Wednesday 31 July 2013

Book ~ "Stranglehold" (2013) Robert Rotenberg

From Goodreads ~ Bestselling author Robert Rotenberg is back with his most shocking book yet, featuring Detective Ari Greene in the fight of his life.

It’s just after Labour Day and the city is kicking back into gear. All eyes are on the hotly contested election for Toronto’s next mayor and crime is the big issue. Greene is no stranger to the worst of what the city has to offer but even he is unprepared for what happens next when he stumbles upon a horrific homicide.

In one nightmare moment his world is flipped upside down. Soon he is pitted against his young protégé, Daniel Kennicott, who arrests him for first-degree murder.

Tied down on house arrest as he awaits his trial, Greene has to find a way to not only clear his name but to face some very hard truths: that he didn’t really know the people he believed in most; that there are unseen forces at work prepared to see him take the fall; and most of all, that he should never underestimate the price people will pay for love. 

Stranglehold is Rotenberg’s fourth gripping mystery set on the streets and in the courtrooms of Toronto, capturing audiences with his masterful knowledge of the intricacies of the criminal justice system and understanding of the emotions that make people tick.

Ari Greene is a cop and having an affair with Jennifer Raglan, a Crown prosecutor, who is married.  For the last six Monday mornings they have been meeting in a seedy motel. This would be the last time because Jennifer was going to leave her husband and they will be together.  When Ari arrives at the seedy motel, he discovers her dead.  He thinks he sees the killer running away and without thinking, he takes off after him/her.

Daniel Kennicott is the officer in charge of the investigation and, though they are friends and colleagues, he eventually arrests Ari for the murder.  What follows is the trial where Ari will either be proven innocent or sentenced to 25 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. 

This the fourth book by Rotenberg I've read and I enjoyed it.  It's the fourth in a series ... I like reading series because we get to know the characters, who I liked.  In this book, Ari is fighting for his life while grieving for his lover.  Not only has he lost his love but he could also lose his freedom.  And during all this, he is still sensitive to not hurting Jennifer's husband and three kids.  Though Daniel has arrested Ari, he is torn between being a cop and a friend when he starts to doubt that Air actually did it.  Though we don't find out who killed Jennifer until the end, it starts to become obvious whodunnit and it's interesting to find out why.

I like that it's set in Toronto.  The author is quite specific in the locations so I know exactly where the action is taking place and have been to a lot of these places.  In fact, I had attended a reading by the author in one of the locations mentioned in this book, the Deer Park Library, in September 2011.  I've been to the McDonald's at Church/Queen E where Ari seeks out Dent.  I've hung out in Daniel's College Street 'hood.  I've been to Ireland Park and have seen the sculptures commemorating the tens of thousands who fled Ireland during the Great Famine.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Louis Jolliet Boat Tour, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I love boat cruises and did the 2pm boat tour on the Louis Jolliet, which docked on the St. Lawrence River at Quartier Petit Champlain.

It's 1.5 hours and goes around a bit on the River.  It's about $40 each but if you have a CAA/AAA card, there's $7 off.

Gord and I went right to the top!

Our guide gave us info in French, then English.

Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I checked out Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral today.

It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec, the oldest in the New World north of Mexico. It is also the parish church of the oldest parish in North America and the first church in North America to be elevated to the rank of minor basilica by Pope Pius IX in 1874. It is a National Historic Site of Canada.

Located on this site since 1647, the Cathedral has twice been destroyed by fire throughout the centuries. Four governors of New France and the bishops of Quebec are buried in the crypt, including François de Laval, Quebec's first bishop.

It was gorgeous inside.

Marriott Courtyard, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I spent two nights while we were in Quebec City at the Marriott Courtyard.  I had booked it through Porter Escapes along with our flights (we flew via Porter Airlines).

There were two small elevators servicing the floors (maybe eight floors?) ... each was in a different spot in the hotel.  Surprisingly there wasn't much of a wait for the one we used.

Monday 29 July 2013

La Ninkasi du Faubourg, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I had a late lunch at La Ninkasi du Faubourg ... we were walking up rue St.-Jean and it looked cute.

Heading towards the parliament buildings, Quebec City, QC

After Gord and I left the Citadelle of Quebec, we wandered towards the parliament buildings.

We went under the Porte St-Louis (St. Louis Gate).

There were lots of monuments along the way.

Citadelle of Quebec, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I followed the fortification wall to the Citadelle of Quebec.

The Citadelle is a military installation and official residence located atop Cap Diamant, adjoining the Plains of Abraham.  It is a National Historic Site of Canada.

The Citadelle has been the home station of the Royal 22th Régiment of the Canadian Forces since 1920. In addition to its use as a military installation, it has been also an official residence of the Queen in Right of Canada and the Governor General of Canada since 1872, who by tradition resides there for several weeks out of the year. 

As we rounded the corner to the entrance, the guards were on the move.

Fortification walls, Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), QC

After breakfast, Gord and I walked along the fortification walls inside Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec).

The first protective wall was built in the 17th century under Louis de Buade, sieur de Frontenac. A plan of fortifications was developed by the French military engineer Jacques Levasseur de Néré (1662–1723) and approved by Louis XIV's commissary general of fortifications Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban in 1701. Considerable work took place on the fortifications after the fall of Louisbourg in 1745 under the direction of military engineer Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry. 

The existing star-shaped fortifications were built by the United Kingdom between 1820 and 1831 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Elias Walker Durnford of the Royal Engineers and incorporated a section of the French enceinte (enclosure) of 1745. Their purpose was to secure the strategic heights of Cap Diamant against the Americans and to serve as a refuge for the British garrison in the event of attack or rebellion. The preservation of much of the fortifications and defences of Quebec is due to the intervention of Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Governor General of Canada 1872–1878, who also established the Citadelle as a vice-regal residence. 

We started at Porte St-Jean (St. John's Gate).

We headed towards the Citadelle of Quebec.

L'Accent, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I had a late breakfast at L'Accent, which is near our hotel.

We both ordered one of the Classics ... The Good Morning with two eggs .

Sunday 28 July 2013

Vieux-Quebec (Old Quebec City), QC

Gord and I are spending a couple days in Quebec City.

We arrived about noon today and after dropping off our stuff at our hotel (we are staying in Old Quebec City), we set out exploring.

 It's a great city to walk around ... there is so much to see!  A lot of the buildings are from the 1600s.

Pub Saint-Alexandre, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I had supper this evening at Pub Saint-Alexandre.

There were a couple guys playing inside ... they were good.

We sat on the patio.

Pub St-Patrick, Quebec City, QC

Gord and I were hungry when we arrived in Quebec City and we had lunch at Pub-St. Patrick.

There was a line-up for a table on the patio so we sat inside.

Gord and I both ordered fish 'n chips (it was cod).  It was good.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Museum Tavern, Toronto, ON

After Gord and I left Hemingway's, we walked to the Museum Tavern for a couple drinks.

I'd read reviews about it that said you have to sit at the bar because of the bartenders ... so that's what we did.

The bartenders were really friendly and we had fun chatting with them ...

Hemingway's Restaurant and Bar, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had an early supper today at Hemingway's in Yorkville.

Upstairs to the patios
We sat on the downstairs patio.