Top positive review
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Fine mystery, extraordinary writing
on 10 October 2011
The latest in the Guido Guerrieri series by the estimable Italian crime writer, Gianrico Carofiglio. It's both a well-crafted murder mystery and a series of meditations and recollections by a man of principle and self-awareness. Another case of respect for Socrates' observation about the unexamined life being worthess.
Protagonist Guerrieri is a well-respected defense lawyer based in Bari, Italy who is approached by a colleague to investigate the unresolved disappearance of a young local woman. Reluctantly, Guerrieri agrees to make some inquiries, not expecting to find anything not already reported by the Italian police. His insightful handling of the missing woman's friends gradually opens up new possibilities and eventually a resolution to the case. As the procedural is launched and continues, the reader's respect for the lawyer's character grows. He's a thoughtful and interesting guy, but with a modest ego and good working moral compass. Someone to be admired for his approach to life, accomplishments and even his occasional missteps. The man has good friends with whom he has meaningful conversations, relatively free of cliches. He freely borrows other people's methods and gives them full credit when they succeed for him. In a genre where protagonists are most often addicts, recovering addicts or are regular punching bags for the bad guys, here's a hero who is none of that and, in fact, uses a punching bag himself..
This is a fine story and highly enjoyable read by an author at the top of his game. Highly recommended.