“The hungry aren’t particular about which oven their bread comes from,” goes an ancient saying the Mafia lives by—organized crime thrives when people are desperate. Roberto Saviano, Italy’s most famous investigative reporter, is warning the world that as the coronavirus steals lives and livelihoods, it is also enriching mobsters who provide services that governments can’t.
Saviano has to sound his alarm from an undisclosed location. Now 40, the writer has been in hiding since the publication, in 2006, of his book Gomorrah, a fictionalized account of Saviano’s infiltration of the Camorra, the organized crime group that reigns over Naples’s Campania region. His newest book, Savage Kiss, a novel about the boy bosses of Naples, is out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux this week in a translation by Antony Shugaar.