Those who are fascinated by the mafia have a weird romanticism. That’s something we can owe a long list of classic films like The Godfather and Goodfellas for. However, there are a number of interesting and fascinating books about the mafia that take advantage of the characters and traditions.
What do we mean by mafia books?
Before we get started, let’s have a look at what the term “mafia” means. The word “swagger” comes from the Sicilian word mafiusu, which means “swaggering around.” The word “romantic” itself, I believe, is the source of romanticism. Sharply dressed, tough Italian mafia members (i.e., the original mafia) are invariably depicted. After then, the stories just flow out of me.
The term “mafia” refers to an organized crime syndicate that engages in activities such as racketeering and gambling, as defined by the FBI. The original Italian mafia, whether Sicilian or Italian American, is the source of the notion. This concept has been widened to include organizations such as Russia’s kremlin, Japan’s yakuza crime syndicate, and so on. I’ve expanded the scope of this list to include novels about a wide variety of organized crime syndicates. Additionally, authors of color and women will be represented in this way. Many of the works on the Italian mafia that I’ve included were written by white guys, and I’d want to point this out.
Young Adult Mafia Books
YA stories about the mafia nearly always focus on the children of the criminal underworld’s leaders. This is a common theme among YA protagonists: maintaining familial traditions even as they embark on independent lives (typical for YA fiction).
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
A blood war erupts in Shanghai in 1926 between two rival gangs. Juliette Cain is the successor to the Scarlet Gang. The White Flowers, whose successor is Roma Montagov, are yet another intriguing family. These Violent Delights is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but with gangsters and monsters haunting the streets of Shanghai in place of Romeo and Juliet.
Kate Unmasked by Cindy M. Hogan
Kate, a seventeen-year-old adoptee, has always yearned to track down her birth parents. Sadly, there is no way out of this mess… before discovering a secret locket. When she follows the clue to the New Jersey shore, her hopes of a happy reunion are dashed.
White Cat by Holly Black
Magic is illegal in the United States, forcing practitioners to go underground. It’s no coincidence that the Cassel clan is one of the five most powerful organized crime families in America. Although conditions are tough and his family is deteriorating, Cassel inherits a horrible secret from his ancestor.
Hold Me Like a Breath: Once Upon a Crime Family by Tiffany Schmidt
A member of one of the three mafia families who control the black market for organs, Penelope is the daughter of Penelope. Penelope is diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, which leaves her exposed to the violence that surrounds her family’s line of work. After being caught in the crossfire between two rival families, she discovers that she is more resilient than she first appears.
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
Vince is just like any other youngster, and he’s dealing with typical adolescent issues. A strong criminal organization happens to be headed by his father. While this has its advantages, it has also made it difficult for him to find a partner. He is shocked when the girl of his dreams happens to be the daughter of an FBI agent who is devoted to bringing down Vince’s mother.
Adult Fiction Mafia Books
Adult books about the mafia tend to be a little more intense than YA books about the same subject matter. Adult novels, on the other hand, are more likely to feature characters that live in the gray area of the mafia.
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
No list of novels on the mafia is complete without mentioning this one. The Corleones, with their history of family loyalty, bloodshed, and greed, have entered popular culture. An average American immigrant family, they start out selling olive oil but end up in the mafia as a result of their actions. The Corleone family comes together as their dad is assaulted.
The Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins
The film adaptation of this book’s name may also be familiar to you. Michael is an Irish mob enforcer who happens to be a devout Catholic. The mob’s godfather orders the killing of Michael’s entire family after his eldest son saw one of his hits. Only Michael and his youngest kid are left after a brutal attack.
Out by Natsuo Kirino
I’ve written about Out before, but I think it’s worth reiterating. When a young mother kills her abusive husband, she gets the help of her coworkers to cover up the murder. As a result of the police chase, the protagonists are forced to navigate the seedy world of the yakuza.
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
He is an unidentified pickpocket who scurries across Tokyo’s streets, taking wallets and trinkets from unsuspecting victims. In the end, he is recruited to kidnap a wealthy man and take his safe’s contents. The next day, The Thief discovers that the man in question is a powerful politician who was assassinated after The Thief had left the scene.
The Cartel by Ashley Antoinette and JaQuavis Coleman
The death of their leader puts the Diamond family in jeopardy of losing control of Miami’s port. Twin sons and a daughter were left behind by Carter Diamond when he died. Then there’s the fact that he has an illegitimate child who returns to Miami to claim his birthright.
Nonfiction Mafia Books
Reading about organized crime in fiction is always a treat. The truth, on the other hand, is even more fascinating than the fiction. While it’s easy to perceive the mafia as the key to a compelling story, organized crime is real and there are some well-researched books to help you learn more about it.
Five Families by Selwyn Raab
Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo, and the Lucchese families are just a few of the mafia’s founding families, as the subtitle says. The book chronicles their rise and collapse, showcasing both the brutality of their leaders and the tenacity of their sleuths. As federal investigators shift their focus from organized crime to homeland security, the book speculates that the mafia could make a comeback.
Confessions of a Yakuza by Junichi Saga
a doctor’s retelling of a dying patient’s experience, which turns out to be shockingly true. The patient walks into the doctor’s office, removes his kimono, and reveals his faded body tattoo in the exam room. The patient, a former Yakuza boss, tells the doctor a fascinating life narrative and provides an insight into Japanese society in the twentieth century.
Midnight in Sicily by Peter Robb
The ancient land of Sicily has captivated explorers and conquerors alike. La Cosa Nostra, or the Mafia, lies at the center of this picturesque island’s criminal network. After living in Italy for 14 years, author Peter Robb set out to explore the Mafia’s beginnings and its significance in modern Italy.
Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family by by Joaquín “Jack” García and Michael Levin
In every discussion of the mafia, the FBI and its covert operatives must be mentioned. An undercover FBI agent was able to enter the Gambino criminal family over a period of years because to the efforts of this book.
Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter by Shōko Tendō
Shoko Tendo, the daughter of a yakuza crime boss, recounts her life experience in her autobiography. Tendo’s family had a comfortable lifestyle until her father was sentenced to prison and her father’s business went bankrupt. Tendo was inspired to rebel after her father relapsed into a life of violence and alcoholism after his release from prison.
Romance Mafia Books
There is something romantic about a mafia story if you can get past the obvious glossing over of the criminality. That all-important romantic spark, I suppose, can be generated by a little bit of peril.
Friend-Zoned by Belle Aurora
They fall in love in this light-hearted romance. Nikolai isn’t the type to fall in love, even with someone he knows well. Valentina doesn’t want a relationship, but she enjoys seeing Nikolai happy. The mafia isn’t overt in this film, but it’s still there. It is Nikolai and Valentina’s connection that is the primary emphasis of the film.
The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
In a love triangle between two guys, Francesca finds herself in a precarious position. Francesca was pressured into marriage by Senator Wolfe, the evil heir apparent of a well-connected mafia family. When it comes to finding true happiness, Francesca has her sights set on these two men.
The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert
Arrangements for an alliance between Teague’s and Callista’s families are the focus of the Marriage Contract. Callista is not Teague’s bride to be. As long as the marks on her neck weren’t there, he wouldn’t intervene.
Destino: A Mafia Romance by Sienna Mynx
As the first well-known Black fashion designer to make a name for herself in Italy, Mira is at the pinnacle of her profession. When a handsome Sicilian businessman shows up unexpectedly, her plans are thrown into a loop. This little fling has Mira questioning the value of such a brief encounter.
Deathless & Divided (The Chicago War) by Bethany-Kris
There is no better way to wrap up this series of arranged marriages than with yet another one. Having promised a gangster something, Damian is now expected to deliver on that commitment. The implication here is that you must marry the man’s daughter. Lily is compelled to return home and wed Damian, a man she has never met before. She’s taken aback when she realizes Damian isn’t at all what she expected.