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Gianrico Carofiglio Books In Order

Publication Order of Guido Guerrieri Books

Involuntary Witness (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Walk in the Dark (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Reasonable Doubts (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Temporary Perfections (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Fine Line (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Past is A Foreign Country (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Silence of the Wave (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cold Summer (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Gianrico Carofiglio is a bestselling Italian author of mystery & thrillers, literature & fiction novels. Carofiglio is also a retired anti-Mafia judge in the city of Bari, Italy. The author’s first book, Involuntary Witness was published in 2002 by Bitter Lemon Press and then translated into English in 2005 by Patrick Creagh. Gianrico Carofiglio worked for decades as a prosecutor dealing with organized crime and was later appointed as the advisor of the anti-Mafia council in the Italian congress in 2007. The author also served as a senator for a period of five years from 2008 and 2013. Additionally, Gianrico Carofiglio served as the president of Petruzzelli Theatre based in Bari from 2015 -2016.

In his debut novel, Gianrico introduces his main character, Guido Guerrieri, a lawyer who also features in other books by the same author such as- A Fine Line, Reasonable Doubts, and Temporary Perfections.

Among other novels by Gianrico Carofiglio, The Past is a Foreign Country published in 2004, and also which adapted into an internationally acclaimed movie featuring Elio Germano and Michele Riondino and directed by Daniele Vicari. Additionally, Involuntary Witness was adapted into a popular TV series in Italy.

Involuntary Witness

Involuntary Witness, the debut novel by Gianrico Carofiglio introduces the readers to Guido Guerrieri, an Italian lawyer. Guido is in his late thirty’s based in Bari, Italy. The book centers on a single case in which Guido handles a case were a Senegalese immigrant is on trial after being accused of murdering a young boy, and the story itself is a very long-winded narrative and part legal procedure. It is also a part description of a man who is successful in his career, but his marriage has shattered and who feels unfulfilled and without purpose in a corrupt system.

The fairly short chapter in the novel gives a detailed description of Guido’s life. There are different calibers of women he meets ranging from the one night stand to the alcoholic Margherita who moves to his building and with whom Guido begins a strings attached relationship, as well as the wife he is estranged. Additionally, there are short accounts of Guido’s other cases and even the descriptions of his occasionally trying to get away from it all for fairly short moments.
Guido is image-conscious and cares much about his reputation-and often sneaks to a dismal bar some blocks away to order a decaffeinated coffee. The author makes use of books and music that his characters like to define them. The narrator has a relatively light touch, and the variety of materials and characters accounts for a fairly engaging read.

All in all, Involuntary Witness is an ultimately a court-procedural detailing the case again Abdou Thiam, a Senegalese drug peddler who knew the young boy who was found murdered. In a way, Generico’s debut novel is a very realistic one, in that the Italian court proceedings take a short time, are spaced out for a long time and only take up very small part of lawyer’s time during that time. The author also presents some of the anomalies of Italian court system and makes for quite exciting contrast to the American-style judicial system.

Gianrico Carofiglio has woven an interesting and quite engaging main character, storyline and secondary characters. The personal side of the story is brilliantly done, and the criminal side of the story has great elements of good drama- such as the usefulness of eyewitness testimony, murder, questions of racism, and the possibility of child molestation. The story offers a brilliant insight into the Italian judicial system (the chronic corruption of Italian society), as well as some great characters and life stories.

Involuntary Witness is narrated in first person perspective by the main character, Guido- a lawyer who recounts the events that led to his mid-life crisis. The novel is divided into three sections. The first one sees Guido suffer personal turmoil that initiates his mid-life depression/crisis. The second part, the Italian lawyer encounters a challenging case that requires strength, assertiveness, causing his personal growth and slow recovery. The third part sees Guido commit himself into defending his client to the very end and finally becoming the man that he can admire.

The novel kicks off after Guido’s marriage comes to a standstill. His subconscious and self-loathing desire for punishment, combined with subtle aggressive nature made him hurt the only woman who loved him thus ruining his marriage. Eventually, the Italian lawyer hits rock bottom but also continues working as a lawyer during this challenging times. Even though narrated in the first-person perspective from the viewpoint of a man on the verge of “collapsing,” the author has filled Guido’s narration with a wicked sense of humor, which makes the story entertaining.
The dialogue in Involuntary Witness is occasionally embedded in the story, a close resemblance to J.D Salinger’s Holden novel, The Catcher in the Eye. If you have read, John Grisham books, you will recognize the similar patterns of the down-and-out lawyer revenged by grieve who redeems himself by winning what seems an impossible case. Perhaps, you could also compare Guido to Paul Newman’s alcohol addict lawyer featured in the film, The Verdict.

Gianrico Carofiglio did a fantastic job in his debut novel making him achieve a spot at the top of prolific Italian authors of the century. The humor in the story and the cultural setting are well woven, and the first person narration lets you into the mind of the main character- thus letting you get to know him much better.

Reasonable Doubts

Reasonable Doubts is the third novel in Guido Guerrieri legal mysteries by Gianrico Carofiglio, which finds the Italian defense attorney, Guido taking an appeal of a client who does not remember him.

Fabio Paolicelli, currently serving a 16-year sentence for drug peddling has no memory of taking part in the beating of a young boy in the green coat. He has no memory of the victims face or that youthful crime and has no realization that the lawyer he is trying to hire to get him out of prison has wished for a long time to get his revenge. Guido’s reluctance to handle this case is heightened by the fact that he knows the man and it is only through the intervention of Paolicelli, charming wife that he finally agrees. Even in the third series installment Gianrico Carofiglio maintains both the mid-life melancholy and sardonic tone that make his tales so real and amusing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gianrico Carofiglio