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Involuntary Witness

Involuntary Witness [Kindle Edition]

Gianrico Carofiglio , Patrick Creagh
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A story that is both literary and gritty that speeds along like the best legal thrillers." Jeffery Deaver "Involuntary Witness is a stunner. The veracity of the setting and the humanity of the lawyer that makes the novel a courtroom drama of such rare quality." Times "A new voice, and one with which I am sure we will soon become familiar.Involuntary Witness, has been a best seller in Italy and won many prizes. A powerful redemptive novel beautifully translated." Daily Mail

Product Description

A boy is found murdered in a well near a beach resort. A Senegalese peddler is accused in a hopeless case soaked in small town racism. The Italian judicial process revealed and an affectionate portrait of a deeply humane hero.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 381 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1904738524
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press; 1st edition (1 Nov 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent example of the genre 28 Oct 2006
By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Guido Guerrieri's marriage is on the rocks and he's a corrupt lawyer, representing people whom he despises for the money. From the Sartre-like pit of existential despair when it all goes wrong, Guerrieri's life begins to turn around when he is finessed into taking on the defence of a Sengalese man, a beach-peddler accused of murdering a small boy. The "Mockingbird" court case plays out in parallel with Guerrieri's spiritual rehabilitation and redemption.

I loved this fast-paced and compelling story. Not only for all the above reasons, but because of its sense of place. I've written before about placeism, and in that context of how John Grisham, although usually weak on plot, excels at conveying it. Carofiglio's Bari is in the same mould --- the details of life in this small Italian town illuminate the eternal dramatic themes. And it is good on plot, too.

This is a perfect miniature of a book --much shorter than Grisham, and all the better for it.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder on the beaches of Apulia 14 July 2005
Apulia is hailed as the new Tuscany. This region, where I come from, is the heel of the Italian boot. We have a long tradition of writers, musicians etc but Carofiglio is the real McCoy. His books are beautufully written with a mix of irony, suspense and mystery. It reminded me of Dibdin (perhaps because of the setting) but Carofiglio is more gritty. Carofiglio himself is an excellent CPS and his legal background is obvious in his novels. If you want your hero to be a lawyer with a penchant for food, Dire Straits, occasional sex and on the mend from a broken heart... here is your book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The book climaxes with a double whammy 7 Mar 2010
Somehow it is no surprise that the writer of this beautifully judged debut novel (a major seller in Italy), as well as being a prosecuting magistrate in Bari, southern Italy, is also a skilled juggler. For the novel brings off, superlatively, the difficult task of delivering not only an effective (if low-key) legal thriller but also a humane and convincing character study of a man undergoing what, for want of a better phrase, might be termed a mid-life crisis.
As the book opens, we find the married 38 year-old defence lawyer Guido Guerrieri lazily demanding (and getting) a fistful of notes from a street trader whose hamburger van ('hygienic condictions inside it were pretty much those of the sewers of Benares') has been confiscated by the authorities. 'Please don't give me the ones with mayonnaise stains' he prays silently. Later that evening his wife informs him that she is leaving. It is already clear that Guido has been off the rails for some time.
But, thanks be, though Guido has his share of Italian macho, the odd girlfriend on the side for instance, this is some distance from the mid-life crisis as conventionally portrayed. Of course he tries various conventional remedies: alcohol, more women a less conventional psychiatrist and meditation. But it is not until, early in the book, the case of Abdou Thiam, Senegalese beach trader, comes to his attention that Guido's mood of self-absorption really begins to lift. Abdou is accused of the murder of a nine year-old boy found at the bottom of a local well. The case is detailed and circumstantial, but under interrogation Abdou has contradicted himself; it seems that he would be well advised to take the 'shortened procedure' route available under Italian law, ie to plead guilty in return for a reduced sentence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I agree that the atmosphere and characters are good. But honestly, this is a short story stretched to the dimensions of a novel. It is amusing to see the author try every trick to fill the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars laid back defence 1 Mar 2012
I've just come across this author, didn't read any prior reviews and am interested to note now the variance of those reviews. Although this is a crime mystery, as with several other Italian authors, the book is more about the lifestyle and character of the defence lawyer, Guido Guerrieri, rather than the the crime itself.

It's pretty obvious where the book will go from a legal standpoint; the book title suggests this though if the correct and full phrase had been used, the reader would guess the outcome anyway. But, far more interesting for me, is the way the author paints his picture in a rich vocabulary (so, thanks to the translator, too) of the lifestyle of the lawyer. They do things differently in Italy, as another Prosecutor aptly explains and that's no bad thing. I like the laid back approach, a welcome change from the aggression of both US and British court room dramas.

Our main protagonist starts the book as an unhappy man, suddenly prone to panic attacks and, although this behaviour sorts itself out over 12 months, it makes the lawyer focus finally on where he is going in his work and his social life, both of which eventually change for the better.

Apart from the initial distressing murder of a little boy, there is no violence - oh, I almost forgot a brief punch up in the street as the lawyer thwarts attempts to persuade him against going ahead with another case. For this I'm grateful. Life isn't all heavyweight action and it takes a book like this to remind us that most people do not face life and death situations every day of their lives. They face social upheaval, work worries, money worries, all of which is charmingly portrayed in this book. I don't know if Mr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This book reminds me of another novel 'They don't want us here' by Kevin Watson set in England leafy Perton. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Diamonds67
5.0 out of 5 stars Involuntary Witness,
The book captures the imagination and is compulsive reading - I could not put it down. Can't wait to read more in the series. Earthy and pithy.
Published 20 months ago by jonjen
5.0 out of 5 stars Start to a brilliant series
Suspense, atmosphere, relationships, this the first of a thoroughly believable short series of books about a small time lawyer in a town in Italy. Read more
Published 21 months ago by What_happens_next
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
This is NOT a thriller/whodunnit. If you're looking for such a book, don't read this one. The involuntary witness is not the nine year-old boy that's found murdered at the bottom... Read more
Published on 9 May 2012 by H.Tj. Heeringa
1.0 out of 5 stars Has Carofiglio actually ever been to Italy?
Picture the scene...

Our hero is invited to a romantic dinner with his beautiful new neighbour in the city of Bari, Southern Italy. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by AES
1.0 out of 5 stars Soft-boiled and......boring!
Well, perhaps we should start with what this book isn't: it isn't a crime thriller, it has no conceivable connection with either John Grisham or Twelve Angry Men, and whoever... Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2011 by F. M. Stockdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Italian crime writers
The quality of many Italian "crime" writers (a pity that the only novels written by Andrea Camilleri that seem to have been translated into English/American are the crime ones... Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2011 by Helen Cramer
3.0 out of 5 stars a good holiday read as not remotely demanding
The plot in this book seems flimsy at best - the whole legal side of it is a reworking of "12 Angry Men" and one wonders about the state of the Italian legal system if the original... Read more
Published on 3 April 2010 by Sean Slippers
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best translation.
I read this as part of my Italian studies and then bought it in English for my husband. We had been on holiday in Puglia and many of the places were familiar to us. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2010 by frankiew1
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Its a very intereresting book, if you are interested in the daily life of a lawyer in Southern Italy. Very well written.
Published on 9 Feb 2010 by Elf
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