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by Gianrico Carofiglio
Bitter Lemon Press, July 2007
275 pages
8.99 GBP
ISBN: 1904738249

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

When we last saw Guido Guerrieri, life was looking pretty good or as promising as he would allow it to. But it doesn't take more than the first couple of pages of REASONABLE DOUBTS to jolt him back to where he was.

Girlfriend Margherita has news for him she's been offered a prestigious new job in America. And Guido deals with the bombshell by going into shutdown mode emotionally.

And while this is preying on his mind, an unwelcome new client comes along. Fabio Paolocelli is a former fascist for whom Guido feels hatred and contempt after their paths crossed years ago. Now Fabio is in prison on drug smuggling charges, but insists he's innocent.

Guido really isn't keen to take the case, but that's before meets Fabio's beautiful half-Japanese wife Natsu and also ends up in bed with her. So he feels duty-bound to represent the bete noire of his childhood.

Gianrico Carofiglio's series, of which REASONABLE DOUBTS is the third, is rapidly becoming one of the must-reads in modern European crime fiction (or any, for that matter). The storytelling and plotting is deceptively simple and leisurely (rendered into English by Howard Curtis's crisp and elegant translation), but the books are far, far more than your bog-standard whodunit.

Guido is an absolutely fascinating character, whom Carofiglio uses to muse on life, the universe and everything. Our man is a music and literature buff, a true 21st century Renaissance man, and the narrative, a good chunk of it describing Guido's philosophising and his night-time wanders round the city, has the feel of an arthouse black and white movie.

Carofiglio is a former anti-Mafia prosecutor, and his real life experience shines through as he turns the sharpest of eyes on modern Italy. The series could be read out of order, but why would you want to? Go to the start and catch up on one of the most intelligent and incisive crime writers around.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, July 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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