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The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
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The Monster of Florence (edition 2009)

by Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,631774,440 (3.52)105
Member:mattries37315
Title:The Monster of Florence
Authors:Douglas Preston
Other authors:Mario Spezi (Contributor)
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:20th Century, 21st Century, Italy, nonfiction

Work details

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston (Author)

  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.
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English (76)  Dutch (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
"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 |
This was my first novel by Preston that wasn't fiction, and wasn't part of the Pendergast series.

It is the true life story of the monster of Florence, a serial killer who terrorized the Tuscan countryside of Italy for years. It was horrifying to hear of these murders, especially since not long ago friends and I visited the Tuscany area. More terrifying is what happened to the author and his co-author when they were trying to write about and investigate the murders. Some of the travesties of justice (police accusing the authors of being a part of the murders, planting evidence, etc.)

It was a great read! ( )
  csweder | Jan 8, 2015 |
It was going along great, then something happened... The ending left a lot to be desired. ( )
  Jeanne.Miller | Nov 12, 2014 |
This is a non-fiction book about a serial killer in Florence, Italy. The case is unsolved. The first half of the book goes through the crimes, describing the murders of couples "caught in the act" in their cars in the hills of Florence. As horrifying as the description of the crimes is, it is nothing compared to the incompetency of the Italian police and judicial system. It was so frustrating to read about how horribly this case has been handled by officials. The book points towards a suspect, but there is no resolution. It is an interesting book, but I felt the writing style left a bit to be desired - kind of choppy and it doesn't flow very well. I'm glad I read it though - just don't expect the fabulous In Cold Blood and you'll enjoy it. ( )
  japaul22 | Oct 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Preston, DouglasAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spezi, MarioAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boutsikaris, DennisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danchin, SebastianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volk, KatharinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
First words
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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