Gianrico Carofiglio, Le Perfezioni Provvisorie (2010)

Hurray! I’m happy to report that this book has been translated to English under the title Temporary Perfections in 2011.

Really, it is now confirmed that I was most stupid not to try Italian books before this year. But the good news is: I now know where to turn to read inspired and atmospheric mysteries!

I borrowed this book from the library mystery shelf, and I wasn’t even able to pronounce the writer’s name correctly. So what I need to do is to write his name into my phone notes, because I want to read more of him in 2013!

Guido Guerrieri is a defense counsel in the Southern city of Bari (I had no clue how important the town is in real life, but the plot made it clear that it is far away from Rome and that it has big Mafia influence), and I immediately fell for his complex, noir character. Not too nice, not too compromised, just wise enough and broken enough from a heavy past. In the movie of my brain, it would be nice to have him played by George Clooney. Here the mystery is not a legal thriller but a classic noir à la Philip Marlowe. Guerrieri is hired by the parents of a girl who has simply disappeared and whom the police has been unable to locate despite thorough investigations.

Guerrieri is lonely (I made a Freudian typo of “lovely”) and philosophical. He hits his punching bag and walks miles through the deserted city at night, very much like a noir movie, and although it may sound clichéd, it is not. Characters and places are made real by the deft touch of Carofigio. It makes me think of Michael Connelly, minus the violence.

I warmly recommend it.


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