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The Dark Heart of Florence by Michele…
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The Dark Heart of Florence

by Michele Giuttari

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When a prominent Italian senator and his butler are found murdered, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrera of the Florence police cannot help but recall “the monster of Florence,” a serial murderer who had plagued the city some years before. Thus begins a tantalizing story of murder and madness, told through a varied assortment of characters -- police, politicians, members of organized crime, as well as a couple of women who just want to start a new life together.
Even as Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrera is told to stay out of the case of the Senator’s murder, he soldiers on. He is refused search warrants by the authorities, but is always one step ahead of the game. He has already obtained the information he requires.
Then when a young Cuban would-be model is found murdered, and it becomes clear that the man who calls himself “Genius” is taunting the police, and especially Ferrera. And he is smart. He leaves no clues. Is this “the monster of Florence,” returned once again to kill and terrify? Is the murderer of the model and the senator one and the same person?
Ferrera and his colleague Teresa Micalizi continue to search for the criminals, uncovering ties to Germany when the DNA of a criminal dead for several years shows up at the scene of the Cuban model’s murder.
Writing from the background of his experience as head of the police force of Florence, author Michele Guittari paints a picture of a city of beauty with an underlying heart of evil. Translated from the Italian, the novel retains the color of the original language. I found this a tremendously satisfying book, a travelogue and murder mystery rolled into one. (As published in Suspense Magazine) ( )
  kathleen.heady | Mar 5, 2015 |
When Senator Enrico Costanza and his butler are murdered at the senator’s villa outside Florence, the police have few clues to find the killer. It almost appears to be the perfect crime. The killer, however, leaves a videotaped message to the police at the scene and forensic examination of the tape reveals images related to previous murders in the city. The murderer is convinced that the police will never catch him and taunts them with his genius.

As the investigation progresses, it becomes clear that some highly-placed people were behind the murders and do not want them to be solved, but proving it is another matter. As the murders continue, the police have a breakthrough. They manage to obtain a DNA sample from the killer. When the results come back from the lab, though, they show the murderer to be a man killed in a shoot-out at the end of a previous case.

It is clear that the author has an in-depth knowledge of Florence, Italian police procedure and the murky labyrinth of Italian politics. At one point, Superintendent Ferrara asks the population of Florence to avoid omerta, the Mafia code of silence, and is roundly criticised in the press for it, but he constantly struggles against the reluctance of the average resident to become involved and provide information to the police. ( )
  Hanneri | Jun 14, 2014 |
Aide memoir: this one very dark. Some murders solved and some not (this leads to The Black Rose and Sir George Holley). The murders of Enrico Costanza and his chauffer starts it all. Excellent. ( )
  reader68 | Jun 11, 2014 |
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After enduring years at the mercy of an infamous serial killer, the people of Florence are relieved at the news of his death - until a senator and his butler are found brutally murdered. Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara suspects that the case isn't closed and as he becomes trapped in a spiral of vendettas and corruption, a powerful adversary is conspiring against him from the shadows. When he's confronted with dead ends and unreliable theories, discovering the truth is only the beginning for Ferrara as he finds himself face-to-face with something rotten at the heart of the city ...The Dark Heart of Florence is a stunning work of detective fiction, written with incomparable authenticity by former Florentine police chief Michele Giuttari. Evocative, gripping and atmospheric, it has been a major bestseller in Italy and across Europe.… (more)

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