled with interesting characters, strange circumstances and terse, to the point prose that had me on the edge of my seat.  Every single scene was knit together so carefully that I had a hard time finding a spot to stop without feeling as if I should just go.. a few pages more.

Although the book is a lengthy one (480 pages) it felt more like a 200 page novel due to the speed with which the story progressed.  In addition, there are some great flashbacks, a story within the story, where the characters lead the reader through bits and pieces that help tie the entire story together.

Set around the 1920 bombing of Wall Street, this is a story that I thoroughly enjoyed, that I’ve already talked about to three separate people, and that will be taking a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

About the Author

Jed Rubenfeld is the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder.  A professor at Yale University Law School, he is one of the country’s foremost experts on constitutional law.  He wrote his undergraduate thesis at Princeton University on Sigmund Freud.  He lives in Connecticut with his family.

Visit Jed Rubenfeld at his website here.

For more reviews on The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld, please follow the book tour.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 Comment

  1. So, my hubster was telling me about a book that he heard about on the radio. I pop the title in google and up comes your review. How in the heck did I miss this one?!!?

    Can't wait to read it and glad that it didn't scare you off completely:)

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