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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 (795 )
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4.1 (693 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tracy Canada 05-15-14
    Tracy Canada 05-15-14 Member Since 2010

    A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Feeling Cheated"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Scotia, NY, United States 05-09-14
    Mary Scotia, NY, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What was it about?"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 05-09-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2011

    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.

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    "I really enjoyed this book!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Val Steensland 05-09-14
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    7
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    Story
    "Book made me sit still and listen."
    What did you love best about Involuntary Witness?

    I loved the experience of listening to the metamorphosis/maturing of a personality and his relationship with people and life, in general, around him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 03-18-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 03-18-14 Member Since 2009

    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.

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    "Crime without the Grime . . . Excellent Listen!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vince Boise, ID, United States 12-24-13
    Vince Boise, ID, United States 12-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    "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 12-24-13
    Alexandra 12-24-13
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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 12-13-13
    Marie 12-13-13 Member Since 2011
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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 12-09-13
    R. Anderson 12-09-13
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    "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 12-04-13 Member Since 2000
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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
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