Saturday, 2 July 2011

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Old City Hall 2: The Guilty Plea - Robert Rotenberg

Release Date: 07/07/11


On the morning that his headline-grabbing divorce trial is set to begin, Terrence Wyler is found dead on the kitchen floor of his million-dollar home, the victim of countless stab wounds. Detective Ari Greene arrives minutes before the international press, who've been egged on by Wyler's torrid affair with a young Hollywood starlet. The dead man has left a clue, formed from his four year-old child's letters on the fridge door. Toronto is going through a crime wave and the heat is on Greene. Hours after the funeral, Wyler's ex-wife, a strange beauty named Samantha from an old mining town in northern Ontario, is charged with murder.

Ted DiPaulo, a veteran defense lawyer, widowed and now raising two teenagers, finds his biggest obstacle is his own client, the hard-to-read Samantha. Jennifer Raglan, who recently stepped down as head crown - back with her family after her secret affair with Greene - is the determined prosecutor. What should be a straightforward guilty plea turns into a complex murder trial, the aftermath of which leaves everyone discontented and Greene, as ever, still looking for answers.


I love a good crime story, so when you get one that presents Occam’s Razor to you (the simplest explanation is usually the right one) then you know that the author must have something special up their sleeve. What is presented in this title is a story that is sensational, has a gripping plot line and whilst I haven’t read Robert’s earlier outing (Old City Hall) I didn’t feel that I was alienated in any way. The cast were interesting, they had foibles and some were the type of person I’d like to go out for a drink with. That’s key to getting me to associate with any title.

Add to this a wonderful sense of direction, solid footwork as well as a cracking solution to the crime and the reader really is presented with a journey of adventure throughout. All in a solid piece of work and one that I had a lot of fun figuring out alongside the lead detective. Great stuff.

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