Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston

The Monster of Florence

by Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,662814,330 (3.51)106
  1. 00
    Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: The same public prosecutor in Perugia brought charges is at the center of both the Monster of Florence and Meredith Kercher murder investigations.
  2. 00
    The Sunday Woman by Carlo Fruttero (ehines)
    ehines: Very different books in terms of tone--one a rather disturbing true-crime, the other a sardonic murder mystery. But both have some interesting insights into late 20th-century Italy.
  3. 22
    The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: True stories of corruption in the justice system. The Monster of Florence is about the search for a serial killer in Italy, The Innocent Man is a man falsely convicted and on death row.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 106 mentions

English (80)  Dutch (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
True account of the author's investigation into an Italian serial killer, which leads him to being labeled an accomplice. ( )
  jrthebutler | Sep 23, 2015 |
If you like thrillers this book is probably not for you. If you like true crime, you will probably eat this book up. I had this book on my bookshelf for years, ran across it when I was working at Barnes and Noble and just had to have it. When I finally read it years later the entire unfolding of the story was extremely interesting and chaotic. I actually ended up wanting to read the Hannibal books more than anything because they are referenced often as to being based after these killings. I also was very intrigued by the Italian court and justice system and this book does a great job of explaining these differences so that the reader can follow along easily. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars because I might read it again (probably after I read all of the Hannibal Lecter books) but its not something I would recommend for everyone. ( )
  ToriC90 | Aug 9, 2015 |
Mr. Preston, probably best known for his “Detective Pendergast” takes a page from his famous FBI sleuth and tackles the real life case of the Italian serial killer whose nickname is the title. In realizing his dream of moving his family to Italy Mr. Preston discovers the picturesque olive grove surrounding his new home was the scene of a series of double murders. Too tempting not to investigate he teams up with Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to uncover the true identity of the killer. In a pecular twist of “justice” both Mr. Preston and Mr. Spezi become suspects, with Mr. Preston being, in no uncertain terms, told to leave the country and Mr. Spezi actually being imprisoned as “The Monster”.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time and I never got around to it. A friend re-introduced me to the story when explaining his fascination with the recent Amanda Knox retrial in Perugia, Italy. The lead prosecutor accused of fabricating the case against Amanda is the same prosecutor who strongly suggested Mr. Preston leave Italy. Recent publications of The Monster of Florence include an afterward by Mr. Preston which was an interesting eye opener. A good true crime thriller that will have you “googling” the facts to find out more.

The moral of both this book and the Amanda Knox trial could well be … if traveling in Italy, stay on the right side of the law.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
"The Monster of Florence" is the first non-fiction book I've read by Douglas Preston and it is nothing like his works of fiction. This book covers not only the serial murders that took place in Florence and near by but also examines the political atmosphere that influenced the investigation. While the story is sometimes difficult to follow because of all the suspects involved. The investigation is as compelling as the crimes, the investigators and courts often as diabolical as the criminals. Offering insight into the judicial system of Italy and the corruption hidden within, Preston carries the reader along through dark and dangerous paths. When even Preston and his journalist friend become targets of the courts the tension rises.
While the details of the murders are revealed they are not as important to the plot as one might expect. The point of the tale does not seem to be whether or not the killer is ever apprehended and tried but rather the process used to track the killer or killers down.
This is not a book for readers who want a mystery with a neat solution nor is it a tale that examines the psychology of the murders in any depth. It is more an expose of the Italian, especially the Florentine, criminal justice system. If you can get past the multitude of criminals on both sides of the law it is an interesting read. ( )
  NewLiz | May 26, 2015 |
I tried this book. Got through a few chapters, and found less than compelling. Giving up for something better.
  TheDivineOomba | Mar 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Preston, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spezi, Mariomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boutsikaris, DennisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danchin, SebastianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volk, KatharinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my partners in our Italian adventure: my wife, Christine, and
my children Aletheia and Isaac. And to my daughter Selene, who
wisely kept her feet planted firmly in America.
—Douglas Preston

A mia moglie Myriam e a mia figlia Eleonora,
che hanno scusato la mia ossessione.
—Mario Spezi
First words
In 1969, the year men landed on the moon, I spent an unforgettable summer in Italy.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446581194, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, June 2008: When author Douglas Preston moved his family to Florence he never expected he would soon become obsessed and entwined in a horrific crime story whose true-life details rivaled the plots of his own bestselling thrillers. While researching his next book, Preston met Mario Spezi, an Italian journalist who told him about the Monster of Florence, Italy's answer to Jack the Ripper, a terror who stalked lovers' lanes in the Italian countryside. The killer would strike at the most intimate time, leaving mutilated corpses in his bloody wake over a period from 1968 to 1985. One of these crimes had taken place in an olive grove on the property of Preston's new home. That was enough for him to join "Monsterologist" Spezi on a quest to name the killer, or killers, and bring closure to these unsolved crimes. Local theories and accusations flourished: the killer was a cuckolded husband; a local aristocrat; a physician or butcher, someone well-versed with knives; a satanic cult. Thomas Harris even dipped into "Monster" lore for some of Hannibal Lecter's more Grand Guignol moments in Hannibal. Add to this a paranoid police force more concerned with saving face and naming a suspect (any suspect) than with assessing the often conflicting evidence on hand, and an unbelievable twist that finds both authors charged with obstructing justice, with Spezi jailed on suspicion of being the Monster himself. The Monster of Florence is split into two sections: the first half is Spezi's story, with the latter bringing in Preston's updated involvement on the case. Together these two parts create a dark and fascinating descent into a landscape of horror that deserves to be shelved between In Cold Blood and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. --Brad Thomas Parsons

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Documents the author's discovery that his new family home in Florence had been the scene of a double murder, his relationship with the investigative journalist co-author, and how they both became targets of the police investigation into the murders.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
18 avail.
19 wanted
4 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.51)
0.5 2
1 13
1.5 3
2 48
2.5 13
3 126
3.5 41
4 192
4.5 15
5 59


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,702,565 books! | Top bar: Always visible