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Mad Dog House

(Mad Dog #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Roddy Dolan, a successful suburban surgeon, long ago left behind his past--one that nearly landed him in jail at 17. When he's approached by an old friend about becoming a silent partner in a Manhattan steakhouse, he's understandably wary. So he consults with his lifelong blood brother, Danny Burns. Danny's convinced this "vanity project" is the perfect trophy to illustrat ...more
Paperback, First, 328 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Thunder Lake Press (first published October 21st 2012)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  192 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Mark Rubinstein
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, of course I love this book--I wrote it!
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially men
Won this! Thank God I did! This story has heart.

Mad Dog House is a true man's man thriller. Roddy and Danny have been best friends since childhood. They've each grown into mature, responsible, successful and happy men. They've been through a lot and have always remained close. So when it comes to making heavy decisions not only do they consult their wives, they discuss it with each other. Sound familiar? Do you have a best friend? Maybe your husband, boyfriend, or brother has this best friend?
Philip Kaufman
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Mad Dog House, Mark Rubinstein has created an intriguing dark journey filled with suspense. From the beginning and throughout the entire book we are riveted by an intense foreboding, as Roddy Dolan, a successful surgeon, is visited by a seemingly stranger during the last appointment slot of his work schedule. As the conversation evolves we find out this stranger is not unknown to Roddy, but is an acquaintance from his past. This in itself creates a level of subliminal caution and tension for ...more
Niki Ketchman
Oct 25, 2012 marked it as to-read
This review is from: Mad Dog House (Paperback)
While reading Mad Dog House the reader experiences the anxiety and anticipation of the slow up hill climb of a roller coaster only to be thrust into the adrenalin rush with the events that follow. Although the reader may feel a sense of dread at what might come next he cannot leave the ride because he becomes too emotionally involved with the main characters, Roddy and Danny. Part of the mystery of the book is to find out if Roddy and Danny can esca
John Dolan
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
'Mad Dog House' is a humdinger of a book.

Roddy Dolan, successful surgeon and contented family man, appears to have left his violent criminal past behind him, until fate intervenes.

Mark Rubinstein has penned a compelling tale of those deeds that cast long shadows. The writing is spare and taut, the characters believable, and the author marshalls his narrative skillfully. The psychology of fear and dread is masterfully handled as the story speeds towards a horrific, visceral climax.

I look forward
G.P. Hutchinson
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mad Dog House raises penetrating questions regarding whether people can truly change in their fundamental essence. So in addition to serving up a very entertaining story, the novel has to be counted as good literary fiction for the way it causes the reader to ponder deeper questions common to us all.

The premise of Mad Dog House is very plausible and compelling. The set-up is great. The reader knows the hammer is going to fall, but when and how is beautifully managed by the author. And the resolu
Terry Willis
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It was great fun to read this book. Mark Rubinstein does a terrific job of peaking your interest from the first page...and keeping it until the last. Part of the reason that you will find yourself unable to turn the pages fast enough is the authors ability to hook you into the characters. He does this less through description and analysis and more through the in-your-face, rapid fire dialog that jumps from every page. There is also a vividly sketched sense of place that comes through. Think Pete ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: media-ebooks
The story has a good pace and the characters are well described. This is no wonder, considering the background of the author as professor of psychiatry at Cornell University. Most of the scenes are vivid, the dialogs fit. If you are not be put off by the sometimes slightly rude language of the protagonists,
this is certainly a solid thriller, even if no major surprises occur. The end is somewhat left open, so a second part would be possible, which would be welcome by me.

Creative Commons License
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Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym) by:
Shelves: novels, thrillers
On the surface, Mad Dog House is a debut thriller about a suburban doctor who gets in over his head on a business venture and must fight to protect his wife and children from intimidation and danger.

In reality, though, the best and most nuanced parts of this novel happen in the last third, when it takes a close look at what taking action against a bully can do to the victim emotionally and internally. Rubinstein's deft handling of the tortures a person will put himself through has echoes of Haml
Penney Clarke
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WOW!....what a powerful first novel! A truly thought-provoking must read!

If I could award Mad Dog House SIX stars I would! This fast-paced tale is enhanced by taut, crisp dialogue and is an utterly compelling read. The intensity and gritty reality of this psychological thriller are such that I felt personally involved in the dire circumstances facing Roddy and Danny and their families. There was no way to stop reading until the mind-blowing climax and now the plight of these very real characters
Joyce Fama
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Joyce Fama -

In "Mad Dog House" Mark Rubinstein reaches out, grabs you and doesn't let go until you've read the last page. You are a witness to a fulfilled life that with one decision becomes a decent into a gritty world of greed, drugs and fear.

This is a book with skillfully developed characters who not only demand and get your attention but also create a strong visceral response. You'll find yourself so committed to this intense and fascinating story that I advise before starting this novel
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
A gripping psychological thriller that raises unsettling questions about whether it's really possible to change your basic nature--or escape the demons of your past. The ending was a shocker!
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nov-14
Exciting From Beginning To End!
Mark Rubinstein does it again!
I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mad Dog House: Mark Rubenstein

Life has a way of taking on many different turns and throwing you past into your present. When three men decide to go into business they find out the true meaning of friendship, deceit, loyalty and deception when one guy named Mad Dog, and one named Danny plus Snake Eyes ( Kenny) venture into the restaurant business and steak is not the only thing ordered up. Roddy Dolan was a tough street kid nicknamed “Mad Dog.” His temper, fists and tough attitude precede him whe
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I was completely floored reading "Mad Dog House", from author Mark Rubenstein. It's raw and intense suspense draws you in for a wild ride that you better have a seat belt on for. Dark at times, scary in others.It challenges faith, family and how to deal with pure evil. It's the old neighborhood, three friends who grow up in Brooklyn are linked together for life due to some horrific circumstances. Dr. Roddy "Mad Dog" Dolan, Danny Burns, and Kenny "Snake Eyes" McGuirk as kids 28 years earlier plot ...more
Luccia Gray
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mad Dog House is a compelling read. It’s a disturbing urban thriller which needs to be read in one sitting.
The three main characters, Roddy, Danny, and Kenny, are superbly portrayed. The author takes us right into their diverse and tormented minds, as we observe their distinct lives and backgrounds. The respectable surgeon, with a traumatic childhood and the ambitious accountant, both with seemingly ideal lives, meet the devious gambler, who had been their childhood friend. The disturbing climax
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In his youth Roddy Dolan was a badass. At seventeen he was given the choice of jail time or a tour of duty with the military. The military was the right choice as Roddy outgrew his old ways and eventually became a doctor. Now he is a happily married man with two kids and a nice house in the burbs. His best buddy Danny is an accountant. Things are going well until Kenny “Snake Eyes” McGirk aka Egan re-enters their lives. He wants to get into the restaurant business
*I received my copy of this book via Goodreads giveaways - Thank you!*

I had a really difficult time getting into this book. I had a couple of false starts before I finally ripped through it, so it definitely falls into the "have to be in the mood" category for me, which is of absolutely no help to anyone else, I know.
Though the characters are interesting, I think that the author may have tried a little *too* hard to develop them. Long passages in the main characters mind about how this or that
A frightening, scary, exhilarating, page-turning, gut-churning, I know what is going to happen but I can't stop reading this, must-read book! Lots of violence, swearing, juvenile delinquency, repentance, payback and desperate measures taken in desperate times. Asks the questions: Can you overcome your past? At what cost, is friendship to be maintained or forsaken? Can true love conquer all?

This book really took over my mind, in that I spent the better part of a day reading it, put it away aroun
Bill Cunningham
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written book that grabbed my interest from the beginning and kept it until the end. Great character development, plenty of twists, and very believable circumstances the main character finds himself caught up in. Our past in never truly our past and can surface at any time. It is part of who we are. This story reminds us of that. My only negative on this story was the dialogue at times between the main character and his wife. It just seemed a bit off to me (for lack of a better wo ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well, that was entertaining. Not something usually associated with a suspense murder mystery, but still, there it is. The story starts with Mad Dog Dolan as a boy with a slow but devastating temper who deals with a horrible home life, gets caught in a felony, and is given a choice between jail and the Army. Being a smart boy, he chooses the Army. We later discover that Mad Dog becomes Roddy, a successful surgeon with obligatory wife and two kids. He’s put his ugly childhood behind him, except fo ...more
Aaron Saylor
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This novel is a wonderful look at childhood loyalties come back to haunt, set in a vividly detailed world of street-level Bronx grit which reminded me more than once of the movie Goodfellas. The action never slows, while the dialogue zips and pops. I don't want to give away too much of the plot other than what is already mentioned in the book summary - but suffice it to say, these well-drawn characters earn their resolutions.

I also found the author's personal history interesting; according to hi
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Roddy Dolan and his best friend Danny Burns are asked to become silent partners in a restaurant that with a friend from the old neighborhood, Kenny McGuirk; someone he hasn’t seen in over thirty years. Suspicious at first, but Roddy decides to invest because Danny is excited about it; then after six months things begin to go sour and Roddy has to become the person he once was when he lived in Brooklyn and get them out of danger.

The story grabs you from the beginning pages and lures you into a s
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
28 years ago Roddy "Mad Dog" Dolan almost landed in prison for a felony. Instead he went into the Army, then medical school and became a successful suburban surgeon. His best friend Danny Burns becomes a successful CPA and Financial planner. When someone from their past shows up with a business deal Roddy is leary and with good reason.

This book pulls you in from the very beginning and by the time you get to the end you are exhausted. The roller coaster of emotions that it brings and the last fe
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Can anyone escape their past, or will it haunt them forever? That is the central theme of this taut, well-crafted thriller. Roddy Dolan and Danny Burns, old friends from their rough and tumble school days in Brooklyn have gone on to become successful-- Roddy a surgeon and Danny an account. When another old pal, Kenny Egan, shows up with a deal to open a restaurant that's almost too good to be true, the men jump at the chance. But, as we know if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. ...more
Julia Foster
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel a bit queasy

First off, I liked this book and will read the next in the series. The characters are well written and likable. I feel queasy because this is a situation that could befall just about anyone. I just read the synopsis to the second book and I will probably not read it right away. I might need a fluff book to calm myself down before getting wrapped up in Roddy's life again. This was a quick read and, again, pretty suspenseful. Usually I read books involving the supernatural and,
Dan Leblanc
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable fast paced action packed drama involving childhood friends that meet 28 years later and enter into a business partnership. The plot thickens when the major investor uses deception and betrayal to hide business information from his other two partners forcing them into executing a desperate plan of revenge to eliminate the threat of failure. Now the mind runs rapid with flashbacks of the past, the cover-up of miniscule pieces of evidence, will the alibi hold up when the i ...more
James Minter
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a story of two friends who were once local toughs but now are respectable: a surgeon and an accountant. Approached by someone from their past they join him as silent partners in a restaurant business. Seduced by the glamour, and reassured the figures, the lifelong pals decide to take a calculated risk. It does well until the mafia shows up and the true nature of their partner is revealed. The extreme measures taken by the two friends to extricate themselves and save their families from a ...more
Steve Bivans
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can we bury our past? Or will it always rise from the dirt to bite us in the ass?

The answer would seem to be no. This is a gripping tale. Once it takes off you can hear the clock ticking in your head as the characters race towards a conclusion that you know is coming, don't want to watch, but can't stop looking. At times it's as if you're in a nightmare, running at full speed, in slow motion. Then the shit hits the fan, and the gray matter flies. Good book. Read it.
Ross Cumming
Jan 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
It's not often that I start and don't finish a book but I just couldn't get into this one at all. I have given it a few tries, thinking that the further I got into the story the more I would like it but it just didn't happen. It's a bit overwritten for me and I didn't think much of the dialogue especially between the main protagonist and his wife, as its too 'sugar coated'. Just not my cup of tea.
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Mark Rubinstein graduated from NYU with a degree in business. He then served in the army as a field medic tending to paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division. After discharge, he re-entered NYU as a premed student.

As a medical student at the State University of New York, he developed an interest in psychiatry, discovering in that specialty the same thing he realized in reading fiction: every pat

Other books in the series

Mad Dog (3 books)
  • Mad Dog Justice
  • Mad Dog Vengeance (Mad Dog, #3)

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“Standing in the corner, leaning aginst the wall, is a fifth man.
If Grange is a Hummer, this guy's an 18-wheel Mack truck, thinks Roddy. Parked, with its engine idling. He reminds Roddy of Ivan Drago from that Rocky movie. The guy must stand six five and tip the scales at 270. Pure, rock-hard muscle. His crew-cut blond hair is slickly gelled; his face--especially those cheekbones and that lantern jaw--could be carved from granite. He, no doubt, spends counteless hours at some muscle emporium. Pure muscle, but probably clumsy; he would go down fast if Roddy drove a flurry of punches into his gut and face. A gold earring pierces the guy's left earlobe. The drape of the jacket on his Schwarzenegger shoulders shows a bulge on the left side. The guy's packing some serious hardware. Mack Truck stares blankly and stands rock-still, hands clasped in front of his gargantuan body.”
“discerning,” Roddy says. The wine makes Danny” 0 likes
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