The Death Instinct

The Death Instinct

Large Print - 2011
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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. War veteran Dr. Stratham Younger and his friend Captain James Littlemore of the NYPD are caught on Wall Street on the fateful day of the 1920 bomb blast. With them is Colette Rousseau, a French radiochemist Younger met in the war. A series of inexplicable attacks on Rousseau and a mysterious trail of evidence lead the trio on a thrilling international and psychological journey to uncover the shocking truth behind the bombing.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2011
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781410435620
Branch Call Number: LT RUB
Characteristics: 686 p. (large print) ; 23 cm


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StratfordLibrary Mar 27, 2018

Blind Date with a Book 2018 comment: "this book was a good read, not the kind I would usually read, but it was interesting enough that I finished it!!"

Jun 03, 2016

Author is an idiot, refers to Archduke Fedinand as "Hans Ferdinand".

Hope his legal research skills exceed those employed for the historical research for this novel.

Oct 24, 2013

I just started but am not impressed at all. He may be an expert on Freud but he knows nothing of the social mores of the 1920's: a single, young woman keeping company with a single man, not her relative, staying in a hotel alone? Never would have happened. Conversations are too modern in tone and subject. The whole story sounds like a movie script; how a contemporary director would present early 20th century terrorism to a modern, under-educated audience.

deda_roger Apr 05, 2013

Loved it! It wasn't as disturbing as The Interpretation of Murder, and was full of interesting facts. Couldn't put it down, literally. I'm a sucker for historical novels, especially the ones that are so well written and researched.

Jan 07, 2012

Good period piece. Very fast moving action. It gives you some interesting tidbits on Freud, politics and science.

lizmacc Feb 15, 2011

This book was not as good as I had hoped. Conviluted in parts, it wanders all over tha map (literally). While the main premise of the book is a bombing in the NY financial district there is a whole subplot involving Freud that just doesn't seem to fit in.
The book was just ok.

debwalker Feb 05, 2011

These days, Jed Rubenfeld is best known as the husband of “Tiger Mother” Amy Chua, but this Yale law professor deserves to stand on his own. He’s an expert on many things, including Sigmund Freud, who appeared in his previous novel. The Death Instinct, which begins with the very real bombing of Wall Street in 1920, takes us back in time as First World War veteran Stratham Younger attempts to solve both the bombing and the mystery of a mute young boy. Freud does appear, and the action moves from New York to Europe. Like many academics, Rubenfeld loves research and bits of the arcane, and there’s certainly lots of that here. But it worked for me, as does his rather formal language.

Margaret Cannon

"Witnessing the 1920 Wall Street bombing are Great War veteran Stratham Younger (one of the central characters of The Interpretation of Murder), his long-lost friend James Littlemore of the New York Police Department, and beautiful French radiochemist Colette Rousseau. Also at the scene are an almost supernatural collection of strange, deeply threatening women, one of whom is killed in the blast.

It is an explosive start to a novel with a plot that moves with tremendous pace and power. Rubenfeld has been described as one of the most elegant legal writers of his generation, and his descriptions of the New York of two generations ago are a joy.

Stratham Younger remains an enthusiastic acolyte of Sigmund Freud, so the newly emerging science of psychiatry is woven tightly into the story, as it was in The Interpretation of Murder. There is a real sense of recent trauma, too – the 1st World War is only just over, as is the deadly global influenza epidemic that followed. Prohibition has just begun. Stratham, James and Colette, dazed by the Wall Street bombing, are about to enter a damaged – and dangerous - new world."
Richard and Judy Book Club

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