The Black Sands of the Karakum (Soft cover)
by Dr. Verdun Trione « View this author's BIO
Ratello was to meet and negotiate with Fugari, the president of Turkmenistan. He knew Turkmenistan had the fifth largest untapped reservoir of oil in the world, and was smart enough to read and inquire further about what was known in the states as ?Texas Tea?. He also learned this ancient country was once part of the Old Silk Road. It had been the site of ancient cities built and rebuilt by the Parthians, the Sycthians, Alexander the Great, the Greeks and Romans, Mongols and Arabs. Marco Polo had passed through there in the 12th century. The place was now an archeological gold mine. To that, Ratello was indifferent. What interested him was that the population was half nomads and primarily Muslim. Walking about Ashgabat, he noted many women wore nothing on their heads; no burkas as in other Muslim countries. An occasional woman wore a colorful kerchief on her head. Also, women?s clothes were of colorful silks. Men clumped about in baggy pants tucked into sturdy boots, and wore colorful silk shirts and vests. Many wore hats made of sheepskins. There were other people who dressed poorly; walked aimlessly, shoulders slumped?too many to be ignored. Ratello made a mental note of that. He walked on looking into shop windows, noticing a picture on many products. Shopkeepers who knew some English informed him the picture was that of Fugari, the president of the country.
Within a period of one hundred years, the Mafia in the United States has undergone change. The change is addressed in this novel. The Western Mafia is a coalition of several Families and is identified as having moved into legitimate gambling and entrepreneurships, including professional. The Eastern Mafia coalition operates on the old values of Omerta and organized secrecy?not untypical of what was transferred from Sicily during the late 1800?s.
Listening to stories of Mafia activities by Eastern and Western Families, he sensed this was a different story. Many books have been written about the Mafia genre. Instead of violence and conflicting Families, he heard about deals in cattle, property, gaming and oil, the same as any legitimate business man. Then, he heard from a casino executive about his interest in the huge reserves of oil under the desert of a country called Turkmenistan. Upon further research, it was evident the author had the makings of a story with two Mafia groups, the Eastern and Western Families?the Eastern Mafia wanting to drill for oil with no regard for the people or heritage of the region.
Written in the rich tradition of The Reluctant Godfather and Rogue Warriors, Dr. Trione?s third novel will keep you on the edge of your seat.