Item description for Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio & Patrick Creagh...
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 defence, 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. This suspense novel is a powerful attack on racism, and an insight into the Italian judicial process. It is also a portrait of a deeply humane hero.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2005
Publisher Bitter Lemon Press
ISBN 1904738079 ISBN13 9781904738077
Availability 0 units.
More About Gianrico Carofiglio & Patrick Creagh
Carofiglio, born 1961, is an anti-mafia prosecutor in the Southern Italian city of Bari. He has been responsible for the area's most important indictments regarding organized crime, corruption and trading in human beings. He is also a best selling author, the recipient of many literary prizes.
Reviews - What do customers think about Involuntary Witness?
A fascinating look at the Italian legal system Apr 15, 2008
At first, I was amazed at the idea that a person can be charged with murder without any real evidence. As far as I could tell, the only evidence was:
* Thiam haad met the boy on the beach, where he worked * Thiam had a Polaroid photo of himself with the boy (taken on the beach by the boy's grandfather) * Thiam (a former teacher) had some children's books on his shelves * A witness who believed "all niggers look alike" said he had seen Thiam in the area the day of the boy's disappearance
The police didn't even bother to keep accurate transcripts of witness interviews!
Then I remembered that in the not-so-distant past, an American court might have very well prosecuted a black man on equally flimsy evidence.
The descriptions of the lawyer's strategy are fascinating. The politics of the situation are a minefield and Guerrieri has to tiptoe through it --which he does with great skill.
An interesting point is that the author never tells us who did kill the boy. The emphasis is entirely on the trial. The author does, however, write very well, with wit and intelligence. The English translation gives a sense of the rhythm of the Italian language.
Another interesting cultural note is that everyone in Italy seems to smoke incessantly.
Unusual murder mystery Jan 3, 2006
Rather more information on the procedures of Italian justice than I wanted, but a great narrator, and the emotional content of his relationships - to his (ex)wife, his new lover, and to the accused - were well developed. The book has a satisfying although not unexpected ending.
It's clear you don't want to be Sengalese and a transient vendor in Italy when a child disappears, but it's a story that could probably happen anywhere. An interesting book. Had it been an American/British murder mystery, we probably would have found out "who dun it" - if you need that, it's not here.
A very good book Dec 12, 2005
The author is a working criminal lawyer (an investigating magistrate, sort of like a cross between a DA and a judge, if I understand correctly).
In any event, it's clear that he knows of what he speaks in this marvellous Italian trial procedural. Carofiglio has an acid wit, and the book is very amusing.
I found the character development and the romance less interesting, as it was not captured as well as the criminal case. But that's not why one reads this sort of book, anyway.