Roberto Saviano


"...a dense, compelling and enthralling book... "


'ZeroZeroZero' examines the world-wide trade in cocaine. The drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Russia and Italy are minutely examined and laid bare, with names being named and methods explained. He also examines the supposedly squeaky-clean bankers and banking institutions which knowingly launder the drug money. It's a fascinating story, which shows that drug production and smuggling is an international, multi-billion pound business that uses all the tools of legitimate global commerce -production, meticulous accounting and marketing and world-wide distribution via aircraft and ships.

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Robert Saviano is an Italian writer who, in his 2008 book 'Gomorrah', laid bare the criminal activities of what he called 'Italy's other Mafia' - the Camorra. He received death threats after its publication, and because of this, he is under permanent police protection. This is a dense, compelling and enthralling book that combines an almost poetic quality with solid, detailed research. Savioni interviewed people connected with drug production and law enforcement agencies; he delved deep into his own experience of criminal activity, and he studied court cases, transcripts of wire taps, to come up with a fascinating story that exposes what is probably the world's biggest and most profitable industry - drug production and distribution. A small criticism may be that the names of drug bosses and cartel members come at you thick and fast as you read, which can be off-putting. I had to turn back the pages on several occasions to have the names - and how they fitted into the story - explained to me all over again. But this doesn't distract from the thrust of the book. It is a fascinating read, and shows that we are all - to some extent - touched by the drugs industry. Even freedom-fighting organisations in South America were funded largely on drug money it seems, and the banks we deal with, even here in the UK, regularly handle drug money without realising it.

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