Shortly after reading Gomorrah, by Robert Saviano (see my previous post, “A Dumb Reader’s Guide to: Gomorrah), I trolled through the Amazon recommendations list, and this book came up. On a whim, I bought it for a penny (I like to buy previously used books for $.01 + $3.99 shipping). It sat around the house for about 4 months, when I finally noticed it & started to read it.
Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. I quickly became immersed in the sprawling underworld of the massive international criminal network that I never knew existed. This book took me on a roller-coaster journey from the ex-Soviet bloc (during the 90’s, the fall of the Soviet Union was an unknown catalyst for a lot of today’s criminal activity) to Israel & India (who knew there was so much crime in those countries), to Nigeria, Columbia, British Columbia (home to one of the world’s largest pot-smuggling networks). The tour continues to Sao Paulo (the account of the PCC laying siege to the 25 million-plus population from behind bars is utterly shocking) to China and Japan. From stolen goods to narcotics to human smuggling to cyber-crimes, the magnitude & breadth of these criminal enterprises is nothing short of mind-blowing.
Misha Glenny’s best accomplishment is not merely the research that went into this book (I’m not sure how all of this research was performed, and I definitely won’t be the person to go out & verify sources), but putting together this information in a way that completely floors the reader. Pick up a copy & find out for yourself—you’ll agree.