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The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
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The Monster of Florence

by Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,555714,715 (3.53)98
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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English (70)  Dutch (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Very interesting. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
Very interesting. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
Really, there's too much to tell in this book--the story of the monster of Florence, the story of the almost farcical police investigation, the story of Douglas Preston getting involved in the case, the story of Mario Spezi the co-author and news reporter who reported the case from start to non-finish. Aside from the Preston story (which is interesting) none of these other stories really gets told as well and as thoroughly as it should. ( )
  ehines | Oct 21, 2013 |
Interesting non-fiction, telling the history of the Monster of Florence murders from 1968 until 2008.

Written by novelist Douglas Preston and Italian journalist Mario Spezi. The book has two sections, the first telling Spezi's story of the Monster, from the start until about 2000 when Preston arrives in Italy. In the second part Preston continues the story from his POV.

Because of the writing style I got the impression that Preston also wrote Spezi's story.

The book gives a good overview of the case and the people involved. It also shows how the Italian judicial system works. What I liked is that although Spezi and Preston suspect who the Monster is, or rather, with who they are involved with, they still discuss the other suspects and give their arguments why they cannot be the Monster.

Thomas Harris (writer of the Hannibal Lecter series) is also mentioned several times, especially in the first part. I almost sensed a kind of jealousy in the need to drag him into the story in negative ways. ( )
  Rumpeltje | Sep 22, 2013 |
It eneded very abruptly, in my opinion. I got to the end and was like, oh, wait, what? But it was interesting. It wasn't so much about the murders themselves as the policework (or lack thereof) and all the things the author and his friend got caught up in while trying to write this book. But it wasn't like a typical dry true crime book, which I appreciated. Definitely written more like a thriller novel, which is appropriate since Douglas Preston writes thrillers! Gasp! I got confused with some of the names of people. It's in Italy, and they all end with vowels. But that's a personal problem. ( )
  drrtydenimdiva | Jul 18, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Douglas Prestonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spezi, Mariomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boutsikaris, DennisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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
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In 1969, the year men landed on the moon, I spent an unforgettable summer in Italy.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:38 -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 4 descriptions

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