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The Monster of Florence Paperback – April 23, 2013
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Not merely a recounting of those grisly crimes and endless investigations, The Monster of Florence (hereafter TMOF) is also an engrossing biographical piece, detailing the toll the case took on both its authors, who, in one of the stranger twists in a case replete with strange twists, become the focus of the ongoing police investigation. Thus, in a plot complication worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, the reporters became part of the very story they are covering--after his home is ransacked in a search, Spezi is subsequently arrested, and his collaborator, American crime novelist Preston, is harshly interrogated by the authorities. In a movie, the protagonists would have been able to clear their names by dramatically unmasking the real killer, unearthing a piece of key evidence at the last moment.Read more ›
But long-term residents know better. Between 1968 and 1985 eight double murders occurred, all of young lovers, with the female member of the pair brutally mutilated. One of the first reporters to hear of the crime was Mario Spezi, and through the years, he followed the crimes and the many stories of just who the Monster could be. He carefully assembled his notes, and wondered along with everyone else as to just who the killer was, dubbed The Monster by the press and the authorities.
American author Douglas Preston traveled to Italy with his wife and two of his children in 2000, living in a farmhouse near Florence. He was busy working on a new mystery novel, but kept getting sidetracked by the mystery of the Monster. A mutual friend introduced him to Mario Spezi, and very soon both men were good friends and investigating the riddle of the murders. Over the years they kept at the mystery, and soon they were discovering that the truth was very different than what the police and the carabinieri were saying what happened...
The narrative is broken up into two parts, the first half of the book centered around Spezi, and the general investigation, and the trials and suspects that well, weren't that credible.Read more ›
I'll leave others to judge the writing of the book. I thought it was good, not great. What I WAS left with was the notion of the complete insanity of the Italian police and judicial systems.
Preston moved to Tuscany in the early 00's with his family to write and enjoy living abroad. Under the Tuscan Sun, and all that. While there, he learned about a series of killings that took place in and around Florence. They were all double homicides of couples parked in Lovers' Lanes in the hills near the city. One killing a year, usually during the summer months, beginning in the late 1960's and ending in the mid-1980's.
Preston and a newspaper reporter friend, Mario, teamed up to write a book about the killings. These murders had been investigated by various branches of the Florence police and the Italian government police and a whole bunch of suspects, ranging from village idiots to Sardinian bandits to physicians and pharmacists had been arrested and tried over the years for these murders. Most of those who were brought to trial were victims themselves, victims of the ineptness of the police system and feuds between branches of the Italian judicial system.
If lives hadn't been lost and ruined in the years since the murders began, the book would read as an amusing farce, reminiscent of an Inspector Clouseau movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A captivating and topsy-turvy read. If you are into true crime books, this is for you. If you are into Italian history, this is for you. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Nancy A
Interesting but very different book than I expected. Less of a plot and more of a journal so not as appealing to me.Published 1 month ago by KMB
Incredible if it were true! Amazon markets this as non-fiction. If it were true, Italian public servants (elected?) are hiding a serial killer. Well written, typical PrestonesquePublished 1 month ago by Bruce Clemens
I was attracted by the premise of the book, a true crime story with one of the players being a best selling author. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michelle M
I love a true story, this shows that all things can go in many directions depending on who takes charge. Remind me not to get in trouble in Italy!!!Published 1 month ago by djag
Thrilling and engaging from start to finish! This book reads like a true-crime fiction thriller but is shockingly true. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Skye Wathen