Sarah (Workaday Reads)'s Reviews > Old City Hall

Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: canadian, read-in-2014

This is a quick paced crime story that is part police procedural, part courtroom drama. With narration from the lead detective, the first officer on scene, the Crown attorney and the defense lawyer, this is a full view of a complex and mysterious murder investigation.

Each of the characters is well developed and distinct, right down to the secondary characters that only appear occasionally. Only a few of the lawyers are a bit one-dimensional; the majority of the characters are believable, even if they sometimes seem unnecessary.

One of the highlights of the book was the intense focus on the setting. The story is set in Toronto, Ontario, with a lot of the city featuring prominently in the story. It’s exciting to read about places you know, and this was a prime example. While some of the history was not pertinent to the story, it did help set the groundwork for non-Canadians to more fully understand the characters and their lives, while also providing a little something extra for readers who know the setting already.

I greatly enjoyed this dip into a murder investigation. It progressed slowly but surely, the way I suspect most investigations do. The ending was a bit open-ended and surprising, but likely realistic. My only complaint is that the likelihood of the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup is basically zero, so the author definitely took some liberties there, but the reaction of the city is believable, although maybe a bit more subdued than what reality would be.

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Reading Progress

November 21, 2011 – Shelved
September 7, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
January 6, 2014 – Started Reading
January 8, 2014 – Shelved as: canadian
January 8, 2014 – Shelved as: read-in-2014
January 8, 2014 – Finished Reading

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