A successful lawyer in Bari quixotically brings a civil suit for assault against the son of the judge who handles many of his own appeals in this Italian bestseller first published there in 2003.
At 40, Guido Guerrieri is too old and cowardly to take up parachuting along with his girlfriend Margherita. Luckily, there’s another way for him to indulge his taste for danger: to act on behalf of Martina Fumai, who’s suing her abusive ex-lover, Dr. Gianluca Scianatico. Apart from phone records indicating that the estranged Scianatico may have been stalking her and a few eyewitnesses to arguments that don’t prove much of anything, there’s no conclusive evidence; it’s clear that the case will come down to the plaintiff’s word versus the defendant’s. Guido (Involuntary Witness, not reviewed) weighs the likelihood of Judge Scianatico’s professional revenge on him against his sympathy for sad, subdued Martina and his frankly unholy interest in Sister Claudia, the nun who runs the shelter where Martina has been staying. It’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll take the case and then run into the obligatory reversals: His own judge favors Scianatico’s lawyer at every turn, the defense uncovers evidence of Martina’s mental breakdown, the hard-nosed prosecutor Guido’s working with is transferred to Palermo. But Guido has a few tricks up his own sleeve en route to the shocking conclusion.
A probing tale of justice deferred.