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)
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.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
This book was such a surprise for me. I didn't expect to be so riveted to the mp3 player--I finished the book in a day and a half! This is an audiobook I really hated to end and it is a hard act to follow for my next book.
Firstly, the narration is the best! Sean Barrett nails the main character, Guido Guerrieri, but without even needing an Italian accent. He also portrays the defendent, Abdou Thiam, impeccably. I will definitely seek our more books by this narrator.
I really like this sort of story. I felt I really got into the head of the main character, that he was actually speaking to me. What some other reviewers found "tedious", I found compelling. I could have listened to the character, Guido, musing on about his life for a really long time; I found myself interested in it all! I loved his incidental relationships, too. Perhaps this is an indication of the narrator's skill and the author's talent combined. The author and the narrator are an unbeatable combination for me.
I liked the story very much too. I could not imagine how all the circumstantial evidence and prejudices of the main players could be overcome. It certainly wasn't how I expected it to turn out. I also found the Italian justice system very interesting.
All in all, this was a fun listening experience for me, much to soon over. I am definitely wanting more of Carofiglio and Barrett!
This book contains a fascinating courtroom drama, and is well worth listening to for that reason. However it also pays much too much attention to the psychological difficulties of the hero, his wife, and coming girlfriend Some listeners may enjoy the exposure of human weaknesses; I found it tedious and not interesting.
In its favor, the reader does a superb job with accents and intonations.
There's a case with incredibly weak circumstantial evidence, but for no apparent reason everybody acts as if it is decisive, damning evidence. No new evidence or insights come to light, and the defense lawyer wins the case by pointing out... that it's incredibly weak circumstantial evidence. And, oh yeah, we never learn the least hint of how the crime was actually committed! None!
On the side, there's a separation from the lawyer's wife, and a prospective new love interest. Fighting and winning this dumb case helps the lawyer recover from his separation.
The writing style is good, and Sean Barrett's performance is great, but there's no content of any interest or entertainment value! I cannot imagine who would like this!
Guido Guerrieri is a fascinating character, a nicely flawed reluctant hero. While working his way through his own problems and weaknesses, he manages to engage the reader with his style and grace, and to remain a thoroughly nice guy while rescuing his client from false charges. The glimpse into the Italian system of justice and way of life adds a special interest.
I recommend the book to those who like fully realized characters and who like solving puzzling cases. The story and the narration were both enjoyable. I plan to continue the series and I am pleased to have found these books.
Audio books changed my life and they become more important with each passing year for me. My favorite categories include history, biography, and both classic and modern police procedurals.
If this were a theater performance, one would be sitting at the edge of one's seat, biting nails. The attorney/investigator takes breathtaking risks, but in an intelligent, purposeful search for the truth.
The pace, the rhythm, and sequencing are perfect. So many of this genre overextend scenes or over-describe characters or jumble plotting for effect.
The middle-aged, battle weary protagonist, who saves himself from utter cynicism because of his intrinsic decency and belief in justice.
The end, which I won't give away!
The seemingly realistic portrayal of the justice system in Italy, which like our own in the United States, is riddled with corruption and no longer serves individual needs because of the interference of the powerful and the privileged, was edifying without depressing this reader.
Wife, mother, nanna, part time actor, avid reader, world traveller, golfer, bridge player, lover of life.
I haven't read the book but Sean Barrett is my favourite Narrator and I couldn't stop listening to this exciting book. I loved every minute of it.
I would recommend this book to anyone who want to hear one of the best stories told.
Maybe the best.
The Closing Argument is presented with the highest degree of intelligence and reasoning. The Closing Argument made it impossible for the Judges and the Jury to reach any conclusion except that sought by the Closing Argument.
The performance is excellent. A well read audio book presents a mental picture that is similar to going to a play.
I'll listen to anything read by Sean Barrett (even the weather if necessary).
This was a decent story with interesting characters, each slightly flawed in gentle ways (nothing uncomfortable). It was a reasonable plot that could have been just a bit more gripping, but it was a good read and the main characters were very likeable.
Live To Read!!!
The story was good . It kept my interest . Not what I was really expecting. It was more about the growth of the lawyer himself and not the trial. Overall it was a good story and a good read.
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