Review: “Love Gone Mad” By Mark Rubinstein

Through NetGalley I received an eGalley of this book from Thunder Lake Press for the purposes of reading and reviewing it. While it was provided to me at no cost, I am under no obligation to give it a positive review.

This book is essentially a thriller with a love interest thrown in as part of the plot. In a nutshell, Dr. Adrian Douglas is very talented and handsome cardiovascular surgeon. He meets Megan Haggarty, a drop-dead gorgeous neonatal nurse.  As their relationship develops, enter Conrad Wilson, Haggarty’s ex-husband. He’s Mensa-level brilliant, built like a bodybuilder with the speed of an NFL running back, and he’s as crazy as the day is long. But his obsession is very monomaniacal in its focus: he only wants to hurt and or kill Douglas and Haggarty. Oh yeah, he doesn’t think Haggarty’s daughter, born during his marriage to the nurse, is his.

And away we go on this path, with lots of drama and tension and a growing love interest. Will Wilson succeed? Whose daughter is it really? Will the Couple Made In Heaven find peace and happiness together?

Overall, this book really didn’t do that much for me. There’s plenty of drama in the beginning, plenty in the end, and a huge lull in the middle. While it was necessary to progress the plot and is deep in accurate legal information, the lull really took away the thriller feel from the novel.

I also didn’t like the death revealed at the end of the book. The reason behind it felt too preachy, as if the author was trying to make a point. That’s not why I read thrillers. I can form my own political opinions, thankyouverymuch.

I also found the tension moments to be predictable. I could tell at the beginning of a chapter something was going to happen and what it would be, for the most part. Haggarty alone in the locker room after a long shift? Oh yeah, something’s going to happen.

Rubinstein does a great job of describing scenes and that helps the flow tremendously. In that area at least, the author does have chops. But the climactic portion of this book almost has a deus ex machina feel to it, which kind of detracts from it a bit. I would rather have an twist revealed by a clue I missed earlier than something brought to light after the climax.

My final beef are the characters. They struck me as being too cardboard / cookie cutter. The male lead is stunningly handsome and a cardiovascular surgeon. Of course he is. The female lead is drop-dead gorgeous and an RN at the same hospital. Uh huh. As mentioned before, the antagonist is a huge, physically intimidating man, very quick for his size and also exceedingly brilliant. Yeah.

So in a nutshell, decent prose and dialog, but predictable with characters and plots, as well as a big lull in the middle which causes the book to lose momentum.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)