Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: "The Monster of Florence" by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

From Goodreads:  "Douglas Preston fulfilled a lifelong dream when he moveed his family to a villa in Florence. Upon meeting celebrated journalist Mario Spezi, Preston was stunned to learn that the olive grove next to his home had been the scene of a horrific double-murder committed by one of the most infamous figures in Italian history. A serial killer who ritually murdered fourteen young lovers, he was never caught. He is known as the Monster of Florence." Fascinated by the tale, Preston began to work with Spezi on the case. Here is the true story of their search to uncover and confront the man they believe is the Monster. In an ironic twist of fate that echoes the dark traditions of the city's bloody history, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of a bizarre police investigation.

My Thoughts:  I like true crime books and this book was no exception.  It is told from two different points of view:  from the point of view of Mario Spezi, a journalist, who wrote about the crimes from day one, and Douglas Preston, a mystery novel writer, who came upon the story of the Monster while researching for a book he was writing.  It was cool to see the crimes from the point of view of Spezi who had actually witnessed several of the actual crime scenes whereas Preston's point of view was based a lot on information he got from Spezi.  While I enjoyed reading both of their points of view, the way the material was organized made it difficult to keep track of all the pertinent information and all of the possible suspects.  


The Monster of Florence and his crimes are truly fascinating but I think the book kind of got away from that part of the story and changed its focus to the justice system in Italy.  The book spends a lot of time showcasing how incredibly screwed up the Italian justice system is (no wonder they haven't found the killer yet) and wound up spending a lot of time talking about the Amanda Knox case.  It almost feels like this could have been two books, where one talked about the Monster and his crimes and the other detailed the problems with the Italian police.  Overall this was a good book but I kind of wish it had gone into more detail about the killer and his victims.  3 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I hate it when books seem to take a opposite direction in those kinds of stories. Loved reading your review.

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