The second book to feature defence lawyer Guido Guerrieri is as good, if not better than the debut novel, 'Involuntary Witness' in the sense that Guido has become a more rounded character, resulting in a more determined approach to both his life and his cases. Having previously read book 4, we know that he is likely to succomb just as he does in this book when his stance on quitting smoking goes up in er, smoke.
As with book 1 and, I guess, the others, this is more a slice of Italian life in Bari. Those wanting a sure fire thriller will be disappointed. Those looking for a well balanced story based on the author's previous (maybe current) day job will relish the veracity of the court room scenes coupled with the general day to day social activities in Guido's life, making this an excellent read.
It is, if anything, rather short, being only a couple of hundred pages so we soon reach the end, slightly disappointed that it has passed so quickly. Still, there's book 3 to follow when I find a copy.
The story has been outlined elsewhere, so, for me, the relevance of reading such a book as this is expressly to enjoy the warmth of the Bari lifestyle whilst not losing sight of the fact that an important socialite has beaten his partner, abusing her to the point of almost death and hopes, because of privilege and position, to get away with it. Thankfully, Guerrieri is made of sterner stuff, defending the woman before events take a nastier course.
You don't have to read book 1 in order to enjoy this one. It stands alone but any new reader will miss another Bari storyline which, in itself, makes for an interesting and enjoyable read.