INVOLUNTARY WITNESS - Gianrico Carofiglio

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

When a 9 year old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well, an immigrant peddlar is accused of the crime.

Guido Guerrieri has had problems of his own, with a distingrated marriage, a bad dose of anxiety attacks and a life spiralling downwards, but he finds himself taking on the case of the Senegalese peddlar and withstanding the pressure of the local prosecutors for a quick and decisive "guilty" verdict.

This is a differently constructed book from a lot of crime fiction in that there is a real concentration on Guido and his life and problems. This concentration allows the reader time to get to know Guido, long before he takes Abdou's case and does his own thinking about the prosecution brief.

As Guido takes control of his own life, he starts to take control of the case of Abdou who seems to have been charged simply because he was a convenient African and a circumstantial case could be built.

Highly recommended.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

The first in the Guido Guerrieri series.

A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, counsel for the defense, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism fuelled by the recent immigration from Africa, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts.

More than a perfectly paced legal thriller, this relentless suspense novel transcends the genre. A powerful attack on racism and a fascinating insight into the Italian judicial process, it is also an affectionate portrait of a deeply humane hero.

Review INVOLUNTARY WITNESS - Gianrico Carofiglio
Karen Chisholm
Monday, October 1, 2007

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