My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Temporary Perfections is the fourth book in the Guido Guerrieri series written by Giancarlo Carofiglio, a former Italian prosecutor. Carolfiglio worked in Bari, Puglia, and that is where he bases his series character, Guerrieri.
Guerrieri is an introspective loner who works out his problems or puzzles conversing with his big punching bag, both with his fists and in one-sided conversations. Occasionally the swinging bag’s release of momentum will provide a bit of insight for the intellectual detective, at least as he sees it.
In Temporary Perfections, an attorney friend, Sabino Fornelli, asks Guerrieri to review the police report for the disappearance of a young woman, Manuela Ferraro. The police had been investigating for six months and with no new evidence were preparing to close the case. Fornelli was asking Guerrieri to look at the investigative file with fresh eyes.
The girl had bought a ticket to return from Bari to Rome but never arrived. An ex-boyfriend with violent tendencies is suspected initially, but his cell phone records showed that he was out of the country.
Even though, like Fornelli, Guerrieri is an attorney, not an investigator, he agrees to at least review the file. As he reviews it, he realizes that to do a complete job he is going to have to reinterview the friends of Manuela who were the most likely people to see her last.
He interviews Manuela’s closest friends, her roommate Nicoletta, her best friend Caterina, and Anita, a girl who gave her a ride to the train station. He makes some mistakes, like having one witness be present as he interviews another and becoming too close with a witness. There were no thrills or spills, no shots fired, no knife work, and no blood flow.
Still, I enjoyed the story. Carofiglio has a good voice. His characters are well-developed and speak realistic lines. The cozy plot has plenty of empathy and interesting side stories. Guerrieri is an interesting man who often gets overwhelmed with his inner dialog. An interesting side story where he befriends a former prostitute who he defended once and now has opened a gay bar near Guerrieri’s home really shows his heart…and his loneliness.
If you need a nice palate cleanser after a particularly dark novel, Temporary Perfections would be a good choice.
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