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 wherever he went. Gangs, wars, criminal record and then joining the army, Roddy is now a well renowned surgeon. So, why would he risk it all to go into business with an old friend whose past was a shady as his? Why would he invest money in a restaurant along with his best friend, Danny, and think his friend’s proposition to become a partner in McLaughlin’s would be profitable? Living a new lifestyle and recalling what he went through with an alcoholic mother, escaping the streets, this venture is going to cost him more than must money.
Listening to his best friend and accountant, Danny Burns relate the figures, the projections and seeming to have a handle on the situation the two men along with the consent of their wives dive in feet first you might say. At first everything seems to be great. The clientele is elite, the food is great and the bar seems to overflowing with customers. The books are straight, the numbers are rising and they seem to be making money. But, Danny is smart and he sees a change or decline in the numbers one month and speaks to Kenny who claims he has it under control. Investing a huge sum, he claims that was his own money, Danny does not dwell on it until it keeps happening. When confronted and dealing with the real investor they learn that the original money was loan from an unscrupulous man whose interest rates will break more than the bank of the restaurant and cause them to delve into their own personal funds too. So, why doesn’t Danny want to get out? Why can’t they both just walk away?
But, there is much more as they argue with Kenny, learn more about his dealings and some of the others in their old crowd. But, when the end result is going to destroy their families and the threats on their lives are made what will they do? Then, another opportunity arises to go into a real estate project, Danny seems distracted, Angela his wife is concerned but what happens next will definitely change it all. Who tried to take out Angela? Who wanted to run her off the road?
Hang-ups, threats, and intentional accidents what is next and what are they going to do about Kenny? Mafia, Russian gangsters, and their old friend have them imbedded in what could be cement boots very soon. Author Mark Rubenstein brings to light what happens when our past becomes our present and when we begin to define ourselves as not that we are now but what we once were. Consequences are what we face when we make wrong decisions and Roddy’s son Thomas seems to be following in his wrong footsteps.
Life is supposed to have sunny halo over our heads but it seems Roddy’s has a cloud that totally blocks out the sun and he often senses that something is going to happen and things go awry just from allowing his old friend to come in for what was supposed to be a consultation for medical reasons and turns out to be more than a nightmare.
When Roddy’s daughter encounters the man behind the loan, his pressure rises, her fears ignite the old Mad Dog and what he does next will definitely affect everyone. When this man decides to go after his family it’s something more personal than the money owed. Thinking back to his days in the army he remembers his sergeant and realizes what he has to do next. Never wait for the enemy formulate a plan and execute it. That’s what he does!
Making the call he needs and sets up a meeting with the loaner, then going to the hospital and finding what needs, hardware store and more you jus won’t believe what he decides to do to let this man know that he’s not dealing with Dr. Dolan but his alter ego. Just how far will you go to protect your friends and family? Just what does this outstanding surgeon come up and hopefully walk away? Added in are family places that anyone living in Westchester will know including familiar highways and great hospitals that he includes. What he decides to do to the loaner is priceless and will he get away with it? When the truth behind the deal comes to light and their plan is executed just who remains standing, just who wins or is this one case where your past definitely dictates your present and the end result is you have to read it for yourself. Roddy Dolan risks it all and puts everything on the line when Kenny defaults on more than just the loan, finally tells the truth, knows he’s strung out and their options bring them back to the days of Mad Dog. An ending that will send chills down your spine and one man whose life will never be the same. Two men who decided to take things into their own hands and one man who just might pay more than the ultimate price in a way you won’t expect. Author Mark Rubenstein asks the question many times: How far will you go to protect your family and will you past become your present in a way you might never expect. Mad Dog House: Wait until you see who owns the name next.
There are times in our lives when we realize that money would make things easier and having a lot of it would help give us the extras most people never can afford. Some decisions warrant more careful scrutiny and others careful planning. Before going into this business venture neither man bothered to do a thorough background check of the man who claimed to be forking over 300 thousand dollars in cash to open a new business. In reality the money came from the mob in more places than one. When push came to more than shove and the lives of their families were threatened one man devises a plan that will haunt him for the rest of his life and possibly ruin a lifelong friendship. When you meet Roddy/Mad Dog at the start of the novel you learn more about his violent side, his temper and what caused him to go to jail. With the help of a judge he was able to overcome his plight and wound up as a skilled surgeon. But, life has a way of coming back at you and incidents from your past can very well become part of your present. When you read the ending you have to decide whether justice was done or if there is more to come!
One great novel written by a practicing psychiatrist who I hope brings back Danny and Roddy for the final chapter.
Fran Lewis: reviewer