Stray Bullets is Toronto lawyer Robert Rotenberg's third novel and it releases today. I have to say - Rotenberg keeps getting better and better. This is my favourite so far.
Cedric Wilkinson and his four year old son Kyle stop by a Toronto Tim Hortons for a quick donut one November evening. It's the first time Kyle has seen snow. And sadly it's his last - Kyle is struck by a bullet meant for someone else. Only one witness knows exactly what went down and he runs - he's in the country illegally.
Recurring characters Homicide Detective Ari Greene, Officer Daniel Kennicott and lawyer Nancy Parish return. It doesn't take long for those involved to be arrested, but who really did the killing? While head Crown Attorney and local philanthropist Ralph Armitage makes a quick deal to close the case, Greene isn't convinced it's the right play. He continues to investigate, despite Armitage's assurances that they've got the killer cold. Parish doesn't think so either - for once, she believes her long time client Larkin St. Clair when he says he's innocent. The wild card? The missing witness....
Rotenberg uses his own knowledge of the Canadian legal system to great advantage. The details, settings, dialogue and situations all ring true. The plotting was excellent, nicely leading the actual whodunit to a grand finale in the final chapters. Sadly the premise of this case is not too far from recent newspaper headlines. It's so enjoyable to read a book set in Canada, even more so when I'm familiar with Toronto and the locations Rotenberg describes. (One small peeve - Uncle Tom's Cabin is in Dresden, not Chatham)
I quite enjoy the characters and the window into their personal lives outside of the cases. Greene is a likable protagonist and I'm quite taken with Nancy Parish . I liked the addition of Sikh Constable Darvesh and hope he makes it to future books. The stage has been set for book number four and this reader will have it on my must read list. (And I want to know what's in Green's father's envelope!)
Those looking for an excellent legal thriller series will find it here. Start now - read an excerpt of Stray Bullets. Watch the book trailer here. You can find Robert Rotenberg on Facebook and on Twitter.
And if you're in the GTA, stop by Indigo at the Eaton Centre on Tuesday May 8/12 from 1230 - 2 pm. 12:30pm-2:00pm to here Robert read and have him sign your copy! Free, open to the public. Details here.