The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld

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Synopsis

A spellbinding literary thriller about terror, war, greed, and the darkest secrets of the human soul, by the author of the million-copy bestseller The Interpretation of Murder.

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.

Blending fact and fiction in a brilliantly convincing narrative, Jed Rubenfeld has forged a gripping historical mystery about a tragedy that holds eerie parallels to our own time.

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About Jed Rubenfeld

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JED RUBENFELD is the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder. He is a professor at Yale University Law School and 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.
 
Published January 20, 2011 by Riverhead Books. 464 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Death Instinct

Kirkus Reviews

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There are hints of a romance between Younger and Rousseau, but Rousseau is worried about her brother, and she's also determined to find a former German soldier from her past.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The New York Times

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Jed Rubenfeld’s tremendous new thriller is a follow-up to his 2006 novel, “The Interpretation of Murder.”

Feb 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The Washington Post

SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.

Feb 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The Washington Post

(Another star of the first book, Sigmund Freud, is reduced to a supporting role here, but readers might wonder what he would think of the tough-love parenting advocated by Rubenfeld's wife and fellow Yale law professor, Amy Chua, in her new book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.") The action ...

Feb 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The Independent

British novelist Frank Tallis similarly employs Freud in a series of detective novels, accompanied by a young follower who acts as the novel's hero.

Oct 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The Bookbag

There are real people in there – names you will know – and whilst some liberties have been taken with facts you get a real feeling for the time and for a world just emerging from the terrors of war.

Jun 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

Reviewing the Evidence

This paradox is to be explained partly by the brilliance of his debut which made the dreaded "sophomore" book especially problematic, but also because here he has bitten off rather more than he can chew.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

The Wall Street bombing which took place on September 16, 1920 was—until 2001—the most deadly terrorist attack ever to strike New York City.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The Daily Beast

(He was kicked out, according to Chua’s book, for insubordination: Apparently Rubenfeld has issues with authority.) After a brief stint waiting tables, Rubenfeld decided on Harvard Law School.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Wikipedia page on Jed Rubenfeld EXTRAS: Jed Rubenfeld Talks about Death Instinct MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Another Historical Mystery set in this time: Rosa by Jonathan Rabb

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

Bookmarks Magazine

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 i...

Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

Shots

Those that loved the first book and those who like text book narrative and historical depth where fact and fiction are weaved well together, will love this novel.

Sep 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

Metro

Jed Rubenfeld’s 2006 historical thriller, The Interpretation Of Murder, was a critical and popular success and follow-up The Death Instinct looks destined to repeat that.

Oct 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

The Paris Review

I picked the book up because of the incredible review in the daily New York Times (“Tremendous follow-up to his 2006 novel, Interpretation of Murder ...

Mar 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death Instinct

Reader Rating for The Death Instinct
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