The Guilty Plea – Robert Rotenberg Review

The Guilty Plea (Detective Greene, #2) On the morning that his headline-grabbing divorce trial is set to begin, Terrance Wyler, youngest son of the Wyler Food dynasty, is found stabbed to death in the kitchen of his million-dollar home. Detective Ari Greene arrives minutes before the press and finds Wyler’s four-year-old son asleep upstairs. When Wyler’s ex-wife, a strange beauty named Samantha, shows up at her lawyer’s office with a bloody knife, it looks as if the case is over. But Greene soon discovers the Wyler family has secrets they’d like to keep hidden, and they’re not the only ones. If there’s one thing Greene knows, it’s that the truth is never simple.

This is the second book in the Detective Greene series. I read the first one, Old City Hall, a little over a year ago. When I read Old City Hall, I fell in love with the characters and I thought the plot was fantastic, so I had really high expectations for this novel, but unfortunately, it fell a little short.

I thought the plot for this book was really typical for a murder mystery/legal thriller novel. There was nothing too unpredictable or unique about it. In fact, I guessed what happened about halfway through the novel. I wasn’t too impressed with the actual story.

In Old City Hall, the part I enjoyed the most was the characterization. While all of the same characters from the first novel were a part of this one, I didn’t think the characterization was as strong as the first book. We didn’t seem to spend as much time learning about them and there was no character progression at all. In fact, I actively started to dislike characters I’d previously liked. One thing I can say is that all of the main characters were all flawed. They all had their issues and there were no white knights or heroes. They’re complex with very genuine emotions and very real problems, which makes you care about them.

The one amazing thing about this series is that Robert Rotenberg is an actual defense lawyer currently working in Toronto. It’s obvious how his background and knowledge of the Canadian legal system are completely accurate. I also like how he mentions differences between the Canadian and American legal systems, since most legal thrillers are American. I feel like I have a very poor grasp of the Canadian legal system even though I’ve lived in Canada for nearly 20 years.

While I was disappointed with this novel, there are still 2 more in the series and I will be reading them. I feel like Robert Rotenberg is a really talented writer, and I want to see if his next couple of books are as strong as his first.


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