The second book in a series is sometimes much weaker than the first, but in the case of Gianrico Carofiglio he has avoided this sophomore jinx.
In fact I enjoyed A Walk In The Dark even more than Involuntary Witness.
Once again Guido Guerrieri, a lawyer in Bari, has taken on an unpopular and difficult case. While his first book dealt with racism this one tackles the subject of violence against women.
"When Martina Fumai accuses her ex-boyfriend-the son of a powerful local judge-of assault and battery......"
Other lawyers have refused to take on the case fearful of the effect on their career prospects, but of course Guido with his virulent hatred of injustice accepts , although not without trepidation.
The case against Scianatico, the judge's son, is the glue that holds the book together but we also get a lot of background concerning Guido's relationships and former life, and these little vignettes add considerably to the atmosphere and feel of the story.
Integral to this book is Guido's new relationship with Sister Claudia, the mysterious nun, who is in charge of the women's shelter where Martina was staying, and who is a martial arts expert. Guido has taken up boxing as a relaxation and so they share this interest in physical sports. His girlfriend Margherita has started a parachute jumping course, not Guido's scene.
The Observer remarks that Carofiglio "has the audacity to reveal both a flawed legal system and debunk the myth of the macho Italian man". Well I am not sure that the legal system is flawed, perhaps it is the people who operate it that are the problem. Guido is no myth, he is a man who cares about real friends, justice, and relationships. He is not that sure of himself, and I think that is why I like and can believe in the character.
I do hope Gianrico Carofiglio, the anti-Mafia judge who created Guido Guerrieri, the lawyer with a heart, has a long life and writes a lot more books.
"Strategy is the art of paradox" Sun Tzu [The Art of War]