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The Guilty Plea (Detective Greene #2)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  641 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
On the morning before his headline-grabbing divorce trial is about to begin, multi-millionaire Quentin Wyler is found dead on his kitchen floor. With the heat on Detective Ari Greene, Wyler's ex-wife is soon charged with murder. But there are still many unanswered questions hanging over the apparently straightforward homicide trial.
Published July 1st 2011 by John Murray Publishers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Teena in Toronto
I had read Rotenberg's first novel, Old City Hall, in January and enjoyed it.

In February 2011 I was asked to review The Guilty Plea (it went on sale on May 3, 2011) and participate in his Guilty Plea blogger tour. It gave me the chance to read Rotenberg's new book in addition to submitting questions for him to answer.

The story is in Toronto and, like the first book, I am very familiar with the locations where action takes place. In fact, I live near the hotel where Terrance Wyler's girlfriend, A
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 28, 2011 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy a number of genres - legal thrillers being one of them. But when mentally going over my list of favourite authors, I realized that none of the legal list were Canadian. So I was excited to read Robert Rotenberg's new novel The Guilty Plea.

Rotenberg is a practicing lawyer who lives in Toronto and has based his series in the same city. I love reading a book with Canadian references - Timmies, the Globe and place names as well - Eglinton/Bloor, Jane and Finch. Knowing the settings are real
Diane S ☔
Sep 01, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good legal thriller. I have to say I enjoyed this one more than many of Grisham's later ones. Set in Toronto a young mother is accused of killing her husband, says she is innocent and the case goes to trial. Many revelations. twists and though I had an idea of who the real killer was I have to say I wasn't sure. Very well written and learning about the legal system in Canada was a bonus.
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Taking place a couple months after the first book, this story features many of the same characters, with some former secondary characters taking centre stage. Homicide Detective Ari Greene and Officer Daniel Kennicott are back on the case with a different Crown Attorney and defense lawyer squaring off in this murder investigation.

This story is quite similar in layout, direction and feel as the first book. Whilte it featured a different murder, motive and lawyers, the investigation itself seemed
Jul 28, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A sensational Canadian legal thriller, with Canadian characters, in a Canadian city. Thank you Robert Rotenberg for helping write a novel set in Canada that actually portrays the Canadian legal system in its true light.

I was captivated from page one in this murder mystery that brings together family, marital issues, the law, and small town Ontario. Rotenberg helps show Toronto in a new light and uses his previous experiences to bring the characters alive and makes the reader want to keep forging
Christina Vasilevski
Review originally posted on

One of the genres that I've often had trouble "getting" is that of the crime/procedural (which was why I had problems with both Zoo City and Empire State ). In terms of my reading habits, then, my enjoyment of Robert Rotenberg's books is an outlier.

Old City Hall was Rotenberg's debut, and The Guilty Plea picks up right where it left off, with many of the same characters. The premise here is similar to that of the first book: someone has b
Aug 03, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

On a hot August morning, Arceli Ocaya, the nanny of four year-old Simon Wyler, arrives at her usual time, 7:30 AM, to find that nothing is as usual. The front door is open, there is no sign of Terrance Wyler who always has the stereo playing loudly as he chops fresh fruit in the kitchen, and Billy, the family dog, who always greats Arceli with loud exhuberance, approaches her with his head down. Arceli heads to the kitchen and knows from the smell that there is a great deal of blood in that room
Jul 25, 2011 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Rotenberg's debut novel, Old City Hall ( stirred delighted buzz and garnered warmly welcoming reviews from Canadian crime fiction circles and fans in early 2009. When the first foray is that good, establishing a pace, personality, setting and cast of characters that readers quickly become keen to revisit, two years feels like a long time to wait for the next installment.

The wait is over, and those waiting will feel well rewarded. Rotenberg has deli
Lisa Ann
Mar 25, 2013 Lisa Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Crime Thriller and Legal Fiction
Recommended to Lisa Ann by: Goodreads, First Reads
To be truly honest, I had never read a "Crime Thriller" before The Guilty Plea by Toronto Lawyer Robert Rotenberg. I had never really thought I would be intrigued by this type of fiction, and I am glad to know I was very wrong in this case.

The Guilty Plea is set in my home-town of Toronto, Ontario -- the landmarks, legal jargon, and the system is familiar to me -- and I really enjoyed the bits of 'inside' jokes and reminders about how wonderful my City, my Province, and my Country really is. I l
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 r
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2012 Philip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honestly I was somewhat disappointed in "The Guilty Plea" after reading "Old City Hall". The Toronto setting is great and the excursion to Cobalt was OK and some of the characters were very intriguing and the main plot is complex enough to be interesting while still simple enough to easily follow along and most of the subplots are realistic enough and the writing is good enough to keep one flipping pages but there are a few glaring problems that made me not enjoy this book as much as the first o ...more
Shane Pemberton
Jan 14, 2017 Shane Pemberton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Downtime Readers, Those easing themselves into reading on a day to day, People who love Toronto
This book was incredibly easy to read. It starts off a little slow, and sort of clichéd, but quickly sets things into pace. There was never a long period of my mind losing interest, because the novel moves along quickly, and excitingly. I would recommend this book to someone just easing themselves into reading daily. This was a great book, great characters, great story. A good page turner. It falls short in the way of depth, but the technical and factual aspects were pretty educational. Rotenber ...more
May 06, 2012 Patrdr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The Guilty Plea was a real page turner for me. The husband in a messy divorce found dead in his kitchen; his five year-old son asleep and unaware in his upstairs room. The wife and obvious suspect turning up at her lawyer's office, carrying a bloody knife wrapped in a kitchen towel.

The story proceeds through the investigation, charge, legal negotiations and trial. Skeletons are uncovered in every family's closet.

Rotenberg gets Toronto right; at least it feels right to this Torontonian. He does
Shonna Froebel
Dec 22, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Got this as an advance reader's edition (publishing date is May) at the recent OLA conference. And boy am I glad. Once I started reading, I was hooked. This is just as good, if not better than his first book Old City Hall.
We have some of the same characters coming back, specifically Detective Ari Greene and Officer Kennicott. Terrance Wyler, youngest of three sons in the Wyler Food company, is involved in a high profile divorce. He has a new famous girlfriend, and his influential family on his s
May 24, 2011 Frank778 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Old City Hall. But was disappointed in this one. The highlighting of Toronto sites felt forced and gratuitous. Their descriptions as dull as a bad travel website. It was so inconsistent One minute going for a coffee at "Jet Fuel", another going to spmeone's "favorite" "french cafe" with no name as if Toronto is filled with so many "french cafes" that everyone has a favorite. One character, a visiting American reporter, said and "thought" that Canadians are "polite" so often it felt lik ...more
Lorysa Cornish
Jun 11, 2013 Lorysa Cornish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grabbed this as a camping read and I really liked it, more than I expected I would. A bit too much foreshadowing for me (yes, I guessed who-dun-it before the end, though I didn't guess all the details) but not nearly as bad as others I've read in this genre. I loved that the book is set in Toronto. Now I'm going to go read some more of his books.

It's nagging at me though that I think there might be a factual error. The disabled son apparently inherited the disease because both his parents were c
Sep 04, 2011 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love a good mystery/courtroom thriller and this book was both. This is the first book by Rotenberg that I have read and it was very, very good. The characters are well-formed, the plot is plausible, the twists and turns were unpredictable and this all adds up to a very enjoyable read. One of my GR friends has wondered why Rotenberg is not as well known as Grisham - I agree with her - this book is every bit as good as Grisham and in fact much better than many of his recent, extremely formula ...more
Frank Smith
Jan 09, 2015 Frank Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great second book, just as good as the first and well worth a read.
One thing that is interesting is the way Rotenberg seems to making Officer Daniel Kennicott into more of a character in the ongoing series. In the first book, he seemed to be using him as a secondary character and at most a possible future sidekick\partner for 'Arry' Greene, but this book almost makes him seem as important as Greene and a future direction for the series at some point, possibly a spin off series or continuation w
Mar 28, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

The Guilty Plea is a well written book that is an easy and interesting read.
Rotenberg does a great job of describing the different dynamics of relationships involved between the various players in the justice system in Canada, and even takes the time to point out some common differences between Canadian and American courtroom etiquette.
I enjoyed the little twists and turns throughout the story, especially the ever evolving details about the
Murray O'Brien
May 02, 2016 Murray O'Brien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I liked Robert Rotenberg's Old City Hall from a few years ago and it seemed the right time to find out what his characters were up to. I was not disappointed. Detective Ari Greene is still a solid cop, Officer Daniel Kennicott is likable and hasn't changed much plus I still liked imagining what Jo Summers looks like. The courtroom processes were interesting (especially with the comparison to the US system) and the other characters were lively. As with the earlier novel, the place of this book wa ...more
Sep 07, 2011 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not "great" literature, but I thoroughly enjoyed it; probably even more than his first novel "Old City Hall". Having lived in Toronto it was so much fun to read about all the various neighbourhoods that I know and have memories of. He really gets the flavour of multicultural Toronto. I also loved that he explained the court procedure as per how it happens in Canada. There were parts where I laughed out loud - good stuff! Entertaining light read - highly recommend this to any Torontonians ...more
Richard Thompson
Feb 01, 2012 Richard Thompson rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was excited to spot this on the "new" shelf at the library. I had read Rotenberg's OLD CITY HALL years ago and had been very impressed.

This was one was just as good. Set in Toronto (with a side trip to the small town of Cobalt in northern Ontario) and featuring police detective Ari Greene. A local businessman who is involved in a messy divorce is stabbed to death on the eve of the trial and all the evidence points to the wife.

Good characters — you see the case from the points of view of Greene
Melanie Chabrol-
Give this a 4.5, a book I could not put down. We have all read the lady meets the rich guy, they fall i n love, someone has an affair, BUT that is where it all ends.

The very next day there is supposed to be a divorce trial and the husband is dead, guess who had the knife and brought it to the lawyer, that is right Samantha, the grieving widow. For the police, and lawyers an open and shut case.

But what will the evidence show. Lawyer vs lawyer, not just mentor vs student, who will be strong enoug
Bernie Charbonneau
This is the second novel by this Toronto lawyer. Having read the first one and enjoying the book I did not hesitate to give his latest legal thriller a go. It took me a few pages to get into this plot but I'm not sure if it's because of the beautiful wheather or the actual story. Once into the plot, I found the characters believable and was intriqued right to the end. Living in the Toronto area made the book also fun to read because of the relation to some of the places described in the novel. R ...more
Jul 29, 2013 somanysusans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say; there's something about Detective Ari Greene. Robert Rotenberg has created a charismatic character, and he doesn't disappoint here. Even though there are not a lot of twists and turns, this is still the kind of book I hated to put down. I figured out the whodunit barely a third of the way through, so the mystery is not the sell here. The characters are all interesting, although the actress paramour doesn't add much other than the "other woman" angle. The ending was very satisfyin ...more
This is a fun sequel to his first book, Old City Hall. Like the previous novel, this is a "Open and shut case....or is it?" story. It has good pace and the characters are engaging. One curious thing. What is his obsession with immigrants? He has most of his characters either immigrants, the children of immigrants and much of the story is placed in various immigrant communities such as Little Korea, China, etc. Based on his books, one would think there are scarcely any people who are not more tha ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terence Wyler is involved in a messy divorce when he is brutally murdered. His wife is arrested and charged with his murder. When she's given a chance to plead out in exchange for a charge of manslaughter, she refuses and her trial uncovers a number of closely-held secrets.

Once again, the focus is on the investigative and trial procedures, and not a main character. However, the characters introduced in Rotenberg's first book are front and center, and their stories and personalities are further
Mary Ellen
Jul 01, 2013 Mary Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second on Rotenberg's books I have read. I like the descriptions of Toronto, one of my favorite cities, and the characters. The mystery is generally well-crafted and even the evildoers have some likeable aspects to their personalities. This mystery had a mistake in the science that was a momentary annoyance but generally I enjoyed this book and it's characters. I will look for another in the series.
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After graduating from law school in Toronto, Robert Rotenberg became the managing editor of Passion, the English-speaking magazine of Paris. He then returned to publish and edit his own magazine, T.O. The Magazine of Toronto.Eighteen years ago he opened his own law practice and is today one of Toronto’s top criminal lawyers, defending, as he likes to say “everything from murder to shoplifting.”Rot ...more
More about Robert Rotenberg...

Other Books in the Series

Detective Greene (4 books)
  • Old City Hall (Detective Greene, #1)
  • Stray Bullets (Detective Greene, #3)
  • Stranglehold (Detective Greene, #4)

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