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Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1 | [Gianrico Carofiglio]

Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (697 )
5 star
 (192)
4 star
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Overall
3.8 (612 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (612 )
5 star
 (248)
4 star
 (232)
3 star
 (98)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
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  •  
    Vince Boise, ID, United States 12-24-13
    Vince Boise, ID, United States 12-24-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    Story
    "I loved the whole Italian thing....."
    What did you like best about Involuntary Witness? What did you like least?

    I really enjoyed the book, but it was more about Guido and his personal life than what I thought should be the main story line - the trial of the accused murderer. Having said that, I'm not sorry I read it. I enjoyed the reading by Sean Barrett and the character development of Guido was enjoyable.

    Spoiler Alert! Don't finish this part if you plan to read the book and don't want a clue about the ending.

    I was just hoping that there might be a surprise ending or twist that I didn't see coming. The surprise ending was that there was no surprise ending.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Oooops.... I think I answered this above. Better put in a spoiler alert warning.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His reading was excellent - and his Italian is very good.


    Was Involuntary Witness worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra PALMYRA, VA, United States 12-24-13
    Alexandra PALMYRA, VA, United States 12-24-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suspense and Drama well blended"

    This novel not only presents a story that reveals Italian culture, and the Italian legal system, but it also focuses on the meaning of life - all well blended into a legal suspense story that keeps you engaged all the way through. The characters grow and develop as the story moves along and you grow the really identify and like the hero, even though when the novel starts you are not really sure if you do. Really well written, great plot line, and hope when there is none!. Well worth a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 12-13-13
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 12-13-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    188
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    "Misclassified as a mystery but I enjoyed it"

    Even though Involuntary Witness has a courtroom subplot, it isn't a legal thriller or a mystery. It is a story of how a man, who happens to be an attorney, is shattered by and recovers from a divorce and grows as an individual. It wasn't what I expected from the title and the cover art, but I enjoyed listening. The courtroom story arc is extremely interesting and says a lot about the Italian legal system and immigration issues. I have no idea how the title relates to the story. The narrator does a nice job but he sounded too old. When he said "avvocato," the Italian word for attorney, it sounded like he was saying avocado. If you enjoy foreign films, you might enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Anderson Morgantown, WV USA 12-09-13
    R. Anderson Morgantown, WV USA 12-09-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story . . . Superb narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Involuntary Witness the most enjoyable?

    A mystery presented in manner I have not come across before, wherein the defendant's attorney gives an account from his perspective.


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    He was so good I didn't mind a British accent reading a book set in Italy. His voicings for different characters were very good. I might not even have stayed with the book except for him, as it starts quite slowly.


    Any additional comments?

    Without giving anything away suffice it to say that I could see where it was going as the case developed. I'm not sure I would have read the book, but Sean Barrett kept me more interested than the mere text would have done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Mcdowell Muncie, IN, United States 12-04-13
    Jane Mcdowell Muncie, IN, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
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    190
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    "Italian legal system does not a thriller make"

    I appreciate the opportunity to try out books when Audible has a sale. I have enjoyed the Scandinavian authors, and have also enjoyed other Italian police procedurals. However, as another reviewer said, if this book portrays a typical Italian defense lawyer, there isn't any work done outside the courtroom.
    Much of the book is the introspective musings, fears and disappointments of this attorney, interspersed with courtroom oratory and rhetoric. The premise was worthy of a story, but the story told was not engaging. I have no desire to listen to any additional books in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard Lewes, DE, United States 10-25-13
    Leonard Lewes, DE, United States 10-25-13 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OK< but..."
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Book was translated from the Italian and takes place, with great detail, in a city no one is likely to be familiar with. made it harder to follow. Also the Italian legal system is very different from US, and as this is a legal thriller (not!) its tough to stick with the narrative when it is not intuitive to American law.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Saco, ME, United States 10-21-13
    Kate Saco, ME, United States 10-21-13 Member Since 2008

    I love audio and ebooks but only give them a 5 if they hold my attention. An avereage story gets a 3 . Thrillers & Crime are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dull"

    The story is about a lawyer, Quido, who is struggling to overcome the emotional damage from his recent breakup with his wife. It is also, supposed to primarily be about a case of a man accused of killing a nine year old boy.

    I would say about a third of the book, if that, focuses on the case. The rest is very slow placed accounts of Quido's day to day activities. Some of his thoughts are amusing but much of it is really irrelevant to the plot.

    The aspects pertaining to the case are revealed over a painfully slow process and when they do get into the courtroom there is so much repetition that I just wanted to fast forward.

    I won't listen to the next one in this series.

    On a plus side, the narrator does a good job with what he has to work with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Highland Village, TX, United States 10-01-13
    E. Highland Village, TX, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    2
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    4
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    "Boring, boring, boring!!!!!"
    Would you try another book from Gianrico Carofiglio and/or Sean Barrett?

    I might try one more. But, if it is anything like Involuntary Witness, I'll never listen to him, again.


    What other book might you compare Involuntary Witness to and why?

    I can't think of a book as boring as this. Maybe an audio treat book.


    What aspect of Sean Barrett’s performance would you have changed?

    He was okay. A bit dry. But, he was just reading the boring story. Not his fault.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Involuntary Witness?

    As seen above, I gave the story 3 stars. it had a good premise for a story, but it dragged on and the author had the protagonist droll on and on. It could have been a goo short-story. Because there was a good premise to it, I had to finish the damned thing.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe an abridged version wouldn't droll on and on and maybe wouldn't be so boring!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beuford Los Angeles, CA, United States 09-24-13
    Beuford Los Angeles, CA, United States 09-24-13
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    1
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    "great book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, I am telling everybody I know about this book


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I want to get more books by this Author


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    The timing of his delevery its, outsanding


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I don't what it to finish


    Any additional comments?

    I am enjoying the books at night as I am going to bed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elbara Washington DC 08-14-13
    Elbara Washington DC 08-14-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    15
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    "Intriguing and Informative"

    New to this author, I found the book absorbing, original and a welcome change from the sadly formulaic mysteries by more local authors that I have sometimes inadvertently purchased. Notable features include (a) well drawn and interesting characters and situations, (b) insight into an Italian legal system quite different from our own (sometimes jarringly so), and (c) a satisfactory resolution without any apparent compulsion to tie up all the loose ends (e.g., whodunit?). A refreshing experience that leaves me eager to read more of the author's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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