Maurice Coons, writing under the pseudonym Armitage Trail, gathered the elements for 'Scarface' when living in Chicago, where he became acquainted with many local Sicilian gangs. He prowled the murky streets of Chicago's gangland with a friend every night for two years, returning home to put to paper and write a book which somewhat documented his experiences. The resulted novel was 'Scarface', and it was worth the effort. Not just a thinly disguised biography of Al Capone, 'Scarface' is a gangster tale surprisingly rich with character and atmosphere. The story moves at a cracking pace, and from the machine guns, brutal deaths and beautiful gals emerges the tragic tale of one man's downfall from his ruthless ambition and love for friend and family. The source for the 1932 Howard Hawks picture, as well as the Brian de Palma remake.