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Involuntary Witness Audiobook

Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

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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 (1166 )
5 star
 (326)
4 star
 (465)
3 star
 (253)
2 star
 (79)
1 star
 (43)
Overall
3.8 (1025 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (242)
2 star
 (67)
1 star
 (41)
Story
4.1 (1024 )
5 star
 (439)
4 star
 (369)
3 star
 (155)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Loretta Franklin Somerville, MA United States 12-13-15
    Loretta Franklin Somerville, MA United States 12-13-15 Member Since 2013

    poochie42

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    53
    7
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    Story
    "Great story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sort of. The story was great,


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I found Guido quite an interesting character, good qualities, bad qualities...


    How could the performance have been better?

    This is the part I had the most trouble with. It was difficult for me to listen to an Italian without the Italian accent and intonations that go along with the thoughts. Otherwise, the narrator's performance was excellent (had it been a British or American novel).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Eriksen 11-28-15

    History addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    79
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    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Starting with a pitiable near loser, the novel grows in stature until you end with a winner. Not a hero, a winner who triumphs because he understands his own weakness. It's a wonderful read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela 02-28-15
    Angela 02-28-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    FOLLOWING
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    Story
    "I couldn't put it down!"

    Great story, beautifully read. Even when I thought i could predict the ending I was mesmerized by the storytelling. The voice, inflection and pace of the reader made it thoroughly entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elizabitster 02-26-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story never got me hooked"

    kept waiting to get into this book and before I knew it, it was over. story is okay...no real suspense and I didn't get attached to any if the characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chiangmai Mike 02-14-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
    5
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    "I loved this book"

    I listen to books while I'm driving, and because I drive a lot I've listened to lots of them, mostly mysteries with some classics thrown in. This story is character-based and free from the slam-bang, multiple explosion, gratuitous violence of many current mysteries. The characters are deep, the plot is absorbing, and the reader is perfect for this novel. I will listen to the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan K Massachusetts, USA 02-13-15
    Jan K Massachusetts, USA 02-13-15 Member Since 2014

    Jan K

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    Story
    "Not what I expected"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story didn't match the online description; blow-by-blow details of the main character were not necessary. As it is, I found it boring -- and hard to remember what the true story line was all about.


    What could Gianrico Carofiglio have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Give us a novel with a great legal story line.


    What three words best describe Sean Barrett’s performance?

    The voice seemed to belong to someone much older than the character -- since it was written in the first person, it was a bad fit for this narrator, even though the vocal quality was good.


    What character would you cut from Involuntary Witness?

    I would avoid mentioning all the problems that the main character has - such as alcohol abuse... not essential to the story line.


    Any additional comments?

    I started listening to this book much too late --- I would have returned it....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JFCincy 02-13-15
    JFCincy 02-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    11
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wrong narrator for this book"
    Would you try another book from Gianrico Carofiglio and/or Sean Barrett?

    Maybe


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

    Anticlimatic


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator has a beautiful voice and sounds like an established Oxford don. Unfortunately, the character was a 35 year-old, burnt-out attorney with a wry sense of humor. The book needed a younger, edgier narrator to add a little spice and "verisimilitude" (a word that plays a large part in the end--but this not a spoiler) to the storyline.


    Do you think Involuntary Witness needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    If the main character has another good case (this one was not particular interesting and had no plot twists or turns) it might be more interesting. The writing is wonderful and I hope the author does publish another book with a more interesting plot.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is for that sub-genre reader who loves a well-turned sentence and will continue listening even if the plot is not particularly interesting.

    Another narrator could make this book come alive. I hope a narrator that matches the character is considered if there is another book in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl A Balsillie SANTA ROSA, CA, US 02-10-15
    Carl A Balsillie SANTA ROSA, CA, US 02-10-15 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Overall
    "Excellent Read by the winter fireplace"

    First time to read this author. I love protagonists with believable character flaws. I look forward to reading more of Giancarlo's writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 07-31-14
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
    ratings
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    204
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    Performance
    Story
    "A Character Study"

    This is the first novel in a fiction crime mystery series about an attorney, Guido Guerrieri, in Italy. It is written by Gianrico Carofiglio, a real criminal lawyer, and narrated by Sean Barrett.

    The story mainly focuses on the attorney and the difficult time he is currently going through with depression and anxiety and separation from his wife. The book was very well written, it was interesting and different, plus the narrator was very, very good. I doubt, however, that I will continue on the attorney’s journey. There are currently 3 other books in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jessica LYNCHBURG, VA, United States 07-21-14
    jessica LYNCHBURG, VA, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    30
    6
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    "snooze"
    What would have made Involuntary Witness better?

    the crux of the entire story was just really very lackluster. the characters were boring and it was just not exactly a page turner. i listened to this book while driving and it nearly put me to sleep on the road.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Corinne
    Crewe, United Kingdom
    10/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Crime from an unusual aspect"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book very highly. The main character is brilliant, deeply flawed and very human, he has a dark side but is also humane. I would advise reading the books in the sequence they were written in to get the full benefit of developments. I wish they would translate all Carofiglio's books into English. It is also brilliantly read by Sean Barrett.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Involuntary Witness?

    It's hard to pick a ' memorable moment '. It's not a ' Bang Bang, Stab Stab, Car Chase ' book. The evolution of the main character and plot make it all memorable. I just wish there were more books. I hated to finish each one, it's always lile the loss of a good friend when you finish one.


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Flawless performance from Sean Barrett. He IS the character. You would think he'd written it himself.


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

    Yes because it's so good. No because I wanted it to last.


    Any additional comments?

    YES YES YES. I WANT MORE!!!! PLEASE LET US HAVE THE NEXT ONE IN THE SERIES.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alasdair
    United Kingdom
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "An Unlikely Crusader"

    Absorbing is probably the best way to describe the impact that this book had on me. Primarily it is a courtroom drama and is successful in both depiction and execution. However, at the same time, it successfully makes the effort to develop the characters to make them believable. Sean Barrett's narration, almost world-weary at times, seems to match the persona of Guido, the advocate who is the central character.



    It is set in south-eastern Italy (around the heel) largely in the province of Puglia. As might be expected there is bags of emotion and heart-searching and, before you know it, you are dragged into the unfolding dramas inside and outside the courtroom. The book is not for the impatient but rewards those who run the course. The characters are carefully drawn in the course of the book and yet there remains the ability to them to surprise you throughout the book whilst they maintain their credibility as real people.



    At no time do you feel that the pace of the book is determined by anything other than the natural unfolding of events. There is no forced extension to make the book longer nor is there any rush to the conclusion. It just moves at its own pace drawing the reader along with it.



    I was a little concerned about buying a translated version of an Italian novel as translators can be too literal or try to insert their own interpretation into the novel. At no time was I conscious of this being a translated story and forgot that it was anything other than a novel originally written in another language.



    All-in-all it is worth every one of the five stars and I look forward to listening to the next episode.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom
    1/10/13
    Overall
    "Great Little Book."

    This is my first book by this author. It was brought to my attention when I read that Sean Barrett, the narrator of so many great audio books, recommended the novels in this series, and said that he greatly enjoyed recording the books.

    This book is both a legal thriller and a study into human emotions and frailties,. The main character is a wonderful mix of tough lawyer anda man on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

    Set in southern Italy the author beutifully describes the native way of life and the small town and it's picturesque surroundings.

    The Plot is engageing and the whole book is superbly written. The dulcet tones of Sean Barrett, just brings this great book to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this great little book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • boosmummy
    Yorkshire, UK
    2/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Different than the usual"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I got this book as it had good reviews and I'd not read any by this particular author. I love the fact that this legal thriller isn't like the usual type with all the jumping up and shouting. The author draws you into the central character Guido Guerrieri with his flaws, vulnerabilities and I loved the closing arguments. The fact that it wasn't set in the usual legal system that most of us know gave the book an edge for me as it didn't feel like reading 'just another court case' novel.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Reader
    United Kingdom
    11/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a surprise (pleasant)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I had never heard of Carafiglio - why not ?? This is a really excellent story. Simple, I suppose, but entertaining in the extreme.

    Do listen if you like self-contemplative, self-deprecatory, musings of the main character (somewhat reminiscent of Wallander I thought) wrapped up in a fine enough legal drama. And of course all smothered in those Sean Barrett tones.

    First class discovery - ok the mean part of me begrudges a whole credit on a short book - only around 7 hours - but that's the way it is.

    I apologise if it isn't for you, but I'm not going to be apologising much I guess.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rozalind
    Lancaster, United Kingdom
    8/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Towards the end I couldn't stop listening"
    If you could sum up Involuntary Witness in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, gradually intriguing


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Involuntary Witness?

    Guido's summing up during the trial! I had to sit in the car outside work until he finished!!


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

    Guido - I slowly fell in love with him as I listened


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When his neighbour told Guido her life history


    Any additional comments?

    A beautifully written book that had quite a slow Gentle pace it's left me wanting more! can't wait to listen to the next book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lynda
    Beckenham, United Kingdom
    10/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good introduction to Guerrieri series"
    What made the experience of listening to Involuntary Witness the most enjoyable?

    Excellent narrator Sean Barrett tells the story well In general and somehow manages to bring out the charm of the central character and endears him to you .... Endeared him to me anyway ,


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoy legal stories and this one seemed to include humour, pathos, legal intrigue and an interesting main character


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Barrett differentiates between voices spectacularly well and with great subtlety where women's voices are concerned. I find I am completely convinced that the character is female without any artificial,high pitched voice that some readers affect. Something to do with a subtle shift in tone I think. An excellent narrator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I couldn't pick out a particular moment. I enjoyed the book as a whole.


    Any additional comments?

    I was inspired to read all the other books in the series. I particularly like the 'mental asides' by the central character. A bizarre mixture of self deprecation, arrogance and humour.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lucy
    Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    7/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book in the series"

    This is a great series read by the great Sean Barrett!! They should be read in order as they do refer back to previous books.

    Not my usual gripping gorey thriller but more courtroom drama. Can't help but like the characters!

    Great shorter story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    Harrogate, United Kingdom
    10/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heart warming story of individuals' triumphing"

    Initially the lead character appeared unpleasant and unlikeable, but cometh the hour and the true character emerged and won me over. I don't usually like extensive character development, but here I did and didn't see as a digression. The story is a little predictable but unfolds well. Overall a heart warming story, and a lead charcter I am very keen to hear much more of, and have the next books in the series already loaded! Enjoy. Excellent delivery by Sean Barrett as ever.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Annie
    Brentwood, United Kingdom
    5/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Involuntary Witness? What is that?"

    In this book we see the workings of a fictional case and defence. There were several repeated words, an editing flaw? This prevented a five for narration, though I could listen to voice and accent, for ever.,

    The story was interesting, but not incredible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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