Lately, the news reports every day offer us some facts of ‘Ndrangheta – arrests for extortion, disposal of toxic waste, drug trafficking, corruption – but not everyone remembers that, if today it is common to read about’ Ndrangheta even outside Calabria, not always it was like that. The turning point came in 2010, when a maxi-investigation carried out jointly by the Dda of Milan and that of Reggio Calabria lit the light on the phenomenon, nationally and internationally, showing how much dust there was under the carpet of the so-called civil society . Over three hundred arrests, including many “unsuspected”: politicians, members of the police, freemasonry, judges, entrepreneurs, leaders of the ASL.
A courageous and visionary investigation that, in addition to teaching law enforcement, has marked a watershed in the recent history of Italy. Since that moment, no one has been able to pretend nothing has happened. In fact, a new season has opened for the fight against organized crime and, at the same time, for the possibilities of its public narration.
This historical passage is the background to the events of a novel recently released by Fandango Libri entitled “Crimine Infinit8”, a book written jointly by Cristiano Barbarossa and Fulvio Benelli, two journalist-writers who took five years to put together the many fragments scattered among the local chronicles and investigative documents, building a wide-ranging mosaic-story that starts from the Duisburg massacre, the first ‘Ndrangheta massacre that took place in Europe, and which through almost 600 pages accompanies the reader to the to the present day, coming to draw a detailed picture of the phenomenon and its ramifications.
In fact, despite all the direct references have been modified – as stated in the warning on page 2 – the most attentive reader can easily recognize several news events that have occurred in the last decade: the crash of Perego Strade in Lombardy, the staging of the attack on Giorgio Napolitano, the revolt of the laborers in Rosarno, the environmental disaster on the Lambro river, just to name a few. All events that seemed unrelated up to now and that instead, reading the book, we discover they have a minimum common denominator, that is the ‘Ndrangheta.
Even the main characters are inspired by people in flesh and blood, starting with the protagonist, Andrea Delvento (the voice that tells us the story) who is in fact the alter ego of Antonino Belnome, the former footballer from Teramo and Catania, first became one of the most powerful godfathers in Lombardy and then a collaborator of justice in support of the prosecutor’s office. Real also his antagonist, Alberto Ricci, the upright cop who chases him from the first to the last page; he who in real life is called Roberto Fabiani and at the time of the facts was the colonel of the Investigative Unit of the Carabinieri of Monza.
And again: the magistrates Silvia Ranieri and Augusto Romano are the famous Boccassini-Pignatone tandem, just as the judge Saggi is Giancarlo Giusti, one of the great corrupt in this story, the man who combed the sentences in favor of the ‘Ndrangheta to have in I change women and champagne. And also Raffaele Rosario, the “villain” par excellence, described with an almost magnetic three-dimensionality, is actually that Nunzio Novella who in the 2000s attempted a real attempt to secede from the parent company, Calabria, thus finding death in a bar near Legnano.
We could continue but it is not necessary, because the characters coming out of the pen of Barbarossa and Benelli stand alone, without the support of the news, and the same goes for the plot: it is not necessary to know in detail the real events to become passionate about the book. (of which there is already a project to make a TV series) because what the authors deliver to posterity is not the faithful account of a piece of crime history but the literary cross-section of how we were, perhaps to try not to be anymore.
In the end, no one manages to feel extraneous to what is narrated in Crime Infinit8, first of all because the story really concerns everyone, and then because it is well told, a detective that plays with the twists, calling the reader to reassemble the puzzle, page after page, as if he were the detective in search of the truth, with a blunt style that rummages through the soul, sticks to memory, always adhering to situations, characters, always a step inside misery, which is human even before social, thanks to a deliberately low lexicon, as if even the words in the end were nothing more than waste, like those that are spilled by the ‘Ndrangheta under the playgrounds of Brianza.
What remains, closed the book, is the apocalyptic vision of a huge gray area that envelops everything, the state and the antistate, the jailers and the prisoners, defeat and victory, fathers and children, good and evil, life and death. Yet, the authors tell us in the finale, we can still cultivate a hope, that linked to the only true act of freedom that has been granted to us as people and citizens: the choice to be better, day after day, and to give weight to our soul. In order not to find ourselves in the condition described in the book of Daniel, chapter 5, verse 27: “you were weighed on the scales and you were found missing”.