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|Print List Price:||£7.99|
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Involuntary Witness (Guido Guerrieri Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 290 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Involuntary Witness falls in the black and white category and I can only recommend it as a light read. However, it is well written, it has the advantage of being written by a judge and it does bring an extra dimension, albeit it a modest one, in that the reflections of the narrator on his life and the characters around him are witty and thoughtful. The Italian setting adds a bit of spice. I will probably read the sequel.
A solid 4 star recommendation.
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.
That said, if you suspend belief about the main legal plot it is an enjoyable read.
But the book struggles to deliver. The narrative plods on as the twin themes of Guido’s redemption and justice for Abou vie with each other to see who can get to the end of the book first. Guido wallows in aimless confusion as he engages with a series of odd women at the same time as he engages in a series of odd court hearings building to the trial of Abou.
Spoiler alert …………. Guido does obtain the acquittal of the hapless Abou. But not through grim pre-trial detective work, of which we hear very little, not through tricky Grisham like courtroom tactics, not through the advocacy of Atticus Finch on his best day. No. But through a long and tedious monologue launched at the captive jury about the unreliability of eyewitness evidence. Margherita, one of the odd woman but now Guido’s assistant, tells him he was on his feet for 2 and half hours. The jury must have wanted to shout ‘OK, we give up, we acquit’. This monologue clogs up both the last few pages of the book and valuable court time – the verdict isn’t reached until 10pm.
The author, Gainfranco Caroffiglio, was an aniti Mafia prosecutor in Bari and now a full time author. There are a series of novel’s featuring Guido. This is the first and is a good effort. There is an easy noir feel to Guido’s exploits. There is a nice line in dark humour and I really liked the description of a boxing gym and a match after Guido resumes the sport in an effort to recover from the disaster of his marriage. I will look for another book in the series but I can only go 3 stars.
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