Review: Heart of the City

Posted 26 February, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Heart of the City (Detective Greene, #5)
By: Robert Rotenberg
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

In the latest thrilling crime novel from bestselling author Robert Rotenberg, Homicide Detective Ari Greene discovers the bludgeoned body of Toronto’s most reviled developer behind his controversial new construction site.

When Detective Ari Greene was charged with the murder of the woman he loved, he stopped at nothing to clear his name and uncover the real killer. After his acquittal, Greene fled to London to get away from it all, but now he’s back. And he’s not alone—with Greene is his twenty-year-old daughter, Alison. The child he never knew he had.

Determined to leave his life as a cop behind him, Greene gets a job on a construction site for one of Toronto’s many new condos. It seems he has finally found peace as he settles into a new career and new role as a father, helping Alison adjust to life in Canada.

But when Greene stumbles upon the corpse of hated developer Livingston Fox, he is plunged back into the life he tried so hard to leave behind. As the body count rises, Greene is forced into a reluctant reconciliation with his former protégé, Daniel Kennicott. The pair must delve into the tight-knit world of downtown development, navigating tangled loyalties, unexpected corruption, and family secrets, some of which are closer to home than Greene could have ever imagined.

In a world where the stakes are high and the profits are even higher, Greene and Kennicott race against the clock as they follow the trail of blood and money to its shocking end.

After the end of the last book, I wasn’t entirely sure if the series would continue or if that was the end of Ari Greene’s story and the other characters would continue on. Anyway, reading the preview of the book allayed my questions on the matter as Ari Greene and the rest of the cast of characters are back in this latest novel by Robert Rotenberg. What especially intrigued me about the premise of this book is that once again it’s a timely topic tackled: Toronto’s real estate.

Who knew the current issue regarding Toronto’s astronomically-priced real estate and condo-building would make for an interesting focus for a mystery novel? As I mentione once again the author has managed to take an issue that is ever so present in our city and really brings it to life through the pages: the complexity of sectors involved, the monetary aspect, the urban landscape changing, how its affecting the population and forcing people to look elsewhere to buy. Once again notable Toronto neighbourhoods were featured in this book, which is always great fun to

After the events of the last book and reading Ari Greene’s return to Toronto, I wasn’t entirely sure how he would contnue to work solving cases. Of course: a “consultant” route. I wouldn’t laugh off the PI comment that one of his former colleagues mentioned in passing, it gives Greene some latitude to investigate with less constraints but also allows Kennicott to finally grow out of Greene’s wing and work on his own. I love that Darvish is his partner now and that the character has grown in prominence since his first appearance a few novels ago (oh gosh, I can’t remember if it was the second or the third one ;_;). Also, why do I get a feeling that the murder of Kennicott’s brother might come back in a future novel? I feel like they were already hinting it a bit in this book.

It was interesting having Alison in the mix, a new character in the story with a different perspective to life in Toronto and Ari’s life. It’s interesting too because there’s this whole other aspect to Greene’s character now that she’s around and I wish we had more page-time devoted to just life in the Greene household with three generations interacting with one another. Although I admit I was clutching my pearls with her chapters because of how Alison’s story stumbles into the main mystery–talk about giving the reader an absolute fear for the characters! But I look forward to seeing her again in future novels.

I admit, I miss some of the legal angles to these novels. True, Ted DiPaulo’s still there but after the loss of a major character in the previous novel, the Crown aspect of the cases is definitely amiss here now and this novel followed the standard mystery of catching the culprit at the end and then doing the time-jump (unlike previous novels where maybe half the novel focus on the court aspect of the case). I hope more legal elements return in future novels as I always enjoyed the fact that Rotenberg’s novels showcased all the major sectors involved in an investigation: the police, the law, the media.

Overall Heart of the City is another excellent novel from Robert Rotenberg that had me glued from start to finish. Can’t wait to see what’s next for Ari Greene and the rest of the characters! 😀

Rating: ★★★★☆

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