Italian aristocratic playboy Cesare Cardinale performs the dirty work of a Sicilian Mafia Don with pleasure and aplomb—in exchange for an extravagant and debaucherous lifestyle. But his murderous activities attract the attention of a mysterious special agent—and soon Cesare is engaged in a struggle for his life.
Cesare Cardinale is an amoral, aristocratic Italian playboy—an entrepreneur and race car driver who wants for nothing—whether it’s fast cars, beautiful women, or orgies of debauchery. Cesare, however, has two dirty secrets: First, he has a penchant for violence that borders on the sadistic and sociopathic; second, he owes his extravagant life to a Sicilian Mafia don, creating a seemingly perfect relationship—as he leads a double life as a Mafia assassin.
But when Cesare is ordered to murder four U.S. government witnesses in protective custody, he attracts the attention of a mysterious special agent who will stop at nothing to bring the crime syndicate down. Soon Cesare is engaged in a lethal game of cat-and-mouse against both an adversary who is more than his match, as he understands what makes Cesare tick, and the Mafia, who fears he might talk.
From the author of The New York Times #1 best-selling novel The Carpetbaggers comes a story about the Mafia, written when American leaders like J. Edgar Hoover were still skeptical about the existence of an Italian-American organized crime network or the Cosa Nostra. Published a decade earlier, this novel inspired books like Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and helped ignite American pop culture’s insatiable fascination with the Mafia that continues today.
Harold Robbins (1916–1997) is one of the best-selling American fiction writers of all time, ranking 5th on the World’s Best-Selling Fiction Author List just behind William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. He wrote over 25 best-selling novels, sold more than 750 million copies in 42 languages and spent over 300 weeks combined on <i>The New York Times</i> best sellers list. His books were adapted into 13 commercially successful films and also television series that garnered numerous Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Primetime Emmy® nominations starring Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones and more.The self-proclaimed "world’s best writer in plain English," Robbins wrote novels that resonated with audiences due to their graphic depictions of sex, violence, power and drugs, and the multilayered complexities of his characters, as evidenced by his best-selling novels <i>Never Love a Stranger</i>, <i>The Carpetbaggers</i>, <i>Where Love Has Gone</i>, and <i>The Adventurers</i>. He once said in an interview: "People make their own choices every day about what they are willing to do. We don’t have the right to judge them or label them. At least walk in their shoes before you do."Robbins’ personal life was as fascinating to the public as his novels. An enthusiastic participant in the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s, Robbins cultivated a "playboy" image and maintained friendships with stars including Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dino De Laurentiis, Robert Evans, Ringo Starr, Barbara Eden, Lena Horne and Quincy Jones, and was one of the first novelists to be prominently featured in gossip magazines, earning him the title of "The World’s First Rock Star Author."
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