Author Mark Rubinstein has taken a step back from the grit and white knuckle suspense of his previous novels, opting this time for a more character-driven plot in his latest work, The Lovers\u2019 Tango. Among his other works \u2014 the thrillers Mad Dog House, Mad Dog Justice and Love Gone Mad \u2014 this is the one that most draws on his personal areas of expertise: medicine, the courtroom, and the inner workings of the human brain and heart.Released the beginning of this month by Thunder Lake Press, The Lovers\u2019 Tango is a story first of love, as well as commitment, loyalty, deception, ambition and the quest for justice.\u201cI made a conscious decision to be more universal with this story,\u201d Rubinstein said late last month in his Danbury Road office. He wanted it suspenseful but he wanted to add a depth of character. \u201cI wanted people to care for him in the context of his love for his wife,\u201d Rubinstein said of his main character, Bill Shaw.Shaw, a crime novelist, meets and falls in love with Nora, a dancer and actress. They marry, but after just 15 years she becomes ill and rapidly declines, suffering first from atrial fibrillation and then multiple sclerosis. Bill cares for her until her inevitable death.As she became weaker and weaker, Bill and Nora, as many people might, discussed how she wanted to face what was to come. Suffering, she asked Bill to help her along, but did he?The tango \u2014 of the title and the favorite dance of Bill and Nora \u2014 is a metaphor for life, Rubinstein said. \u201cIt\u2019s a promise and it\u2019s intensely sensual. There\u2019s desire, sensuality, mystery and there\u2019s a profound sadness,\u201d he said. \u201cThe dance must end,\u201d as life must end.It is at Nora\u2019s death that the story begins in earnest, as Bill is accused of killing her with an overdose of one of her prescribed medications, warfarin. An autopsy has revealed what the medical examiner believes to be an excessive amount of the blood thinner in her body.A psychiatrist who has given expert testimony at many trials, Rubinstein now moves the story to the courtroom and its environs, as Shaw and his best friend, the attorney Ben Abrams, mount his defense.And the trial is brutal. It forces Bill to relive their life together, over and over. In the early years, when their careers were on track, they \u201cdanced\u201d their way through life both figuratively and literally. Later, Bill relived the difficulties they endured as Nora began to fail, then the wrenching diagnosis, the sickbed routines, his isolation, his failure to publish another book, his relationships with others. All these things come into play as the courtroom drama \u2014 peopled by the ambitious prosecutor, the medical examiner with his damning evidence, witnesses, and the jurors, some sympathetic and some not \u2014 unfolds.\u201cThe courtroom is a wonderful place for drama,\u201d Rubinstein said. \u201cIt\u2019s our modern-day form of gladiatorial combat where each side attacks with words and ideas.\u201dBut ultimately, Rubinstein said, he \u201cwanted people to relate to life, love and loss. The quality of life and what comes after it. What the people left behind are going to struggle with.\u201dIt\u2019s a story he can best tell now.\u201cWhen you\u2019re young you haven\u2019t lived enough,\u201d he said. \u201cI have so much more wisdom now than even 10 years ago.\u201dReaders may ask Rubinstein about The Lovers\u2019 Tango and his writing process when he visits Wilton Library for an Area Author Affair on Monday, June 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. For information, call 203-762-3950.The Lovers\u2019 Tango is available through amazon.com.