Cose di Cosa Nostra is a book that contains the interviews conducted by the French journalist Marcelle Padovani with Italian prosecutor Giovanni Falcone. This book is a detailed and a touching historical account about the history of the most awful Sicilian criminal organization: the mafia. I have decided to review this book on occasion of the 23rd anniversary of Giovanni Falcone’s death occurred on May 23, 1992. The prosecutor was killed during an attack ordered by the mafia boss Salvatore Riina.


Albeit many years have passed since that horrible event, the death of Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and the bodyguards Vito Schifani, Antonio Montinaro and Rocco Dicillo is still being remembered by all of Italians. In the book, Giovanni Falcone explains what is the Mafia and how it works. The book is an earnest and sharp explanation about how the Mafia took the control of many economic Italian sectors, beginning from politic to public procurement, up to arrive in the core business of big companies and Italian and oversea trades. The biggest Mafia business has always been the drug trade, but also money laundering managed thanks to secret agreements with banks and financial power.

“Cose di Cosa Nostra”, I would translate as “Mafia affairs”, also reveals the close and unfair relationships between the Italian politic and mafia, because a strong power like the one of the Mafia would never have grown with no political complicity. The book contains the investigation outcomes by Giovanni Falcone. Each chapter focuses on a particular side of the mafia structure. The first chapter tells about “ violence”, namely the arsenal owned by mafia killers, the second chapters tells on “ messenger and messages”, those are the signs and the codes used by mafia men to spread their secret agreements.

The third chapter is very interesting, since Falcone speaks about the close nearness between the mafia and the Italian society. In this chapter, a quote of Tomasi di Lampedusa, an Italian writer, is reported: “ The dialogue State/Mafia, with the ups and downs between the two organizations, proves clearly that the Mafia is not an enemy of the State, but rather, a parallel organization that takes advantage of the economic distortions”.

The book also reports on the life and experiences of Giovanni Falcone and his supporters and colleagues. The book also rebuilds all of mafia patterns, how mafia men are enrolled in the organization. All these details on the Mafia are surfaced thanks to the investigations of Giovanni Falcone. This great and brave prosecutor stopped his inquiries because of a dreadful attack occurred in May of 1992 on the highway Palermo – Capaci.

I was twenty one years old at the time and I learned about the murder of Giovanni Falcone while I was in church. During his sermon, the priest announced the mafia had killed one of the few men capable to fight and defeat it. After these words, a dark veil of despair descended on the soul of all of Italians, but a new inner push arose from the same event, namely fight mafia at any cost, with no secret alliances or closeness between the Italian state and Mafia.

Only a couple of months later, another brave and skilled prosecutor was murdered by the mafia, he was the best friend and colleague of Giovanni Falcone, his name was Paolo Borsellino. I believe that not only Italians must remember the meaningful work and sacrifice of the two prosecutors, but also all the world, American, British, Australian, Canadian people and not only, because Mr. Giovanni Falcone had worked along with foreign colleagues and police to catch those mafia bosses who thanks to their revelations helped to stop and block many shady deals of the Mafia.

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