The Japanese Yakuza. The Chinese Triads. The Sicilian Cosa Nostra. The Calabrian N'Drangheta. The New York Mafia. The Russian Vory -v -Vakone. Today, mafias operate across the globe, with hundreds of thousands of members and billions of pounds in revenue. From Hong Kong to New York, these vast organisations spread their tentacles into politics, finance and everyday life. But what is it like to belong to the Mafia? How do you join? What does it do to your loved ones? How do you make it to the top? And what happens if you break the rules? Criminologist Federico Varese draws on a lifetime's research to give us access to some of the world's most secretive societies. Mixing reportage with case studies and historical insights, this is the story of mafia as it really is: filled with boredom and drama, death and disaster, ambition and betrayal. Infiltrating initiation ceremonies from Russia to England, visiting exclusive gambling clubs in Macau and Mafia summits in Dubai luxury hotels, Varese builds up a unique picture of life in the mafia from the inside.