We love Bitter Lemon’s list, especially its crime-fiction in translation, and The Measure of Time, by award-winning author Gianrico Carofiglio, joins its ranks this month.

Set in Bari, in southern Italy, it’s the sixth book in Carofiglio’s series featuring aging lawyer Guido Guerrieri, a philosophical man coming to terms with the passing of time and the decisions he has made.

In The Measure of Time, the past and present merge, when former lover Lorenza asks Guerrieri to represent her son, Jacopo, who’s in prison for murder. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to Lorenza: she is not at all as Guerrieri remembers. To make matters more challenging, when the lawyer apprises himself of the detail of the case, he is not convinced of Lorenza’s son’s innocence. Yet he takes on the case.

Thus, follows an authentic procedural full of plot twists and turns. Carofiglio provides us with a lot of detail – perhaps unsurprising given the author’s pedigree. Like fellow crime writers Erle Stanley Gardner, John Grisham and Meg Gardiner, to name but a few, Carofiglio comes from a legal background: he’s a former judge and a prosecutor, specialising in organised crime.

Add to the author’s first-hand knowledge of the Italian legal system, some very tight writing, good characterisation and a strong plot (plus some rather great food, always a plus in crime these days), and this book is more than a little compelling.

The Measure of Time can be read as a standalone, as well as in series and, as with many other Bitter Lemon titles, it comes highly recommended.


The measure of time | Gianrico Carofiglio, trans. by Howard Curtis | Bitter Lemon Press

| pb | £8.99 | 18 March 2021 |

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the publisher virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater for arranging it and to the publisher for sending a review copy. All views expressed are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other great reviewers on the tour.

See also: Baghdad Central, when books are better than TV‘;’Anita Nair’s Bangalore detective Borei Gowda‘;’Michael Connelly’s epic hero, Mickey Haller‘;‘Chris Whitaker’s small-town America’; ‘Damian Barr’s slice of South Africa’; ‘Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary: an Old Familiar’; By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

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