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About The Book


Detectives dig into the dark side of Toronto when a serial killer targets homeless people camped out near one of the city’s most exclusive enclaves in this latest crime thriller from bestselling author Robert Rotenberg.

Exactly what is one person’s death worth?

For decades, the Humber River Golf Course has been one of the city’s most elite clubs. All is perfect in this playground for the rich, until homeless people move into the pristine ravine nearby, and tensions mount between rich and poor and reach a head when two of the squatters are brutally murdered.

The killings send shockwaves through the city, and suspicion immediately falls upon the members of the club. Protests by homeless groups and their supporters erupt. Suddenly the homelessness problem has caught the attention of the press, politicians, and the public. Ari Greene, now the head of the homicide squad, leaves behind his plush new office and, with his former protégé Daniel Kennicott in tow, returns to the streets to investigate. Meanwhile, Greene’s daughter, Alison, a dynamic young TV journalist, reports on the untold story of extreme poverty in Toronto.

With all the attention focused on the murders, pressure is on Greene to find the killer—now. He calls on his old contacts and his well-honed instincts to pursue the killer and save the city and the people he loves. But then a third body is found.

A riveting page-turner ringing with authenticity, Downfall is a scathing look at the growing disparity between rich and poor in Canada’s wealthiest city.

About The Author

(c) Ted Feld Photography

Robert Rotenberg is the author of several bestselling novels, including Old City HallThe Guilty PleaStray BulletsStrangleholdHeart of the City, and Downfall. He is a criminal lawyer in Toronto with his firm Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin. He is also a television screenwriter and a writing teacher. Visit him at or follow him on Twitter @RobertRotenberg.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Touchstone (February 2, 2021)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476740621

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Raves and Reviews

“Takes the reader on a suspenseful descent into a seldom-examined underworld, as police track a serial killer who is stalking the homeless in Toronto’s Humber River Valley. Well written and fast-paced, Downfall explores the growing problem of homelessness in our cities—what causes it and what keeps feeding it.”
BEVERLEY McLACHLIN, former Chief Justice and #1 bestselling author of Full Disclosure

“A well-crafted tale, alive with real characters and a riveting plot, making for another thoroughly compelling read.”
RICK MOFINA, USA Today bestselling author of Search for Her

“[A] complex and thoughtfully realized series. . . . Rotenberg juggles these plot items with his customary aplomb and plenty of verisimilitude.”
Toronto Star

“An unsparing exploration of the hostility between those who have it all, the members of an elite golf glub, and those who’ve lost it all, the squatters who make the ravine near the club their home. When two of the homeless are murdered, Ari Greene, the new head of the homicide squad, wads up the banal public relations statement he’s been handed and sets out to learn the truth. Rotenberg gets everything right in this stellar novel, but the scene in which ‘The Three Amigas,’ friends since they articled at the same law firm, have a late night meeting in the firm’s washroom is such a tender evocation of female solidarity that it brought me to tears.”
GAIL BOWEN, author of the Joanne Kilbourn Shreve mystery series

“A riveting read that fired my conscience as well as my imagination.”
IAN HAMILTON, author of the bestselling Ava Lee series

“Rotenberg has outdone himself again. Downfall is a superb read. With his trademark elegant prose, he masterfully weaves heart-stopping suspense with astute observations of human nature, delivering a story that is gripping and complex. I highly recommend!”
PAMELA CALLOW, bestselling author of the Kate Lange series

“Rotenberg, ever the attorney, outlines his people, builds his case, then hides the clues. . . . Haunting.”
The Globe and Mail

Downfall is so much more than a murder-mystery, opening our eyes to what lies in the ravines of our cities and our souls.”
NORMAN BACAL, bestselling author of Breakdown and Odell's Fall

“The plight of Toronto’s homeless is one that deserves our attention, and Rotenberg efficiently portrays the [city’s] egregious inequalities.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Grabs your attention from page one. . . . A gripping detective thriller that explicitly exposes the division between rich and poor, but also brings to light the tragedy of being homeless and dispossessed that should not be treated as a social burden, but as a national emergency.”
Montreal Times

“The Toronto criminal lawyer draws on 30 years’ experience defending everyone from the super rich to the super poor to write about the deep roots of economic disparity.”

“There has never been a better time to be swept up in a new novel by Robert Rotenberg. His characters are as real as the city streets they live in: a perfect antidote to a digital world. Leave it to his imagination to spark yours.”
DALTON McGUINTY, former Premier of Ontario

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