Monday, June 18, 2018

Heart of the City: Robert Rotenberg June 15 2018

Anne suggested Heart of the City (2017), by Robert Rotenberg, in February as our Book Group's Book of the Month for June. This gave me time to read it, and also read Rotenberg's first book, Old City Hall (2009). He is a criminal lawyer in Toronto, Canada. This, obviously, has given him a good background to write crime fiction. Apparently he is moving out of Law so as to devote more time to writing. It would appear his books are becoming commercially successful, which is quite unusual. Very few people can make a living writing books.

Anne gave us a fascinating presentation with an in depth analysis of the characters and storyline. Admitting that this is not great literature, she pointed out that is well-written and a good read. The characters are memorable, and we find ourselves interested in them. It was agreed that it would make a great airplane, or summer beach, book. This opens it up to a larger market.

Robert Rotenberg in front of Old City Hall
Everyone loved that it was set in Toronto, in the Kensington District in the 1970s. Some of our members visited the Kensington District to find the places that had been talked about in the book. They commented on how much that area has changed in the intervening years.

We were all pleased to have been exposed to the work of Rotenberg. It has been suggested that he is to Toronto what Ian Rankin is to Edinborough and Craig Robertson is to Glasgow, Scotland: they all write, setting their crime fiction in their respective cities.

Our Group had enjoyed reading Heart of the City, and will now be following Rotenburg's writing career. Many of us wanted to know more about the characters, so will be reading his earlier works. We will be awaiting his next one with interest.

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