* Bonini, Carlo and Giancarlo De Cataldo. Suburra. Translated by Antony Shugaar. New York: Europa Editions, 2017. 528p. ISBN 978-1-60945-407-4. Pb. $18. Fiction
In this gritty, beautifully translated crime novel, Bonini, a journalist for La Repubblica, and de Cataldo, a novelist, screenwriter, and circuit court judge in Rome, delve into the complex world of Italian political corruption. As promoters of a public works project, a cabal of ruthless profiteers--Neapolitan Camorristi, hoods of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, a Roma tribe, local mafiosi, whore-mongering politicians, and a monsignor of the Catholic Church--consort and compete to bring a Las Vegas-style casino strip to the beaches of Rome's port district, Ostia. When gang war breaks out, a stalwart Carabiniere officer, Marco Malatesta, butts heads with not only a former and now deadly childhood adversary who goes by the moniker Samurai but the bent bureaucracy of his own service and the often lax Italian judiciary. As the dead pile up, no one escapes unscathed, not even Malatesta. Italophiles will love the violent scaramuccia (skirmishes) that carry the many unforgettable characters through the streets of Rome. VERDICT The basis of an award-winning 2015 Italian film, this contemporary noir will appeal to readers intrigued by gangland crime, big-city corruption, and how Italy actually "works."