Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 8 March 2017
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 November 2007
This Italian bestseller is the third in Carofiglio's series of crime/legal thrillers featuring lawyer Guido Guerrieri. The simple story is set in the somewhat grim eastern port of Bari (yes, I've been there and don't care to return), where the 40ish private attorney plies his trade while fending off a midlife crisis. One day, not long after being dumped by his girlfriend, he is retained by a convicted drug smuggler to represent him in his appeal case. Coming back from a vacation in Montenegro, the man's car was searched, and 40 kilos of cocaine was found, leading to a sixteen year sentence. However, he claims to have confessed only in order to keep his half-Japanese wife out of jail, and disavows any prior knowledge of the drugs.

The story then unfolds relatively straightforwardly, as Guerrieri examines the details of the original case and does a little digging with the unofficial help of a few old acquaintances. As in many European crime novels, the hero/protagonist is somewhat of a loner, and spends a good portion of the book drifting around the streets of the city (by bike!) ruminating on his empty life, eating, and drinking. Adding to Guerrieri's woes is his self-loathing when he falls all too easily into bed with his client's exotically beautiful wife. A further complication is the lawyer's secret past with his client -- as a teen, the client was a fascist thug who was part of a gang who assaulted Guerrieri, an event the client doesn't appear to recall. These latter two elements don't add a great deal to the story, especially the teenage connection, which leads nowhere and ultimately serves little purpose. Yet despite the relatively unoriginal plotline, there's a certain tone to the story that makes it quite compelling. Definitely not a great book, but good enough to make me want to go back and read Guerrieri's earlier cases (Involuntary Witness, A Walk in the Dark).
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 August 2007
Reasonable Doubts is the third Guido Guerrieri novel from Carofiglio, and, pleasingly, is every bit as good as the first two. The novel begins with Guerrieri being asked to tackle the appeal of Fabio Paolicelli, who has been sentenced to 16 years after a large quantity of drugs was found in his car on re-entry into the country. Paolicelli has a past as a neo-Fascist, and also initially confessed to the crime - though he later claims this was only in order to stop the police detaining his wife as well. Guerrieri is initially reluctant to take on the case: he and the defendant were involved in an incident in their youth which still leaves Guido bitter. However, Paolicelli seems not this specific incident from his violent past, and eventually, after a visit from his beautiful wife, Guerrieri starts working on the case, despite his best instincts and his previous resolution not to.

I think these snappy legal thrillers of Carofiglio's are almost certainly the best series being published by Bitter Lemon Press. They have intelligent and gripping qualities that make them stand out from the pack. They're short, focused, powerful, and humane. I wish there were more of them.

Reasonable Doubts may not be better than A Walk in the Dark (it's not quite as brave, plot-wise), but it's certainly just as good, and both are a little more polished than the first. There are three standout elements: the breezy, clear way Carofiglio conveys Italian legal procedure, the philosophical and moral tusslings, and the protagonist, Guerrieri, who this time around is a good man aware that he's doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Carofiglio's portrayal of his protagonist's occupational and moral conflicts is also done superbly well, initially. However, it does sort of drop off towards the second half (when the plot necessarily takes over), and less is made of the past meeting between lawyer and defendant than it perhaps could have been. It's a plot thread I might have liked to see more of. However, that being said, Carofiglio is a writer who seems to prefer intelligent and telling pen-and-ink lines than detail and exploration, leaving the reader to do some work, and that's where a lot of the impressive pace comes from.

Carofiglio is a writer with a wonderful eye for grey areas, moral conflicts and conundrums, and the resulting muddle of human motives, and through these he teases out the admirable character of his protagonist. He has real depth, real nuance, and displays the realistic complex web of human behaviour. (Though, while his protagonist has real depth and character, Carofiglio doesn't really spend the time to invest his relationships with other characters with similar depth, and the books have a heavy protagonist-centric feel, though this in itself is not a bad thing.) His legal endeavours on behalf of his client are engaging and gripping, and seem to have as much verisimilitude as any writer of legal thrillers currently at work.

In short, Carofiglio writes intelligent, gripping yet parsimoniously philosophical thrillers with an immensely appealing lead character, and Reasonable Doubts is another of these. They deserve to sell in very large numbers indeed.
0Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 September 2007
This was a superb read. Guido Guerrieri, a defence counsel, is asked to revisit the case of man sentenced to a long term in prison for drug-smuggling.

The legal tale itself is not complex (the book is only 250 pages long), but it is so wonderfully written and has been very well-translated. Guido is a slightly flawed character, but we empathize with him from the outset. And Carofiglio delivers insights brilliantly with his rich writing.

While the legalese will likely not test readers looking for some complexity, it would be very difficult to come away, having read this book, with anything other than a great deal of satisfaction. I have kept this review short as I need to rush off and order the two prequels!
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 September 2009
Counsel for the defence Guerrieri is asked handle the appeal of Fabio Paolicelli, who has been found guilty of drug trafficking. He does not want to take on the job at first, as Paolicelli once beat him up as a kid and has a neofascict past. When he meets Paolicelli's beautiful half-Japanse wife, he decides to go ahead with it. It takes some "detectiving" to find out what happened and there's some good court-room finishing scenes. He sleeps with the defendant's wife a few times which seems kind of lazy by the author, given his ability to develop a good plot and interesting characters, demonstrated by "A Walk in the Dark".
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 November 2007
This is the third book I've read by Carofiglio, and what you need to know is that, although not a lot 'happens' - we are defnitely not in plot-driven thriller territory here - the characters are so convincingly drawn that we get deeply involved, and care about them. For my money, Carofiglio is the outstanding 'crime' writer of today - and astonishingly, his subtleties have survived in the excellent translations.

If you like excellent writing, moral ambiguity and character led stories, go out and buy the whole series!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 December 2015
The third novel featuring the Bari defence lawyer Guido Guerrieri. I found this one slightly less exciting than his first two. The theme of drug smuggling was less engaging for me and the romantic developments of Guerrieri a bit far-fetched and predictable.

Still it was a good read but if you’ve not warmed to this novel I would recommend reading the 2 earlier ones. All his novels are short, concise and focus on morals and reasoning, acutely observing human behaviour and interaction in favour of the forensic side of criminal writing or the twisty shock element some crime writers thrive on.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 6 April 2012
I have read all four of this series now, though not necessarily in the right order, having begun with book 4, actually.

This third book is just as good as the others and again, creates beautifully described images of Bari and its social surroundings.

The translation is excellent (Howard Curtis) and allows the English reader to understand the complexities of the legal procedures and, perhaps more importantly, the legal personnel involved in bringing criminals to justiice - or not, as the case may be.

This story centres around the legal precept that the act does not constitute an offence so an already convicted criminal appeals to Guerrieri to launch an appeal. In point of fact, it is the wife who persuades the lawyer to take the case which brings him up against elements of the Rome mafiosi.

Guerrieri struggles to keep his mind on the case whilst, at the same time, struggling in vain to keep his hands off the criminal's wife. The author manages to convey the torment within his protagonist very well. He is a lonely soul now that Margherita has left him unexpectedly; he now has to rely on a very small number of friends to help him with the case. Thankfully, their involvement makes the lawyers life just a little easier but, having alreay read book 4, I do know where his angst takes him.

This is an excellent reason for any new readers to follow on with the next book. Don't expect gore and brutality but you can expect the very welcome laid back lifestyle of Italian, well southern Italian, social activity. Very refreshing and a great and easy read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 August 2013
It was a good , lightish summer read, easily put down and picked up
It is a series I enjoy
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 January 2017
An other in the six part series. A well written and easy to read book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse