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"Carofiglio writes crisp, ironical novels that are as much love stories and philosophical treatises as they are legal thrillers."--"The New Yorker"

"Part legal thriller, part insight into a man fighting his own demons. Every character in Carofiglio's fiction has a story to tell and they are always worth hearing. As the author himself is an anti-mafia prosecutor, this powerfully affecting novel benefits from veracity as well as tight writing."--"Daily Mail"

"A novel as much about human nature and the passage of time as it is about law-breaking. Crisp laconic sentences, subtle shifts in tone, and a seamless translation that should be commended."--"The Times Literary Supplement"

When Martina accuses her ex-boyfriend, the son of a powerful local judge, of assault and battery, no witnesses can be persuaded to testify on her behalf, and one lawyer after another refuses to represent her. Guido Guerrieri knows the case could bring his legal career to a premature, messy end, but he cannot resist the appeal of an apparently hopeless cause. Nor can he deny an attraction to Sister Claudia, the young woman in charge of the shelter where Martina is living. Claudia shares his love of martial arts and his virulent hatred of injustice.

Gianrico Carofiglio was an anti-Mafia prosecutor in Bari, a port on the coast of Puglia, for many years, and is now a member of the Italian senate. He has sold over 2.5 million books of the Guerrieri series in Italy alone.

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About the Author

Gianrico Carofiglio: Gianrico Carofiglio was an anti-Mafia prosecutor in Bari, a port on the coast of Puglia, for many years and is now a member of the Italian Senate. He has sold over 2.5 million books of the Guerrieri series in Italy alone. Howard Curtis: Howard Curtis translates fiction from the Italian and the French. His work is much acclaimed and has won numerous prizes.


The success of veteran anti-Mafia prosecutor Carofiglio's second novel featuring attorney Guido Guerrieri (after Involuntary Witness) should meet or exceed that of the first. The author not only displays superior storytelling skills and an intimate knowledge of Italian law but also has created a full-bodied protagonist so angered by injustice that he can screw up in the courtroom. Taking on a seemingly unwinnable case, Guerrieri represents Martina Fumai, who has been assaulted by her ex-lover, a doctor and the son of a prominent judge whose status would seem to make him untouchable by the law. Guerrieri is aided by Sister Claudia, a martial arts expert who runs a shelter for abused women. With Martina's mental health at the heart of the case, Guerrieri finesses possibly damaging testimony for a short-lived triumph. Sister Claudia's story parallels the case and adds resonance, but it's Guerrieri-working on his relationship with lover Margherita despite his attraction to Sister Claudia-who carries this fine psychological novel, which is much more than just a legal thriller. [This mystery spent eight months at the top of the Italian best-sellers list.-Ed.] Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Carofiglio is an anti-Mafia prosecutor in the southern Italian city of Bari, and maybe someday he'll write a novel with a main character who faces the same kinds of challenges as he does. Until then, we have this second book (after 2005's Involuntary Witness), a bestseller in Italy, starring Bari defense lawyer Guido Guerrieri, who could have just gotten off an Alitalia flight from the Land of Grisham or the Los Angeles of Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer. Guerrieri can't resist taking on a case no other lawyer will touch, that of Martina Fumai, who has accused her vicious ex-boyfriend, the son of a powerful judge, of assault. Colorful characters, unexpected plot twists and smooth, often sharp writing ("The best of Vietnamese New Wave.... The kind of music I love so much I can even listen to it for five minutes at a stretch") will keep readers turning the pages. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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