Friday, June 10, 2011

The Guilty Plea-Robert Rotenberg

The Guilty Plea
Robert Rotenberg
FSG/Sarah Crichton, Jul 5 2011, $26.00
ISBN 9780374278496

In Toronto, the murdered corpse of Terrance Wyler is found in his kitchen. The police suspect the victim’s wife Samantha stabbed the Wyler Foods owner as they were contesting a public acrimonious divorce and she sent her spouse a threatening email just before he was killed. TPD homicide detective widower Ari Greene, father of two teens, leads the shocking investigation made more stunning when he finds the estranged couple’s four years old child Simon asleep at the crime scene house.

While Samantha visits her defense attorney Ted DiPaulo, Greene questions the child who admits his mom visited him earlier in the evening to say goodbye to him as she would not see him for a while. Former Crown attorney Jennifer Raglan leads the prosecution, which means contact with her former lover Greene.

The second Ari Greene investigative-legal thriller (see Old City Hall) is an entertaining tale as the courtroom drama is filled with twists with seemingly everyone purging themselves. The story line is at its best when the focus is the case. However, the personal tsuris, a sub-genre requirement to humanize key cast, at times overwhelms the main theme of whether Samantha murdered her husband in a fit of passionate ire. Still readers will enjoy Greene’s investigation and the legal battle between DiPaulo and Raglan.

Harriet Klausner

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