Book Report: ‘Heart of The City’ by Robert Rotenberg


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 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.


You will be hard pressed to find a mystery/suspense read this summer that’s as gripping as ‘Heart of the City’ By: Robert Rotenberg. Talk about riveting and at the same time swoon worthy.

If you are a Toronto native and know the city well you will be swooning at the exterior shots verbalized within the course of this read. Augusta, Kensington Market and the downtown core peppered with cranes and construction sites  being resurrected on grounds that once held something very different.

A murder that slaps you in the face early on – makes the reader question in a Clue type fashion each character that is slowly introduced. Don’t let their dry wit, quirky stories and fronting bylines mislead you.  There’s an ominous darkness that slays John Grisham.  Yes, I went there. This book is written by a top criminal lawyer and reads as such.

I appreciated the deep rooted plot development that Rotenberg sinks his teeth into in ‘Heart of the City’. There is a hint of ‘Street Legal’ and ‘CSI’ motifs throughout the novel.  I languished in Rotenberg’s historical development of a young Toronto and how its character emulsified to harbour the characters crimes, loves, lost legacies and weird interiors.  Relish Rotenberg’s visual worded paintings – they are sugary and perfect for tucking into your purse and travel bag as you hit the road this summer.

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