The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide ($18.95) is the first book of its kind in any language: the ultimate Cosa Nostra experience. Since 2006, author Carl Russo has photographed Mafia hotspots on the Italian island of Sicily: where the murders happened, where the godfathers lived, where their victims are buried. From the sunbaked fishing villages of the Mediterranean to the darkest alleys of Palermo, western Sicily is the exotic backdrop for more than 100 meticulously researched tales of murder and mayhem, packed with 200 photographs of the actual locations.
The book’s historical sweep covers 150 years of revolutions, world wars, politics and popular culture—all inextricably bound to Cosa Nostra. They include the childhood home of gangster Lucky Luciano, the hideouts of the fearsome bosses of Corleone, the tombs of the “Robin Hood” bandit Giuliano and the legendary dons, Calogero Vizzini and Giuseppe Genco Russo, the roots of the American and Canadian mafias, Mussolini, the Allied landing, pistol-packing priests, the Room of Death, the political assassinations, the playgrounds of the new Mafia. the anti-Mafia movement…. All of these Cosa Nostra sites and associations are depicted in sharp prose and revealing images, introducing many stories to English readers for the first time.
Street directions are included for the adventurous traveler. Whether you’re planning a trip to Sicily or sticking to the comfort of your armchair, this provocative book will take you closer to the Sicilian Mafia than you dared to think possible.
Carl Russo is a San Francisco writer who has covered film for various publications, including the Oakland Tribune, indieWIRE.com and KUSF-FM. He fell in love with Sicily on his first trip to the island in 1999 and has returned nearly every year since. In 2010, he started writing a blog, Mafia Exposed, which became the basis for this book.