Old City Hall By Robert Rotenberg
Part One: Page 3 – 75
Already Kevin Brace was acting like a prisoner. It was remarkable how in just a few hours his whole personality seemed to have been stripped away. From national icon to the bathtub guy to just another prisoner on the third-floor range at the Don—in less than twenty-four hours.” (Rotenberg 75) Old City Hall is a book written by Robert Rotenberg. The centre of focus in this book is a man named Kevin Brace, a nationally famous radio broadcaster for the Toronto Maple Leafs. One early morning when Mr. Singh the newspaper delivery man went to deliver at Mr. Brace’s apartment suite, he noticed the door was swung wide open. As his curiosity took the better of him, Mr. Singh walked in and found Brace’s wife Katherine, murdered in the bath tub with knife wounds all over. I am focusing on this specific quote for this part of the book because it outlines how fast things can change in a very short time, and how Kevin Brace went from being a national icon to a suspect for murdering his wife. This outlines the theme of imprisonment, and shows us how all of us no matter who we are, are susceptible to such cruel acts of violence and misfortune. Kevin Brace, a sixty-three year old man, is being held in prison, and has spoken only five words since his incarceration “I had to do it”. This shows how imprisonment can take a huge toll on the sanity of a human, and how the fragmentation of the mind has come into play now, and will remain a huge theme throughout the novel until its very end.
Part Two: Pages 76 – 148
“Your Honor, the defense will consent to the detention of Mr. Brace” – Defense Lawyer Parish (Rotenberg 123) I chose this quote to focus on for this part of the novel because it highlights how broken down and mentally drained Kevin Brace is. Now in court, Mr. Brace and his lawyer are about to speak about his bail hearing when Mr. Brace calmly writes down on a piece of paper and hands it to his defense lawyer Ms. Parish. She reads the letter in her head and then speaks out loud to the judge “Your Honor, the defense will consent to the detention of Mr. Brace”. This means that Brace has given up all hope, and it shows that he does not have a care in the world; it is almost as if he wants to go to prison. At this point in the novel the reader is very confused, and is constantly trying to figure Kevin Brace and his mystery of an unsolved murder. It is because of this that this part of the novel underlines the theme of mystery, and how the “puzzle pieces” of this trial just don’t fit. This leads back to fragmentation of the mind because even before the actual court date, Kevin Brace has already seemingly given up. This shows that his mind is very scattered, and that he clearly does not want to live a normal life any longer. As the novel continues, the judge calls the crown and defense lawyer into his office. Even though a lawyer must obey his or her clients demands, they agree upon a neutral basis that the hearing will continue.
Part three: Pages 151 – 221
“Ho grinned and pointed at some background documents. “Back in the late 80’s she was involved in some kid of protest. Pushed a cop through a glass window. Got charged and printed. – Detective Ho (Rotenberg 159)
This quote focuses on the idea of the hidden truths that lie in the shadows waiting to be uncovered. In this part of the novel, the reader finds out the Kevin Brace’s wife Katherine, was not anywhere close to a “civilized normal person” at all. Not only was Katherine charged with throwing a cop out of a window, she also attended AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. She was known as a raging alcoholic, and when she worked at Brace’s radio station, she lost her sanity and completely collapsed. She went on an assault and injured three people. This adds many more options for the reader to explore, and catches the reader