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Publisher's Summary

The gripping true story of the origins of the Mafia in America - and the brilliant Italian-born detective who gave his life to stop it.

Film rights optioned by Paramount Studios, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Beginning in the summer of 1903, an insidious crime wave filled New York City, and then the entire country, with fear. The children of Italian immigrants were kidnapped, and dozens of innocent victims were gunned down. Bombs tore apart tenement buildings. Judges, senators, Rockefellers, and society matrons were threatened with gruesome deaths. The perpetrators seemed both omnipresent and invisible. Their only calling card: the symbol of a black hand.

The crimes whipped up the slavering tabloid press and heated ethnic tensions to the boiling point. Standing between the American public and the Black Hand's lawlessness was Joseph Petrosino. Dubbed the "Italian Sherlock Holmes", he was a famously dogged and ingenious detective and a master of disguise. As the crimes grew ever more bizarre and the Black Hand's activities spread far beyond New York's borders, Petrosino and the all-Italian police squad he assembled raced to capture members of the secret criminal society before the country's anti-immigrant tremors exploded into catastrophe. Petrosino's quest to root out the source of the Black Hand's power would take him all the way to Sicily - but at a terrible cost.

Unfolding a story rich with resonance in our own era, The Black Hand is fast-paced narrative history at its very best.

©2017 Stephan Talty (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great historical storytelling.

This book is a rare glimpse into the repeating battle that each immigrant group must fight with earlier settlers and with itself in order to become Americans.
More than anything else it is a tribute to an amazing American.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

good listen

I thaught this was a great book. I had never heard of The Black Hand. Love the time period as well. All around good listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • Toledo, OH, United States
  • 07-19-18

Listen and Learn.

I think if you come at this book with the expectation of a history lesson, you will enjoy it much more (if you like learning). It was a very interesting read. I never even heard of the Black Hand Society and the author did a great job teaching me.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • E
  • 12-27-17

I was expecting a dramatization

Although this book was well written, well narrated and very interesting - I was expecting it to be a dramatization based on true events. When in actual fact it reads more like an interesting history book, with a spattering of dialogue peppered in.

Was a bit disappointing. I’m interested to see how they make it more engaging for the upcoming movie.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not a great listen.

Skip this one. It’s not a great listen. Too many names and stories to follow casually by listening.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a story...!

This is a audio/book that everyone with an interest in the Mafia, gangsters, organized crime or even New York should pickup. From what I know very few Italians either know or admit to their history and yet it's so rich with details and history.

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Society of the Black Hand/ Order of the Family

What made the experience of listening to The Black Hand the most enjoyable?

The back story of an Italian Detective noted for his photographic memory and integrity. During a time during the Birth of the dark side of the Mafia. Joe Petrosino would stop at nothing to protect innocent lives from unfathomable crimes.
Locations included are a learning tool I find useful. Naples in Italy, Boston, Midwest, and mainly Little Italy in New York.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Joe Petrosino

Have you listened to any of Scott Aiello’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Black Hand Society or Order Of The Family

Any additional comments?

Petrosino had a fond Love for the Violin and Opera

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • GM
  • 06-04-17

Like a newspaper from the 19th century

struggled to stay awake. it was an interesting story and the narrator is servicable, but a little smug and snarky.

it's like the author is the boring guy at a dinner party that tells the excruciatingly long story that is interesting but goes on way to long

not a failure and certainly entertaining at points, this would be an excellent book if you were doing background research for your own novel

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dean
  • 05-23-17

A Fascinating Story

A fantastic glimpse into the beginnings of the mafia in New York, and the brave policeman who stem the flow of atrocities. The true story of just how horrific and heartless the mafia actually was. Well worth the read.