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Absorbing is probably the best way to describe the impact that this book had on me. Primarily it is a courtroom drama and is successful in both depiction and execution. However, at the same time, it successfully makes the effort to develop the characters to make them believable. Sean Barrett's narration, almost world-weary at times, seems to match the persona of Guido, the advocate who is the central character.
It is set in south-eastern Italy (around the heel) largely in the province of Puglia. As might be expected there is bags of emotion and heart-searching and, before you know it, you are dragged into the unfolding dramas inside and outside the courtroom. The book is not for the impatient but rewards those who run the course. The characters are carefully drawn in the course of the book and yet there remains the ability to them to surprise you throughout the book whilst they maintain their credibility as real people.
At no time do you feel that the pace of the book is determined by anything other than the natural unfolding of events. There is no forced extension to make the book longer nor is there any rush to the conclusion. It just moves at its own pace drawing the reader along with it.
I was a little concerned about buying a translated version of an Italian novel as translators can be too literal or try to insert their own interpretation into the novel. At no time was I conscious of this being a translated story and forgot that it was anything other than a novel originally written in another language.
All-in-all it is worth every one of the five stars and I look forward to listening to the next episode.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This is my first book by this author. It was brought to my attention when I read that Sean Barrett, the narrator of so many great audio books, recommended the novels in this series, and said that he greatly enjoyed recording the books.
This book is both a legal thriller and a study into human emotions and frailties,. The main character is a wonderful mix of tough lawyer anda man on the edge of an emotional breakdown.
Set in southern Italy the author beutifully describes the native way of life and the small town and it's picturesque surroundings.
The Plot is engageing and the whole book is superbly written. The dulcet tones of Sean Barrett, just brings this great book to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this great little book.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Involuntary Witness?
The protagonist of Involuntary Witness is very likable and warm. He is a man whose life is falling apart and the novel tells the story of how he fights back, through the defense of a client accused of murder.
Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have never listened to Sean Barrett before, but I will again. He is an exceptional performer.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Sean Barrett's performance of Abbou, the Senegalese man accused of murder, was surprisingly moving. That character seemed so real to me, my heart went out to him.
Any additional comments?
I am definitely coming for more books in the Guerrieri series. Carofiglio is a great find.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
Carofiglio has imagined this story from the benefit of his real life experiences as an Italian magistrate (similar to much better known attorneys-turned-authors, Grisham and Turow). The peculiarities of the italian legal system are effortlessly woven into the routine of the main character's life so that they are interesting to outsiders, and easily understood.
Patrick Creagh's fluid translation coupled with Sean Barrett's elegant and versatile voice gives the illusion that this book was originally written in English. It is easy to take their efforts for granted, but successfully translated audiobooks are not that common ("The Thief" comes to mind as a poor effort).
32 of 34 people found this review helpful