When Italian attorney Guido Guerrieri’s received a request to be Fabio Paolicelli’s defense counsel for an upcoming drug conviction appeal, the name seemed vaguely familiar. When his potential client turned out to be Fabio “Rayban”, one of the Fascist thugs who beat him up as a kid, Guido knew he shouldn’t accept the apparently airtight case. After 40 kilos were found in the family car, Fabio made a full confession to authorities, supposedly to keep Natsu Kawabata, his beautiful half-Japanese wife clear of a drug rap. Fabio insists the drugs were not his but had been planted in the car while it was parked at a resort, an unlikely story at best. As Guido begins examining the case, he verifies Fabio’s story about Corrado Racri, a strange lawyer who takes an inordinate interest in Fabio’s car. Against everything Guido knows is right, he agrees to take Fabio’s case, based in no small part on Natsu’s loveliness. Still reeling from his girlfriend’s defection to America at a time when he expected to become a parent, Guido finds himself daydreaming about making a family with Natsu. Fortunately, he remains grounded in reality, which is a good thing because as the mystery deepens, he’ll need to stay focused on the job at hand.
Although first and foremost a cerebral thriller, Guido must deal with the issues that come with middle age, a failed relationship and lost dreams. Handled with a deft touch, these serve to flesh out our flawed hero without being cumbersome and make for a thoughtful read.