'Breathtaking . . . and all the more so because this is the author's first novel. A tightly woven spiderweb of plot and a rich cast of characters make this a truly gripping read. And of particular interest is the setting: Robert Rotenberg does for Toronto what Ian Rankin does for Edinburgh'
An amazing debut novel. Robert Rotenberg's Old City Hall has everything a legal thriller should have, and more: absolutely engaging characters, a tight, taut, and believable plot, a heart-quickening pace, and, best of all, some of the finest writing I've read in years. This one has winner written all over it.
Robert Rotenberg's Old City Hall is one of the best books I've read in ten years. I devoured it in two sittings. Rotenberg is a criminal defense attorney, defending lowlifes and celebrities alike in Toronto, and he really knows his clients. His characters are stunningly good. They're real people. His Toronto settings make this most multicultural city in North America come alive. He writes with assurance and panache. He has a series of characters who may well become a classic. He even has a sense of humor. This is one of those novels where you only need to read the first chapter to be swept away. If Old City Hall doesn't win an Edgar, I'll trade in my pen for a fishing rod...
'Clever, complex and filled with an engaging cast of characters...'
'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'
'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 ...'
'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'
'Each character is lifelike and credible; the scenes are exciting as the murder investigation zigzags slowly forward; and the Canadian setting is very well described. In crime fiction's minute sub-categories this is a legal thriller, but there is much more to the story than law and clues -- a skilful, tasty concoction'
'Another debut novel, this is tremendously readable and well-plotted, providing a mystery which intrigues almost to the last chapter'
'Highly-tipped in the awards stakes this year is Canadian Robert Rotenberg's Old City Hall. Part legal-thriller, part murder investigation, Rotenberg (himself a lawyer) really gets under the skin of that fine city of Toronto'
'Old City Hall is proof that Robert Rotenberg is one of the most striking writers on the current crime scene'
'The atmospherics, and especially Rotenberg's affection for the city of Toronto and involutions of law, make this a fast-paced, appealing addition to genre'
'A roller coaster of a legal thriller that's got it all -- an outstanding and fast-paced plot, well-developed characters with depth and personality, great dialog, plenty of courtroom and investigative drama, and an explosively satisfying conclusion'
'Rotenberg creates a legal thriller that recreates the growing tension of a major murder investigation incorporated by a wonderful cast of characters'
'As a mix of both detective work and legal thriller, as both a puzzle and a study of characters, Old City Hall delivers ... it's certainly the best first novel I've read since Child 44, and that's high praise'
'This is a first-rate debut thriller for Rotenberg, who weaves Toronto into the plot as a character to this intriguing crime, 4 STARS'
'Highly tipped in the awards stakes this year ... Rotenberg really gets under the skin of that fine city Toronto ... it is already being said that he does for Toronto 'what Ian Rankin does for Edinburgh'
'A big book in more senses than one...it is intriguing how it develops in the skilled hands of the author'
'This engaging thriller is wonderfully assured'