Gianrico Carofiglio, , trans. from the Italian by Patrick Creagh. . Bitter Lemon, $13.95 (274pp) ISBN 978-1-904738-07-7
A bestseller and winner of multiple awards in Italy, Carofiglio's debut should please fans of American-style courtroom thrillers. A murder case presents Guido Guerrieri, the archetypal burned-out defense lawyer, with a chance at redemption. A Senegalese peddler, Abdou Thiam, is arrested for killing a nine-year-old boy, whose body was found at the bottom of a well near a coastal resort in southern Italy. Even though the police have only circumstantial evidence against Thiam, he's advised to take a plea bargain that would allow him to get off with only 20 years in prison. Guerrieri becomes convinced that his new client is the victim of racism and is being used as a scapegoat. Defying conventional wisdom and putting his own career on the line as well as Thiam's fate, Guerrieri takes the case to trial. The result is a powerful indictment of the Italian justice system.
Reviewed on: 09/26/2005