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The Guilty Plea

(Greene and Kennicott #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  841 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Bestselling author Robert Rotenberg is back with his next razor-sharp legal thriller. Rotenberg’s insider knowledge of the behind-the-scenes courtroom machinations and his mesmerizing trial scenes make this another scorching page-turner.

On the morning that his headline-grabbing divorce trial is set to begin, Terrance Wyler, youngest son of the Wyler Food dynasty, is found
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.79  · 
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 ·  841 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marty Fried
I'm so happy to have discovered this series, and to find that there are more to enjoy. The characters are so likable and interesting, the story has lots of unusual twists and turns, and I find the Canadian life and legal system to be very refreshing. The legal system seems to care about the accused; even after a guilty verdict, the police involved try to make sure they did the right thing. The prosecution seems more interested in justice than winning at all costs (not that they don't want to win ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Teena in Toronto
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Diane S ☔
Sep 01, 2011 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
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
The sequel to “Old City Hall”. Once again, Rotenberg excels in creating an interesting and authentic cast of characters. On top of that, he weaves a page-turner of a story set in a wonderfully familiar city. An added bonus: I really enjoyed learning about the differences between American and Canadian law. Can’t wait to read the next in the series!
Richard Schwindt
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Are second books supposed to be a letdown? If that's a rule then Robert Rotenberg has broken it. This is a terrific legal procedural and mystery that takes place roughly over a year in Toronto. An heir to a Toronto business is found stabbed to death and evidence points decisively towards his angry ex-wife. Detectives Greene and Kennicott investigate, lay the charge and turn things over to Crown Attorney Raglan and Defence lawyer DiPaulo. The investigation and subsequent trial should be straightf ...more
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Second in an outstanding police procedural series set in Toronto featuring engaging characters, taut plotting and rapid pacing.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a good read. The details of the setting -- the Toronto legal world -- were very well done. My only complaint was the resolution -- it came out of the blue and wasn't particularly clever.
Paul Weiss
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
An insider peek at Toronto and the Canadian legal system

On the face of it, there’s nothing particularly innovative in using family secrets, marital discord, wealth, and adultery as the springboard for a murder mystery. But, notwithstanding the obvious apprehension that any potential reader of The Guilty Plea might have, it has to be said that Rotenberg has done a masterful job of crafting a compelling legal procedural. His characterization of the trial scenes and all of the players in the court
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The morning of the trial of his divorce is start, Terrance Wyler, is found stabbed in his kitchen. His estranged wife is quickly thought to be guilty. It appears she was in the house that night and their four year old son, Simon, spoke with Greene and told him she came to his room and told him she wouldn't see him for awhile. The body was discovered by the nanny, who found the house unlocked. Samantha, Terry's estranged wife says she didn't do it, but all the evidence points to her. Terry has be ...more
Meg Morden
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I definitely enjoyed this second installment for all the same reasons I liked the first. Many of the same characters appear in this book which takes place eight months after the events of the first book. Characters who were secondary or tertiary are brought to the fore while others slip into the background. On the eve of the start of a divorce court date, Terrance Wyler, the husband, is murdered, stabbed seven times in an apparent act of rage. Evidence points to the soon-to-have-been ex-wife. Ag ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Becky Courage
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
An ok-ish crime novel set in Toronto which followed a multitude of characters all connected to the murder of Terrance Wyler.

I found the writing style easy to read; however at many times it was difficult to keep up with the ever changing characters and their point of view. Much of this novel was trivial and unnecessary. Eventually, the characters overtook the plot and the crime aspect fizzled out and became boring. I also found the incessant Canadianisms to be annoying and overdone.

Overall, a me
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
An above average legal procedural/mystery. The story moved along at a brisk pace, and the main characters were pleasantly nuanced. I loved the Toronto setting and was able to learn a bit about the Canadian legal system. I didn't realize that this was the second in a series, but this book stands very well on its own. And I particularly liked that the conclusion was not your standard "everyone lives happily ever after" ending. You should give this one a try.
Suzanne Tremblay
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
it s worth reading these Detective Ari Greene in the order in which Rotenberg wrote them. I wasn't able to do because it's just wasn't available at my public library. Nevertheless, as with the other 3 books of Rotenberg I have read, I was totally engulfed in this story. I'll admit I had guess the murderer before it was revealed, yet the process of wrapping the story around was totally captivating. I look forward to Greene #5 and hope Rotenberg will keep writing.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm glad that I read Old City Hall, the first Avi Greene novel before this one. The Guilty Plea has its merits if you enjoy courtroom drama in a mystery novel. There is plenty of it in this novel.
The chief drawback is the author seems to be using the same blueprint all over again I would like to see more of Detective Greene in the next no.vel
Nada Loughead
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like supporting Canadian authors so picked this book up at a Little Free Library. The Toronto references were fun to read and I could envision the locations the author described. Will definitely work my way through this detective series...ho the author keeps moving the relationships along.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in this great murder mystery, courtroom drama set in Toronto. Robert Rotenberg is an author/criminal lawyer who takes the reader behind the scenes of a police investigation and the legal process in court.
Mary-alice Frank
Compared to his first book, this " sophomore" book was a little bit of a let down. The story was not as compelling and while I enjoyed returning to some of the same characters- not much character development.
Nishita Soni
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is the complete thriller, but satisfying taking you through court room and crime scene. If you read carefully all minute details in book the investigations and findings then you will get to know the end of the suspense.
Brent Nofziger
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This book had me in it's grip. It was getting close to bed time and I needed to put it down to go to sleep. When I came back, I was disappointed by the last 60 pages. It seems I went to bed at the best part. The ending was just bland.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel, it felt like I was right in the courtroom with the subjects. Not a real surprise who the guilty person was, however, still appreciated the writing skills. I go out of my way to find Canadian authors and will try to find the rest of his books.
Barbara Bryan
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Predictable and the writing was stilted and simplistic. The characters were good although there were too many of them. Everyone had a different lawyer and I was confused for a while.
Figured the mystery out so that was good.
Zguba Salemenska
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great local flavour.
Anna Dundas
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this one. I’ll be checking out the next in the series ASAP. Especially like that he’s a Canadian writer and I recognize the places in the book.
Shimona Hirchberg
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good one! It kept me hooked right till the end. I can't wait till #3!
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Good read. Holds you until the end. Key clue revealed early, but you had too realize the meaning of the clue.
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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

Other books in the series

Greene and Kennicott (5 books)
  • Old City Hall (Greene and Kennicott, #1)
  • Stray Bullets (Greene and Kennicott, #3)
  • Stranglehold (Greene and Kennicott, #4)
  • Heart of the City (Greene and Kennicott, #5)