A growing police crackdown and a rebellion among businessmen expected to pay protection money have left some sons of organised crime families wrestling with self-doubt, unsure they are cut out to take their fathers’ and grandfathers’ place in the bloody, vengeful world of the mob.

But seeking help is risky business: among mobsters, visiting a psychologist is a weakness you can pay for with your life. Palermo psychologist Girolamo Lo Verso recalled the case of a mobster’s son who told another therapist at a public mental health facility: “‘If my father knows I come here, he’ll kill us.”‘