cover image The Sacco Gang

The Sacco Gang

Andrea Camilleri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Europa (PGW, dist.), $14 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-60945-423-4

Camilleri, best known for his popular Inspector Montalbano mysteries, offers a vivid historical novel based on the true story of the five Sacco brothers who fought the violence of the Mafia, the treachery of the fascists, and the corruption of the police and courts in 1920s Sicily. The Saccos are socialists whose successful farms and businesses attract extortion threats from the Mafia, resulting in escalating violence when the Saccos refuse to pay. Robbery, arson, ambush, murder, and false criminal charges plague the Saccos—until they decide to counterattack. Several Mafia bosses are shot and the corrupt police blame the Saccos. The townsfolk side with the Saccos, but that positive momentum evaporates when the fascists declare the Saccos a bandit gang. The brothers become fugitives from the police, Mafia, and fascists, and cannot trust anyone. Betrayal is a constant companion, and tragedy and injustice are the only possible outcomes. This is a riveting story of how organized crime, political corruption, and judicial duplicity can oppress freedom. (July)