Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime by Professor Federico Varese
We see mafias as vast, powerful organisations, harvesting billions of dollars across the globe and wrapping its tentacles around everything from governance to finance. But is this the truth? Travelling from mafia initiation ceremonies in far-flung Russian cities to elite gambling clubs in downtown Macau, Federico Varese sets off in search of answers. Using wiretapped conversations, interviews and previously unpublished police records, he builds up a picture of the real men and women caught up in mafia life, showing their loves and fears, ambitions and disappointments, as well as their crimes. Mafia Life takes us into the real world of organised crime, where mafia henchmen worry about their bad managers and have high blood pressure, assassinations are bungled as often as they come off, and increasing pressure from law enforcement means that a life of crime is no longer lived in the lap of luxury. As our world changes, so must the mafia. Globalisation, migration and technology are disrupting their traditions and threatening their revenue streams, and the mafiosi must evolve or die. Mafia Life is an intense and totally compelling look at an organisation and the daily life of its members, as it gets to grips with the modern world. Out now in paperback.