A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
“An extraordinary achievement. The writing is riveting, the research impeccable.” —Sara Paretsky
“Gripping. ... Reads like a novel.” —Chicago
“Revolutionizes our understanding of Al Capone and Eliot Ness." —Matthew Pearl
“A very good book. … Reads with force and style.” —Chicago Tribune
“Essential. … A superior example [of true crime]." —Seattle Times
Includes 115 photographs and a map of gangland Chicago.
In 1929, thirty-year-old gangster Al Capone ruled both Chicago's underworld and its corrupt government. To a public who scorned Prohibition, "Scarface" became a local hero and national celebrity. But after the brutal St. Valentine's Day Massacre transformed Capone into "Public Enemy Number One," the federal government found an unlikely new hero in a twenty-seven-year-old Prohibition agent named Eliot Ness. Chosen to head the legendary law enforcement team known as "The Untouchables," Ness set his sights on crippling Capone's criminal empire.
Today, no underworld figure is more iconic than Al Capone and no lawman as renowned as Eliot Ness. Yet in 2016 the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Al Capone still awaits the biographer who can fully untangle, and balance, the complexities of his life," while revisionist historians have continued to misrepresent Ness and his remarkable career.
Enter Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz, a unique and vibrant writing team combining the narrative skill of a master novelist with the scholarly rigor of a trained historian. Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the gangster classic Road to Perdition. Schwartz is a rising-star historian whose work anticipated the fake-news phenomenon.
Scarface and the Untouchable draws upon decades of primary source research—including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves. Collins and Schwartz have recaptured a bygone bullet-ridden era while uncovering the previously unrevealed truth behind Scarface's downfall. Together they have crafted the definitive work on Capone, Ness, and the battle for Chicago.
Max Allan Collins is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. He is the author of the Shamus Award-winning Nathan Heller thrillers and the graphic novel Road to Perdition, basis of the Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks. His innovative Quarry novels led to a 2016 Cinemax series. He has completed a dozen posthumous Mickey Spillane mysteries, and wrote the syndicated Dick Tracy series for more than fifteen years. His one-man show, Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life, was an Edgar Award finalist. He lives in Iowa.
A. Brad Schwartz is the author of Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News, based in part on research from his senior thesis at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He cowrote a documentary about the War of the Worlds broadcast for the PBS series American Experience. He is currently a doctoral candidate in American history at Princeton University.
— Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Force
A fascinating, cinematic, multigenerational history of the Cuban mob in the US from "America’s top chronicler of organized crime"* and New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne.
By the mid 1980s, the criminal underworld in the United States had become an ethnic polyglot; one of the most powerful illicit organizations was none other than the Cuban mob. Known on both sides of the law as "the Corporation," the Cuban mob’s power stemmed from a criminal culture embedded in south Florida’s exile community—those who had been chased from the island by Castro’s revolution and planned to overthrow the Marxist dictator and reclaim their nation.
An epic story of gangsters, drugs, violence, sex, and murder rooted in the streets, The Corporation reveals how an entire generation of political exiles, refugees, racketeers, corrupt cops, hitmen, and their wives and girlfriends became caught up in an American saga of desperation and empire building. T. J. English interweaves the voices of insiders speaking openly for the first time with a trove of investigative material he has gathered over many decades to tell the story of this successful criminal enterprise, setting it against the larger backdrop of revolution, exile, and ethnicity that makes it one of the great American gangster stories that has been overlooked—until now.
Drawing on the detailed reporting and impressive volume of evidence that drive his bestselling works, English offers a riveting, in-depth look at this powerful and sordid crime organization and its hold in the US.
Named a CrimeReads best Nonfiction Crime Book of 2018
The electrifying, untold story of the women born into the most deadly and obscenely wealthy of the Italian mafias – and how they risked everything to bring it down.
The Calabrian Mafia—known as the ’Ndrangheta—is one of the richest and most ruthless crime syndicates in the world, with branches stretching from America to Australia. It controls seventy percent of the cocaine and heroin supply in Europe, manages billion-dollar extortion rackets, brokers illegal arms deals—supplying weapons to criminals and terrorists—and plunders the treasuries of both Italy and the European Union.
The ’Ndrangheta’s power derives from a macho mix of violence and silence—omertà. Yet it endures because of family ties: you are born into the syndicate, or you marry in. Loyalty is absolute. Bloodshed is revered. You go to prison or your grave and kill your own father, brother, sister, or mother in cold blood before you betray The Family. Accompanying the ’Ndrangheta’s reverence for tradition and history is a violent misogyny among its men. Women are viewed as chattel, bargaining chips for building and maintaining clan alliances and beatings—and worse—are routine.
In 2009, after one abused ’Ndrangheta wife was murdered for turning state’s evidence, prosecutor Alessandra Cerreti considered a tantalizing possibility: that the ’Ndrangheta’s sexism might be its greatest flaw—and her most effective weapon. Approaching two more mafia wives, Alessandra persuaded them to testify in return for a new future for themselves and their children.
A feminist saga of true crime and justice, The Good Mothers is the riveting story of a high-stakes battle pitting a brilliant, driven woman fighting to save a nation against ruthless mafiosi fighting for their existence. Caught in the middle are three women fighting for their children and their lives. Not all will survive.