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Old City Hall: A Novel

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Robert Rotenberg

What appears to be an open-and-shut murder case turns out to be anything but in Rotenberg's overstuffed debut, a legal thriller. After celebrated radio host Kevin Brace (aka the Voice of Canada) confesses to killing his wife, Katherine, in their Toronto … see full wiki

Author: Robert Rotenberg
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Picador
1 review about Old City Hall: A Novel

OLD CITY HALL bills itself as a legal thriller but ...

  • Aug 15, 2010
... I believe it would be more accurate to describe this as a low key legal procedural or a mystery. A celebrated Canadian radio host, Kevin Brace, confesses to killing his wife in their Toronto apartment. But, once he's done confessing he refuses to say another word - nothing to the investigating detectives and not even a word to his attorney, Nancy Parish.

As an eclectic Canadian reader and a lover of legal thrillers and mysteries, I confess I was looking forward to Robert Rotenberg's debut novel with considerable relish. But I'll have to admit that the quality of the mystery was spotty and I felt that the eventual courtroom drama just wasn't worth the reading.

However, if you're looking for a novel that will definitely give you a fine flavour of the culture, the geography and the feel of Canada's largest city, I have to give OLD CITY HALL two thumbs up on that count. If the truth be told, I have to admit that I only live about 50 kilometres down the highway from where most of Rotenberg's story took place, but I definitely felt transported. Every inch of the road, every street scene and every event in the story right down to the hopeless futility of being an eternally unfulfilled Toronto Maple Leaf hockey fan resonated with absolutely accuracy and completely conveyed me into the life of downtown Toronto.

Two stars for the story line, four stars for the setting and we'll call it an enjoyable three star read that is well worth the time of an out of country reader looking to sample life in Canada's largest city on the printed page.

Paul Weiss

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August 15, 2010
Aww, too bad it didn't live up to your expectations, Paul.
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