Key Summary of The Measure of Time by Gianrico Carofiglio

a narrow street in Bari
A narrow street in Bari on the south east coast of Italy

Welcome to my review for The Measure of Time by Gianrico Carofiglio. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my spot on the blog tour. Thanks also to Bitter Lemon Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The Measure of Time is about the appeal case of a young man accused of murder. It’s told from the perspective of defence barrister Guido Guerrieri who was once in a relationship with the defendant’s mother. It’s the 6th novel in the best selling Guido Guerrieri series, although each works as a stand alone. I found this a fantastic novel, both authentic and enthralling, and can’t wait to read the rest of the series! The Measure of Time is out now in paperback and ebook.

Review: The Measure of Time by Gianrico Carofiglio – My Thoughts

I have two main motivations for putting myself forward for this tour. First, I love a crime thriller and often read police procedurals; this is a little different as it’s told from the defence barrister’s perspective. Secondly, it’s set in Italy which is a place I adore and have often visited both for holidays and work. I have not previously read any of Carofiglio’s work and after reading The Measure of Time, I feel so fortunate to have found a new series I know I’ll love! This is definitely the best thing about book blogging. I particularly enjoy the characters, story, writing style, and setting; where else would you find an only-open-at-night-bookshop-which-serves-alcohol-and-cakes? For this review I’ll focus on 3 aspects which I loved: the plot, themes and writing style.


A woman, Lorenza, comes to the office of avvocato Guido Guerrieri concerned with the appeal case for her son Jacopo. Jacopo’s original lawyer has died and he needs new representation for the appeal. Jacopo is a delinquent found guilty of murdering his drug dealing associate. It turns out that, almost three decades ago, Guerrieri was in a relatioship with Lorenza. At the time, he was in love with a sophisticated bohemian woman, who briefly took an interest in him and then ghosted him. Jacopo’s case is not the nature Guerrieri’s practice usually takes on. Also, Guerrieri isn’t sure whether Jacopo is innocent. Nevertheless, he decides to accept the case. The reader witnesses the appeal preparation, it’s execution and outcome.

This is a very well rounded story, which follows a linear progression. The plot details have an authentic feel, no doubt informed by the author’s previous career as an anti-mafia prosecutor and member of Italy’s Senate. The pace is good with some parts faster and some slower. The main story is the appeal case, though every few chapters there is a short interlude where Guerrieri looks back at his relationship with Lorenza. There are also a couple of brief digressions, which are short enough to keep the reader’s attention but detailed enough to be interesting.

A 12th century castle in Bari known as Castello Normanno-Svevo
Castello Normanno-Svevo in Bari


There are several themes in this story, the main ones being justice, perception and the passage of time. Justice is the over-aching theme of the story as we follow Jacopo’s journey. There are sections where Guerrieri has discussions and gives a philosophical lecture where this theme is discussed in detail. I also enjoy the theme of perception, that of Jacopo and Guerrieri’s perception of Lorenza. The fact that the accused is a confirmed criminal makes him more challenging in terms of whether the reader (and the novel’s characters) can consider him innocent. The perception of Lorenza by Guerrieri is more than just a man reflecting on a previous love. It holds up a mirror to the human condition and shows how the passage of time changes one’s perspective. Time is also a recurring theme and as Guerrieri gets older he finds himself noticing how it speeds up.

Writing Style

Carofiglio has a succinct and precise writing style. There is enough detail that gives authenticity; but without any superfluous words. I find the writing very engaging and immersive. There are a few places where the author takes the reader on a digression, which although interesting in itself, does have me eager to return to the main plot.

Do visit the other reviews on this blog tour, details of dates and blog names are given in the poster below.

a blog tour poster with dates and blog names for the measure of time

About the Author

a photograph of author Gianrico Carofiglio
Author Gianrico Carofiglio

Gianrico Carofiglio is an award-winning, best-selling novelist. Born in Bari in 1961, he worked for many years as a prosecutor specializing in organized crime. He was appointed advisor of the anti-Mafia committee in the Italian parliament in 2007 and served as a senator from 2008 to 2013.  Carofiglio is best known for the Guido Guerrieri crime series: Involuntary Witness, A Walk in the Dark, Reasonable Doubts, Temporary Perfections, A Fine Line, and now The Measure of Time all published by Bitter Lemon Press. Carofiglio was shortlisted for the 2020 STREGA prize, Italy’s most prestigious literary award. His other novels include The Silence of the Wave. Carofiglio’s books have sold more than four million copies in Italy and have been translated into twenty-four languages worldwide. The translator is Howard Curtis, a well-known translator from the Italian who has translated other titles in the Guerrieri series.

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