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The Guilty Plea: A Novel Kindle Edition

23 customer reviews

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Length: 337 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"...a compulsive page-turner..." - Maclean's


'If you like court room dramas rush out and buy this one. It's one of the finest I've read this year with a plot that corkscrews one way and another before taking your breath away in the finale. A rock-solid plot with fascinating characters, it had a wonderful somersault ending that makes it a truly satisfying thriller' -- Daily Mail 'Smart and well-executed ... plenty of realistic behind-the-scenes courtroom finagling ... a great book for summer reading' -- Toronto Globe and Mail 'Not since Anatomy of a Murder has a novel so vividly captured the real life of criminal lawyers in the midst of a high-stakes trial. This is a book that every lawyer, law student, and law professor should, no must, read' -- Edward L. Greenspan. Q.C 'A very good book. Rotenberg is a master of legal mystery craftsman in the rank of writers such as Scott Turow' -- Mysteries and More 'A compulsive page-turner ... it's the author's defence counsel sensibility that powers his novels, his insistence that every story is intensely personal, the way in which his humanizing of seemingly obvious killers raises doubt for the reader as it does at the same pace for the jury' -- Maclean's 'This is a legal thriller of great pace and tension. Rotenberg knows how to bring a cast of characters to life' -- It's a Crime ... 'Gritty and engaging. It had me hooked from the moment I started it, and wouldn't let go. Wonderful stuff!' -- S. J. Watson, author of Before I Go to Sleep 'A few lawyers are really expert in managing cases - especially criminial cases in the courtroom. A small percentage of these are very good at making trials come alive. Robert Rotenberg is one of the few, along with Scott Turow, David Baldacci, John Lescroat. His Guilty Plea is a crackling good read. Plan to keep turning pages late into the night' -- F. Lee Bailey 'Another excellent legal thriller, the follow-up to crime novel Old City Hall with the same bunch of characters, each with their own intriguing back-story. Each chapter ends in a cliff-hanger. Works equally well as a standalone' -- Bookseller Robert Rotenberg's Old City Hall was a complex legal thriller of great ambition. Here again, the author's talent shines. -- Barry Forshaw, The Good Book Guide Praise for Old City Hall:'Breathtaking ... A tightly woven plot and a rich cast of characters make this a truly gripping read' -- Jeffery Deaver 'Amazing ... This one has winner written all over it' -- Nelson DeMille 'Clever, complex and filled with an engaging cast of characters' -- Kathy Reichs 'There is nothing in Old City Hall to suggest that it's Robert Rotenberg's debut. The middle-aged Canadian criminal lawyer has got it all - pace, good characters, tension and an intriguing plot ... The resolution is clever and surprising' -- The Times 'Written by a real-life Canadian defence lawyer, this sweeping debut, with a vast, colourful cast, focuses on the apparent murder of his wife by talkshow host Kevin Brace. Then suddenly, he stops talking' -- Daily Mirror 'Apart from evoking the seasonal rhythms of life in the city, the novel offers a convincing portrayal of backstage operations in the justice system ... Old City Hall is an enjoyable addition to the literature of urban crime' -- TLS 'Loved it! Rotenberg's courtroom drama is terrific' -- Ian Rankin

Product Details

  • File Size: 518 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374278490
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books (July 5, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 5, 2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GHN2Q2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,139 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Bortolin on August 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently finished both The Guilty Plea, and its predecessor Old City Hall. I consider this a review of both books.

3 stars is a relatively low rating, although I want to be clear that I enjoyed reading this book. It has a lot of positives. First and foremost, this book is authentic. I currently study Canadian law, and have spent a lot of time in the Toronto area. This book is a very authentic reflection of both. It is refreshing to read a legal thriller with an authentic Canadian edge. I also think that Rotenberg does a great job developing some of the main characters, Detective Greene and his father in particular.

Now for the "buts". Even though the plot is reasonably exciting (I was eager to see what happened next), I found it to be simplistic. It had the depth of an episode of CSI. It reminded me a bit of the Hardy Boy books I read as a kid. There are a couple twists, some subtle hints along the way, and a climax "ah hah" moment at the end. More experienced thriller writers generally put together a much more complex, multi-layered story, with different story arcs, overlapping in interesting ways. Both of Rotenberg's books focus on a single narrative: a single murder, with an obvious suspect who everyone thinks committed the crime (but did they really?!). We see the case from different perspectives, but Rotenberg doesn't really use that device to create suspense. There is a side plot in both books regarding the death of Officer Kennicot's brother, but neither book pushes the story line forward, even a little bit. That annoyed me.

There were a few other things that annoyed me as well. Right off the bat, I found it agitating to see the same device used to kick off the plot in Guilty Plea as we saw in Old City Hall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Even for Arceli Ocaya, it was too hot to sleep.

Det. Ari Greene is called to the murder scene of member of Toronto's wealthy Wyler family, known for Wyler Fresh fruits and vegetables. The kitchen is awash in Terrance Wyler's kitchen but, even worse, his 5-year-old son and the object of a bitter custody fight, is asleep in his bedroom upstairs. Defense attorney Ted DiPaulo receives a call from a fellow-attorney who is representing Samatha Wyler, the victim's wife. Ted is asked to represent Sam from the murder charge certain to come but also is handed a dish towel containing the murdering knife. Who can prove their case; the detective for the prosecution, or the attorney whose client threatened her husband, had the murder weapon, and was in the house but claims her husband was already dead?

Rotenburg captures the readers' attention with an excellent, evocative opening followed by short but compelling chapters. Plot is definitely the author's strength. For non-Canadian readers, it is a fascinating look at that country's judicial system. It is a story filled with very good plot twists, which keep things interesting, including an excellent twist that, even though you assumed was coming, was still very effectively executed.

Where the story lacked was in the characters. In spite of their being well-constructed backstories, there were so many characters I never felt emotionally invested in any of them and I found it a bit difficult keeping track, with the lawyers and police, of who was on which side of the legal aisle and with the Wyler family, who was being referred to when. The characters never really came to life for me.

"The Guilty Plea was an enjoyable legal thriller that had definite strengths, but a rushed ending.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric L. Zoeckler on July 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read Rotenberg's first two books and they both go beyond the usual murder-legal thriller. The author weaves his tales in a can't-put-it-down narrative with a deep understanding of Canadian culture and values, much of which stands in stark (and often, troubling) contrast to their neighbors to the south. Yet he never forgets the power of human frailties of people and the sad and tragic consequences that follow and touch all of our lives.
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