The Honoured Society: The Secret History of Italy's Most Powerful Mafia
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First published in Germany in 2008 by Droemersche Verlagsanstalt Th. Knaur Nachf. GmbH & Co.
First published in Great Britain in 2012 by Atlantic Books, an imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd.
In the early hours of an August morning a gunfight broke out in an Italian restaurant in Duisburg; in less than five minutes over seventy shots were fired into the bodies of six men. Both victims and assassins were members of the 'Ndrangheta crime organization; Calabria's Mafia had extended the savage tentacle of its influence outside Italy for the first time. For the men of the 'Ndrangheta, time is still measured in hour-glasses and honour may only be washed with blood.Petra Reski dispels the Hollywood romance surrounding the Mafia to reveal the huge and menacing force lurking everywhere - from street corner to parliament offices, construction site to corporate headquarters - and involved in everything from petty extortion to the disposal of nuclear waste.
Reski's searing portrait of the criminals who have come to control not only Italy but vast swathes of Europe, is a journalistic tour de force. Petra Reski was born in Kamen, German in 1958. Having lived in Italy since 1989,
episodes, which were to be produced in Sicily. Supported by EU funding. You can’t always talk about the Mafia and nothing else, the minister says, you have to be able to see the positive side as well. In a freezing-cold conference room he presented the trailer to the journalists. He didn’t show rubbish in the streets or endless traffic jams; he didn’t show the skeletons of burned-out cars in the Borgo Vecchio or the weeds tearing up the motorways; he showed dolphins gliding through a sky-blue sea
anything, nothing will change between Italy and Germany.’ For me this accorded with the views of the Calabrian state prosecutors Gratteri and Boemi and the investigator Cortese: all three men were united by the oppressive feeling that Duisburg hadn’t really changed anything. That the initial enthusiasm that had inspired Germany and Italy to work very closely together had already dissipated. Cortese saw that his German colleagues were highly motivated, but that they were hampered by the legal
Men who moved as if they were being filmed. Economical movements, sparse sentences. She had half an hour to pack her things and get out, they said. No one was allowed to live in this area. Her furniture would be taken away in a truck, she could pick it up from a garage on the edge of Palermo. Shobha packed her most necessary belongings and fled. Later she drove to the garage they had described. It was empty. Even today Shobha is angry with herself for believing the two mafiosi. Believing in
its jaw. I only saw the beard later, because the dog appeared from nowhere like a white plastic bag being blown out of the bushes. I braked abruptly, but it was too late. I still remember the feeling. It was as if I was driving over a bump in the road. Even though the cars behind me honked their horns, I drove to the side and pulled the dead dog out of the road. And saw its beard. And its eyes. When I told a friend about the dog later on, he said: ‘Funny. Human beings are killed here every day,
black-haired, modest and confident. She casually appraised us. The youngest daughter, Marina, was so thin that her knees pointed through the material of her jeans. Marina sat on the edge of the chair, constantly ready to get up and run away; her mother watched her apprehensively from the corner of her eye. Loredana sat bolt upright in her armchair, straining for a lady-like effect, while her sister Cinzia sat in front of us in that comfortable and confident posture that is usually reserved for