Saturday, 30 August 2014

Mad Dog Series #2: Mad Dog Justice by Mark Rubinstein

*I received an ARC of the book from the author in exchange of a honest review*

Published: September 1st 2014 by Thunder Lake Press

Goodreads Summary: Roddy Dolan, a surgeon, and Danny Burns, an accountant, are being hunted as prey. Someone is after them with lethal intentions but they don't know who or why. Whoever it is, and for whatever reason, they and their families are in the crosshairs of killers. Everything they know is unravelling. They must hide, send their families away, abandon their homes, and leave their lives behind.

The second book in the Mad Dog series, Mad Dog Justice is a harrowing tale of friendship, morality, betrayal, and dire consequences.


The memory of what Roddy Dolan and his friend Danny Burns nicknamed the Snapper Pond is still haunting them. Yet, both suppose that this “accident” is buried deep in the past and will never resurface. They’re dead wrong.

As a stressed out Danny argued over the phone with his wife Angela, an armed man breaks into his office and shot him twice. Thankfully, Danny’s wounds weren’t fatal, but for his friend Roddy, the message is clear: the events of the Snapper Pond are going to get back at them.

His foreboding is confirmed, when a day after his friend’s attempted murder, his work colleague Walt Mckay receives a shot that was meant for him and subsequently passed away.

Roddy and Danny feel cornered from every side. Someone is trying to kill them and will potentially attack their family as well, they can’t tell their wives what is going on and they can’t seek protection from the police either.

When the two friends talk or think about the Snapper Pond, they aren’t remembering an embarrassing event, or an unfortunate accident, but rather a murder scene.

Nowadays, Roddy works as a surgeon, live in the suburb, drive a nice car and have a lovely family. Before that, he was a sergeant in the army, but before he entered the army and turned his life around, Roddy was known as The Mad Dog in those Brooklyn streets where criminality is rampant. 

Even after he headed toward a better path in life, Roddy still kept in contact with some of his old pal. 

He and Danny decided to do some business with one of them, Kenny Egan. Nothing truly illegal, they became his silent partner in a restaurant investment. Unfortunately, for them, Kenny was a low class scum and made them lose money big time. At the end of the day, some loan shark John Grange reclaimed a million from them. 

Both realized that this sum wouldn’t be enough to mollify Grange and they would be forever indebted to him. So, they eventually killed him. The night they took out Grange, they also sent Kenny to the grave. And the whole thing became known as “Snapper Pond” between the surgeon and the accountant.

We all know that murder doesn’t rhyme with police, that’s why the two childhood friends can’t do no confession. And they better avoid telling their wives of their first degree crime if they want to avoid divorce papers and a possibility that their secret get blown out.

To add more misfortune to their misery, Detective Harvey Morgan is on their case, and tries to squeeze a confession out of them with his sharp questions.

I was truly impressed by the description in Mad Dog Justice.  It was very clear and precise. 
The characters were all likeable and relatable.  Well, except for Morgan. I know the guy was just doing his job and he was doing it in the name of justice. But god, he was so annoying about it. His nosiness and cockiness were insufferable. The less we saw him, the better I felt.

My personal preference character wise leans toward Danny. His guilt over the murder and his inner turmoil were just so believable. You could truly feel his pain. I couldn’t help feeling bad for him and wishing he would get the peace he was seeking. I also hoped he and Robby wouldn’t land in jail.

There were a few things that bothered me in the storyline, though. Many scenes carried the same scenario. 

Furthermore, Robbie kept mentioning the mafia, the Russian underground, the Asian gangs, but in the end, none of them appeared in the book. 

I was disappointed by that, because I truly expected that criminal goons would make their entrance, that there would be some vendetta Godfather style, that Robbie would meet up with some people from his old crowd and that they would talk “business” in order to get him out of the mess he was in. But no, there was none of the mafia “stuff” I’m fond of and that I craved to see.

Mad Dog Justice was definitely a tension filled book. However, it was lacking in the action department. That’s why to me, instead of being great, it was merely good. 


  1. It sounds like a decent book with lots of layers in mystery and description! I think having good description is essential in a book. On top of that I really like the idea of the character Danny. It's a shame that it didn't have quite enough action in there for your liking...

    Check out my post about the Incredibles:

  2. Hi Olivia,

    The book was definitely well written. The description was very good, because it made me feel like I was seeing what the character saw, lol.

    It's really the repetition of scenes and the fact that I expected more mafia "stuff" that were a let down for me. It was still a good book, though. And the mystery was definitely present!


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