A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.
©2005 Gianrico Carofiglio (P)2011 Audible Ltd
“Hard-boiled and sun-dried in equal parts. Where Philip Marlowe would be knocking back bourbon and listening to the snap of fist on jaw, Guido Guerrieri prefers Sicilian wine and Leonard Cohen. The role of Guerrieri is to take on impossible cases that have little chance of success. His efforts to prove his client's innocence bring him into dangerous conflict with Mafia interests. Everything a legal thriller should be.” (Financial Times)
''At one level an exciting courtroom thriller, but what places it in a superior league is the portrayal of a slice of Italian society not normally encountered in crime fiction and an immensely appealing flawed hero." (The Times, London)
I feel like this book would fare better with Italian readers who might appreciate a more existential way of writing. I am all for existentialism, but not when it applies to a crime novel. You literally go half way into this book before you even understand what is going on with the man convicted of the crime, so its hard to care about the crime part of it. The rest is the narrator's marriage and random things about his life. I just don't feel like its a good mix. A crime novel succeeds for me when it is more plot driven, with the characters secondary. I'm an American though. I just felt like he wanted to write like Camus and Raymond Chandler at the same time. Before attempting this author, search Mediterranean Noir on Wikipedia to get a grasp for what this book is like. Aside from my qualms with the book itself, narration was great.
What a gem! Didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. Interesting character development. Definitely plan to continue the series.
I am a readaholic! I will read anything - cereal boxes, etc. if there is nothing available. I have a long drive to work and back and listen to books every day.
The story was really good, but too much else went on in this book for me.
The book is unusually well written and fresh. My only problem is that the narrator, Sean Barrett, seems miscast. He sounds too old and too self-conscious; he'd make a fine Richard III, but not Guido Guerrieri. Perhaps I'll just read the rest of the series w/o listening.
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
This story was not what I expected, I suppose, and so I feel cheated because it did not have the resolution of a real mystery or suspense novel. I don't want to give any spoilers but, well, unlike other legal thrillers, this one does not provide an investigation and capture of the real criminal....
This book was good in other ways, though. First, it provides a look into the Italian judicial system, which is especially interesting now in light of the Amanda Knox case. It's a system that seems bizarre to North Americans, I am sure.
Second, and best, was the narration. Sean Barrett (the narrator) did an amazing job conveying the personality of the novel's protagonist and narrator, the lawyer, Guido. He also was amazing at capturing different voices throughout the novel, and especially good at the Senegalese accent of the accused.
So, it wasn't an awful book, but I felt very cheated without a proper solving of the case. The story is really just about Guido coming to terms with his life situation, dragging himself back into life, taking on a very challenging case, and defending his client.
I bought this book as a Deal of the Day, so I don't feel too peeved. But I would have been very annoyed, indeed, if I had used a credit or paid more than $3 for it!
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.
I'm amazed that I listened to the whole thing. The only reason I stuck with it is because I kept thinking there had to be some kind of stunning plot twist coming up. But no, it just plodded along, wandering from the lawyer's pathetic personal life to the scarcely developed criminal case. The trial was unbelievable. The characters lacked any dimension. The narrator had a pleasant enough voice but it tended to lull me to sleep. I bought the title because it was a Daily Deal and I was out of credits; I don't recommend it.
I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.
This was originally written in Italian and translated to English. It is a Grishamesq type of book, but Italian style. It was very interesting to listen to the way the courts work in another country. It was a very good book and I would definitely buy another book with this author and narrator.
I loved the experience of listening to the metamorphosis/maturing of a personality and his relationship with people and life, in general, around him.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This is perhaps the most thoughtfully written crime novel I've come across . . . the story within the story of Guido's personal life during the trial was equally important . . . so much so that I think it led him to take the case to defend the peddler accused of killing the nine year old boy. Finally trusting his gut as to the man's innocence, with everything to lose, he plunges ahead. I loved the setting in Italy in the late 1990s, too. You can't miss with this one.
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