Antonella Amoruso, senior deputy of Milan's anti-terrorism police, receives a call to return to her Naples hometown for the funeral of a family member murdered in a Camorra clan feud.
Amoruso is plunged into the dangerous culture of Camorra, Naple's violent criminal syndicate, that thrives on illegal drugs, prostitution, extortion, and murder. Her goal is to rescue her family from Camorra's deadly grip.
Antonella Amoruso, deputy of Milan's anti-terrorism police, DIGOS (Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali).
Carmela, Amoruso's sister-in-law, widow of her brother, Salvo, murdered in a Camorra clan feud. Carmela is a well-paid manager at the Vesuvio Pizzeria, a Camorra hangout, as a payoff for her husband's murder. She lives in an apartment with her children in Pianura, a shabby Napoli suburb infiltrated by Camorra.
Luisa, Amoruso's 16 year-old niece, a musical prodigy, plays a violin bought by Camorra as a bribe.
Diego, Amoruso's 13 year-old nephew, who, with his friends, is a scout when a Camorra drug shipment arrives in Pianura. He also works at Vesuvio Pizzeria and wants to be a chef.
Camorra is a nonexistent word, a term of contempt used by narcs and judges, journalists and script writers; it's a generic indication, a scholarly term relegated to history -- a name that makes camorristi smile. The word clan members use is System, "I belong to the Secondigliano System," an eloquent term, a mechanism rather than a structure. The criminal organization coincides directly with the economy, and the dialectic of commerce is the framework of the clans.
I'm Italian, and I must say that Erickson's view of my country and my fellow citizens is not so stereotypical as it appears in other books about Italy written by a foreign writer. His understanding of our political and economic situation is very deep, his knowledge about food and drinks is amazing, and the characters in the story are powerful and realistic. In this difficult moment for Italy, there's a bit of Fabio in every Italian.