“A FINE LINE is a terrific novel, a legal thriller that is also full of complex meditations on the life of the lawyer and the difficult compromises inherent in any system of criminal justice. A book that is intensely rewarding at many levels.”
The fifth in the best-selling Guido Guerrieri series.
When Judge Larocca is accused of corruption, Guerrieri goes against his better instincts and takes the case. Helped by Annapaola Doria, a motorbike-riding bisexual private detective who keeps a baseball bat on hand for sticky situations, he investigates the alleged links to the mafia. Of course Guerrieri cannot stop himself from falling for Annapaola's exotic charms.
The novel is a suspenseful legal thriller but it is also much more. It is the story of a judge who, to quote Dostoevsky, "lies to himself and listens to his own lies, so gets to the point where he can no longer distinguish the truth, either in himself or around himself."
Carofiglio's fifth Guido Guerrieri novel (after 2011's Temporary Affections) edges gracefully over the line from legal thriller into the realm of Paul Auster, as much a series of philosophical musings on life as a mystery. Guerrieri, a middle-aged lawyer in Bari, Italy, who spends more time eating well than drinking these days, hires attractive PI Annapaola Doria, a former freelance crime reporter, to help him defend a judge, Pierluigi Larocca, who's charged with corruption. But the case against Larocca is incidental to Geurrieri's thoughts on getting older, his witty observations of his colleagues (a legal trainee has the "expression of a psychotic pigeon"), and his struggle with his attraction to Annapaola. It's a combination that works because of Guerrieri's strong narrative voice and wry sense of humor. Readers looking for hard-boiled (or even soft-boiled) investigating might be disappointed most of that's handled off-page by Annapaola but there are enough great courtroom cross-examination scenes to satisfy readers who want them.