The Measure of Time

Mysterious Book Report No. 446

by John Dwaine McKenna

If you’re a fan of long, contemplative novels that feature many memorable insights into numerous character’s thoughts and memories . . . The Measure of Time, (Bitter Lemon Press, PB, $14.95, 285 pages, ISBN 978-6913394-48-6) by bestselling and award-winning Italian author, Gianrico Carofiglio, is just what you want.  It’s the sixth volume in his Guido Guerrieri series, and finds the aging courtroom fighter slowly burning out on his chosen profession as a defense lawyer in the southern Italian town of Bari.

The novel begins with Guerrieri contemplating his age and experiences when a new client named Lorenza Delle Foglie comes in and asks him to handle an appeals case for her son, Jacopo.  He’s been in prison for the past two years, ever since he was convicted of murdering a local drug dealer in a case involving organized crime, guns, drugs and questionable police tactics.  The case appears hopeless when read by Guerrieri and his associates, but he agrees to take it on anyway, because of a brief love affair he had nearly three decades earlier with Lorenza, a teacher and aspiring writer . . . an affair that didn’t end well.

The pre-trial investigative work conjures up painful memories and emotions Guerrieri thought he’d resolved years earlier . . . and leave him musing about the many what-ifs and failures he’s experienced along the way.  Meanwhile, the appeals trial, with its many discoveries, surprises and new testimony, keeps moving forward, relentlessly grinding toward its conclusion with the young man’s life hanging in the balance.

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