Review: The Guilty Plea — Robert Rotenberg

Read: 5
To Go: 95

Book List:
1. The Reader — Bernhard Schlink
2. The Pilot’s Wife — Anita Shreve
3. Creatures of Light and Darkness — Roger Zelazny
4. What We All Long For — Dionne Brand
5. The Guilty Plea — Robert Rotenberg

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Despite having many, many book to read after Christmas (and post-Christmas shopping), I couldn’t resist going out to buy The Guilty Plea and Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg, the second and third books in the Ari Greene series. I also couldn’t resist making The Guilty Plea the next book on my list. Robert Rotenberg is quickly becoming my favourite (Canadian) author.

In The Guilty Plea, Terrence Wyler, heir to a popular grocery chain, is found stabbed to death in his home the night before his divorce trial is set to start, with his young son asleep upstairs. When his wife, Samantha, turns up at her lawyer’s office with the murder weapon, it looks like the case is closed. But Samantha’s refusal to admit guilt, and the emergence of several Wyler family secrets, complicate the case for Detective Ari Greene and Officer Daniel Kennicott.

Though it took me a week to read The Guilty Plea, it certainly wasn’t because of disinterest; in fact, the book was one of my favourite mystery novels to date, with a compelling defendant and a really unusual twist ending. (I feel like I say this every time, but really. Really. I mean it.) I loved seeing the same characters from Old City Hall play a part in the story, set against the lively backdrop of Toronto.  Even though the novel’s focus was on the murder trial, I love how reflective of Toronto, and Canada by extension, The Guilty Plea was. (Having an American photographer step in every now and then to make a crack at how polite Canadians are only confirmed this — and made for excellent comic relief.)

Next book: Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg. And yes, for all those wondering, I’m still trying to read Anna Karenina on the side. I’m also still at page 81, like I was two weeks ago.

– Kelsey

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