Cosa Nostra


Monumental and gripping.

Andrew Marr, BBC Start the Week

I couldn’t put it down. His archival sleuthing is yoked to his powerful, often coruscating storytelling to create a chilling account of the mafia’s sinister, horrific reality.

John Guy, Sunday Times

A serious contribution to modern Italian history…it can be safely predicted that Dickie’s book will be a sensation, not least because it has a dozen potential movies in it.

Clive James, Times Literary Supplement

Cosa Nostra is the best book ever written on the mafia. … How was it possible for a ‘foreigner’ to be so clear, so extraordinarily lucid in describing the mafia? …Dickie is implacable. He cites names, facts and sources that are always verified. That’s what makes Cosa Nostra essential reading if, once and for all, we are going to clear away the misinformation that has created the myth of the mafia’s invincibility.

Massimo Carlotto, Il Manifesto (Italy)

Excellent…subtle…absorbing.  Dickie narrates the story with panache… he succeeds in being both opinionated and precise and has performed a necessary work of rebranding.

Tobias Jones, author of The Dark Heart of Italy, Financial Times


Sunday Telegraph

Five hundred pages that you literally devour. A history book written with the skill of a ruthless thriller-writer.

Salvatore Ferlita, La Repubblica (Italy)

Excellent…a welcome beam of clarity…vibrant, muscular and highly readable.

Clare Longrigg, Guardian

An Englishman writes about the mafia—better than the Italians. …If only his conclusions could become the common property of all the Italian opinion-formers and politicians who talk about the mafia every chance they get. …Meticulous in its archival research, rigorously reconstructed, covering a monumental period of almost two centuries, precise in its citing of sources, many of them unpublished—and that’s only the beginning. …Dickie knows he has pure explosive in his hands.

Saverio Lodato, L’Unità (Italy)

The first truly definitive English-language study of this myth-laden subject, and it is a pleasure to read…notable for shrewd judgements couched in language that is vibrantly memorable. His acquaintance with the island and his immersion in the wider modern Italian culture also allow him to convey the noxious atmosphere of corruption with flair.

Sunday Times

Lucid…grimly readable.

Daily Telegraph

Cosa Nostra reads like a novel.  When I finished Dickie’s book I did not know what to praise most: his care, precision and intelligence as a historian; or his agility, pace and fluidity as a narrator.

Andrea Camilleri

A brave work.

Mail on Sunday

No other book on the mafia is so persuasive, so comprehensive and so readable.

Denis Mack Smith

Highly readable…compelling. The narrative is entertaining and, at times, as chilling as the darkest crime fiction. It combines compelling horror with clear, rational analysis.

Glasgow Herald

Cosa Nostra overflows with wonderful vignettes about mafia codes of conduct…engrossing.

John Naughton, Word

Dickie’s book is a history of the mafia that is as readable as a novel.

Francesco La Licata, La Stampa (Italy)


Literary Review

A fascinating book. Cosa Nostra combines scholarship with a rip-roaring read.

Sunday Herald

 A brilliant and engaging study….This bloody history is guaranteed to give readers the shivers. …enthralling.  Meticulously researched and impeccably written, this book is a must for mafia buffs. …an absorbing and terrifying read.

Sunday Business Post (Ireland)

Thrilling and well-documented…Clear and lively….

Pietro Scaglione, Famiglia Cristiana (Italy)

A racy, sprightly work, strong on narrative and chilling accounts of the blood-stained events that have marked the Mafia’s history. …a valuable work.

The Scotsman

It would be a crime not to read it. …Rings with the peal of truth. …Riveting.

Irish Independent

Book of the week. Hard-hitting, unsentimental.

The Week

This a history everyone should read.



The Advertiser (Australia)

Dickie is such a good storyteller that he pulls you along regardless of any prior interest in the subject.

Sunday Telegraph (Sydney)

Grim and violent but well-told.

Canberra Times


The Age (Australia)

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