The Death Instinct

By Jed Rubenfeld
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594487828)

Publication Date: January 20, 2011

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2011 Indie Next List
“The Death Instinct is a breath of fresh air in the historical mystery genre. It's a riveting descent into a forgotten piece of history - the bombing of Wall Street in 1920 - an event that has eerie parallels to the present day. Younger and Littlemore, who are essentially a deeper, more layered Holmes and a less passive, more involved Watson, dive headfirst into a thrilling conspiracy set in the ruins of the First World War, just as America is emerging as a world superpower. Rubenfeld has concocted a fast-paced, breathtaking thriller that knows just when to pause for a quiet moment of lyrical contemplation and when to ratchet up its tension to dizzying heights.”
-- Drew Williams, Little Professor Book Center, Homewood, AL


Description

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 the Author

Jed Rubenfeld is the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder. He is a professor at Yale University Law School and is 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.

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