critic at large
I don't care for legal mysteries but this will make my top ten reads of the year. More than half the book is about Guido Guerrieri, the Advocato in the criminal courts. The case he is defending is one of a Senegalese peddler who is accused of kidnapping and strangling a small Italian boy whom he was friends with. The case hangs, not on proving someone else did it, nor even proving the accused did not do it. Instead, in a brilliant piece of writing, Guido offers in his closing argument a monologue on the multiple natures of "truth".
Special kudos to Patrick Creagh, the translator. So perfect is his translation that the reader would never guess the book had been written in Italian.
I have read all 4 of Carofiglio's books and have enjoyed them all, especially the first 2. They are entertaining and I found the differences between the Italian and the American judicial system is very interesting. Sean Barret is probably my favorite reader; he is always excellent.
If this novel is typical, there is a big difference between U.S. and Italian crime novels. Do not expect anything like “Lincoln Lawyer”. The actual crime and trial are secondary to the musings of the main character, Attorney Guido Guerrieri, And it seems that attorneys in Italy prepare for trial ONLY by reading the information given to them by the prosecuting attorney and police without doing any interviewing of witnesses or investigating on their own before trial. It’s very odd. Actually, frustrating is a better word.
I thought that since this is the first book in a series the author had decided to use most of novel introducing the reader to Guido, and you do grow to like him. He often mentions American books, music and art. He is finding himself after a divorce. But now I have started the second book, and more is being revealed about Guido, I am thinking that these books are more about how this man thinks, his humor, his self awareness and how he conducts himself within the legal system, then solving any “crime” or winning any trial.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
That title doesn't make much sense, but, like a rich Italian entree, I'm trying to figure out all the ingredients that made this short novel so enjoyable to listen to. The writing is precise and introspective, the tone is self-deprecating, the atmosphere, urban with a splash of European beach culture. The narration (not an Italian accent) is seductive, chiseled and intimate.
The story is besides the point...this is a character study squisito with Milhone-style details (instead of pulling on jeans and a sweatshirt, our protagonist slips into soft Italian loafers). Avvocato Guido shares his meals with us along with his embarrassments, unromantic notions and Italian points of law. Veramente buono!
Seemed awfully choppy. not the audio, but the structure. Not much of a courtroom drama. See no need to download any further books from this author.
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
I strongly disagree with some of the rave reviews of this book. This is more of a psychological analysis of an Italian lawyer than it is about a murder case.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Some might label this book "slow" but not me. I thoroughly enjoyed the telling of this tale. The "slowness" would come from the fact that the book provides an interesting personal history of the lawyer at the center of the storm and listeners discover that this particular lawyer can be both detached and emotionally involved in his cases; has remarkable psychological quirks just like the rest of us; and doesn't always enjoy or even like his work or colleagues. These inclusions in the story create a thread of interest that keeps the listener eager for more.
This is not an action-packed court room drama that you may be used to hearing. But I found it very interesting, especially since it is set in the Italian court system.
I'm a narrator for Audible and a lover of recorded fiction in the mystery/thriller genre. A great book needs a great narrator.
So far #1 Sean Barrett's narration was a work of art. His diction, pacing, pronunciations et al were wonderful.He did have a good story to work with but he made it sing for this listener. I very much enjoyed the descriptions of Italian jurisprudence and Sean's sophisticated manner, BRAVO!!
Yes, the flash-backs were small stories of their own each with an intriguing soryline.
Without a doubt it was the protagonist, Guido Guerrieri.
It did both but probably more of the former.
This is a very sophisticated legal thriller with a thoroughly engageing main character, hope to hear Sean Barrett perform Guido in future books.
Although I find the protagonist in the few of these books I have read quite charming, this particular reading is thronged with beyond tedious courtroom questions, procedures, identifications, etc. I found that when my mind drifted out of boredom, it really made no difference to where I was in the story. The main character is complex, yet very well developed and the reader is given entree to his inner persona. Were the story more interesting, it would have been a great read.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I enjoyed this audio book immensely. It is a well-written view inside of the criminal legal system in Italy. The author, Gianrico Carofiglio, has set up this series as an exploration of impossible criminal legal cases managed by an lawyer that hates injustice. This series cannot be described as a thriller or police procedural. But still, it was fascinating and easy to follow. I especially loved that:
1) I got a real feel of an ordinary life in Italy. I didn't even notice that the trial didn't start until the latter part of the book.
2) The attorney, Guido Guerrieri, is written so brilliantly. He is deeply flawed, but I was often moved by his kindness and fight against injustice. His inner thoughts are spot on as well as very humorous. I look forward to getting to know Guerrieri better as I read more books in this series.
3) The narration by Sean Barrett is so good. He got me emotionally involved in the characters, especially the Senegalese client, Abbou. This series would lose some of its appeal with another narrator. Thankfully, Mr. Barrett continues the series as far as I can see.
If you enjoy legal stories (as in Grisham or Turow), give this book a try. I think you will be very pleased.