Mark Rubinstein’s mastery of the New York street scene is on keen display in the final installment of his “Mad Dog” trilogy, “Mad Dog Vengeance” (Thunder Lake Press, $12.99, 320 pages). Aptly titled, given that this luridly effective tale starts with a vengeance and never slows up.
Once again, physician (psychiatrist, actually) Rubinstein’s fictional doppelgänger, surgeon Roddy Dolan, finds himself embroiled in dirty dealings that threaten to destroy his career, as well as himself. You know what they say about making a deal with the devil, for which the New York mob proves an able stand-in as ironic counterpoint.
Dolan is forced to become everything he hates to save everything he loves. This must be the month for gritty morality tales, and Rubinstein attacks his with a skill and aplomb that blends a dash of Harlan Coben with a smidge of Linda Fairstein, seasoned with just enough Andrew Vachss. And that makes “Mad Dog Vengeance” a masterful modern-day crime tale, infused with both charm and depth.
— Jon Land (firstname.lastname@example.org) has published many thrillers and lives in Providence.