My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Suburra takes a deep dive into a politically and financially corrupt contemporary Italy, where a mighty local crime family, the Mafia, corrupt politicians, and new rabid criminal elements battle each other for control of a glittering prize—control over a multibillion dollar development twenty miles from the Italian capital.
         During the final days of Silvio Berlusconi’s reign, a massive development proposal that will turn the depressed coastal settlement of Ostia into a gambling paradise, a Las Vegas on the Mediterranean, is winding its way through the Italian legislature thanks to the sponsorship of politicians in the pay of crime syndicates. It’s business as usual in the Italian capital. Or so it seems. A vicious gang of local thugs loyal to nobody but themselves is insisting on a bigger cut than agreed upon. The Mafia and their political puppets aren’t going to back down without a fight.
         Orchestral in its movement and sweeping in its ambition, Suburra is a compelling, provocative portrait of contemporary Rome—a city prey to pitiless criminal factions and political opportunism. Suburra has already been adapted into a critically acclaimed Italian film and soon to be a Netflix Original Series.

Suburra (International Crime)
By Carlo Bonini & Giancarlo De Cataldo
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609454074
Price $12.02 (Paperback)
Price $9.99 (Kindle)
521 Pages
Rating 2-Stars

Modern Italy is the contemporary setting for this yarn. It pits a local criminal gang, corrupt politicians and the Mafia against each other, as they battle over a multi-million dollar development project, bringing a gambling casino to a town near Rome. Thankfully, there is a two-page listing of the cast of characters at the first of the book, so we can refer to it to remember who everyone is. As it was, I almost gave up on the story a long time before I reached the final pages. Why I continued reading, I don’t know.

I knew going into the story that there would be violent crime, sex, and profanity, but I stuck it out because Europa Editions usually brings us interesting writers from overseas. But this story is packed solid with crime and political corruption, and I found very little to like in the book. The characters are stereotypes of every Mafia movie you’ve ever seen, and the dialogue is so stilted it left me in pain. There is very little to recommend about this book. You have to be a die-hard fan of violent Mafia and corruption to enjoy this type novel. I am not. Let’s hope the Netflix series is written better, with actors able to bring the story off, but I’m not counting on it.

Tom Johnson



  1. Hi Tom,
    Was this book published in English, or were you reading a translation?

  2. It was translated from Italian to English and published by Europa Press. It's available on Amazon in the English publication.