Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Downfall - Robert Rotenberg

I was quite happy to see that Robert Rotenberg had a new entry in his Greene and Kennicott series. The sixth book is the newly released Downfall.

Ari Greene is the head of homicide in Toronto, Ontario. Greene has a calm, measured way of speaking and thinking and often knows and sees more than he lets on, playing his cards close to his chest. Detective Kennicott has learned from Greene and is also a keen investigator. Greene's daughter is a news reporter and gives another viewpoint on things. I'm not totally sold on her yet, but her appearance in the books adds to Greene's personal story line. I am quite fond of Greene's elderly father. The rest of the supporting players in Downfall include some familiar faces and some new characters. The homeless were given dignity and real voices in their character building.

The crime at the heart of this novel is not imagining on Rotenberg's part. Instead, homelessness and the killing of homeless people is fact. In this case, Ari has more than one murder on his plate. 'Toronto is now the fourth largest municipality in North America and there are over 10,000 people in Toronto who are homeless on any given night.' Encampments, gatherings and tent cities are part of every large city's make up. In Downfall, one such tent city has drawn the ire of an elite Toronto golf club. The tensions between the wealthy and the homeless is at the heart of the story. 

Rotenberg has been called Canada's John Grisham. This is an apt descriptor as Rotenberg himself is a criminal lawyer. That expertise brings much to his writing and his plotting. Rotenberg also makes his home in T.O. Actual streets, places and more make up the setting. Having been to some of them, it was easy to envision places as I read. 

Rotenberg keeps things moving along at a good clip, with no down time for our investigators. I had my suspicions as to the whodunit as the book progressed, but this certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. I was right to a certain degree, but hadn't sussed out the details. 

A really good addition to this series. And the plot lends itself to food for thought in regards to homelessness. I will be happily looking for the next entry in this series. Here's an excerpt of Downfall.


Bobby Rotenberg said...

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed it. Robert

Luanne said...

Thank you Robert!