A “wild west” tale of two brothers who battle both the State and a Mafia empire in 1920s Italy, from famed Italian author Andrea Camilleri.
Raffadali, province of Agrigento, 1920s. The Sacco brothers are free men with strong ideas about socialism and the State. Their lives change radically one morning when their father, Luigi Sacco, receives an anonymous letter from the local Mafia demanding protection money. Luigi tells the police of the extortion letters, but the police don’t know what to do: no one in the village has ever dared denounce the Mafia before. From that moment on, the Sacco brothers must defend themselves: from the Mafia and the forces of order, from their collaborators, traitors, and from the village’s leaders, as they are assailed by murder attempts, false accusations, and false testimony.
The Sacco Gang is not only a gripping Italian “western” but an indictment of the Mafia’s influence and the devastation it wreaks in people’s lives.
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.