David Lane has written for the Guardian and the Financial Times, and since 1994 has been The Economist's Business and Finance correspondent for Italy. His last book was the highly regarded Berlusconi's Shadow (2004). He has lived in Rome since 1972.
This travelog through the Mezzogiorno (southern Italy) bursts with stories of Mafiosi murders and the ancient history of the region. British journalist Lane certainly knows his stuff and has thoroughly researched his topic. Readers will think Lane is a native as he slips Italian phrases into the narrative (he has lived in Rome since 1972). Lane began his journey-yes, he made a real one-in Gela, Sicily, and worked his way up the boot of Italy to Teano, Campania, over a four-year period. Along the way he visited sites of brutal murders and met those officials and citizens fighting the deeply entrenched Mafia. He gives a brisk overview of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the ‰Ndrangheta in Calabria, Puglia's Sacra Corona Unita, and the Camorra of Campania. VERDICT Readers with a strong knowledge of the region and of the key players will enjoy this book. Those embarking on their first journey into this subject may find the sheer volume of material here a tad overwhelming. Recommended mainly for readers who enjoy digging into Italian history, current affairs, or the Mafia.-Karen Sandlin Silverman, Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Powerful .... a sensitive portrait of heroic, often isolated individuals who have fought against 150 years of criminality ... meticulous reporting ...an indictment not of the Mafia, but of the Italian government and of Roman Catholic establishments -- Guy Dinmore * Financial Times *
a first-class work of investigative journalism * CNBC European Business Magazine *