I have read several books on the Mafia as I am trying to understand what they are and how they work. David Lane's work gave me much specific information and startling insight. I was fascinated how this insidious group works its way into town and city government corruption and takes over. Law enforcement is diligent but ineffective. The Mafia has enormous power through their contacts in the central government to make sure that cases concerning murder, etc never come to trial. Prosecution cases are easily disrupted or stalled forever. Further, lucrative contracts are awarded Mafia construction businesses from the government and the work is never done, left unfinished or is shoddy work doomed to fail. I have heard from friends that certain buildings will always be in the process of refurbishment. The Pope and his priests also appear powerless. Any preaching against them results in the murder of one of their own. Even men who try to work with the youth to give them hope through sports and education are dealt with harshly. Another assertion is that the prime minister could be one of them. He overwhelmingly won the Southern vote through "losing ballots". I was under the impression that the prime minister had the support of the North. If the prime minister is one of them, as Laskin suggests, then the new bridge and highway from Sicily to the mainland will be built for the Mafia to deliver weapons and drugs more effectively. Wiser heads say the bridge although elegant may not stand against the turbulence of the sea.
Laskin writes well and clearly shows how he travels to around Italy to speak to prosecutors, reporters and government employees who care about good government. I found myself aching for the ones who lost loved ones to the Mafia's violence.