Fascinating portrayal of a 1980’s real-life attempt to bring down the Naples-based Camorra – one of the largest and deadliest mob organizations in Italy – spearheaded, planned and led by a twelve year old boy.
Written in the style of a memoir, the author shares the experiences as told to him by the main protagonist, known only by the nickname “Prince”, with similar nicknames provided for his “gang” of helpers as well as the mobsters they are fated to confront.
This remarkable story tells the tale of the self-proclaimed boy “genius”, who is definitely not short on confidence, as he shares the gifts he brings to this gargantuan task – namely his highly regarded “beauty”, an IQ 0f 163, and the ability to put emotions on hold as he allows “the dark manipulative side” of his personality to operate on others according to his plans to “achieve the desired results.” If this wasn’t a real story, it would be difficult to believe some of the things he’s able to accomplish.
Part angry (and I think, somewhat empathetic) social activist and part arrogant cold-blooded criminal, Prince is an interesting and contradictory character.
Consider – “A man without a dream is a man without a soul“, and
“I simultaneously fed my twin appetites: fine food and explosives”.
It may be that, perhaps, it is after all Prince’s constant quest for stimulation, excitement and a challenge that is his deepest and most reliable motivator.
Without giving the plot away (no spoilers here), I can say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, finding the suspenseful saga interesting and engaging, and couldn’t wait to find out the ending.
Recommended reading for readers of true crime, and anyone interested in the turbulent socio politics of Naples in the early 80s and beyond.
A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book
My stop today on the @RandomTTours #blogtour for #princeofNaples by @HughGurney #TandemPublishing @colinbookshaped