“We wanted to tell the story of the Mafia, take the reader into a world which is surreal and incomprehensible to any outsider, by following snippets of lives, by describing people who live, work, kill and suffer.
It may be easy to find didactic works about the Mafia, its globalisation and its history, but it is harder to find anything about the Mafia seen from the inside, described through the prism of experience. The Mafia, its soldiers, its broken lives, its lives in film, in service to crime or in service to the state… that is the idea of this book, half way between literature and journalism: immersing the reader into this world apart with its utterly alien reality full of a secrecy that is both ancestral and surprisingly modern. Describing people who fight on territories in southern Italy from the extraordinary first-hand accounts of a turncoat killer from Cosa Nostra who confesses to more than one hundred homicides, to judges who lead sacrificial lives behind armour-plated security… because this war goes on day in, day out there, and it no longer involves only Italy, but also Europe and the rest of the world, where the Mafia is extending its tentacles.
We are both journalist and, in the course of our reports and our meetings with people leading exceptional lives, we have so frequently been struck, even devastated, that we wanted to collate them into this fully researched book, based on real facts, people and legal documents, and occasionally incorporating an element of fiction. Through these stories conceived as novellas, this book also hopes to illustrate the thinking behind Mafia organisations and their extraordinary ascension from the mythical motherland of Cosa Nostra to the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta which is still little known, although it has now become one of the most powerful Mafias in Europe.”
Henri Haget and Delphine Saubaber
Delphine Saubaber is a special correspondent on the foreign desk of L’Express (winner of the 2010 Albert Londres prize).
Henri Haget is a special correspondent on the investigations desk of L’Express.