Book: The Monster of Florence


The Monster of Florence - by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi

This book was not exactly what I thought it would be.  As a non-fiction book about a serial killer in Italy I thought it would be extremely interesting and would take me to the end of the story where a killer was revealed.  Instead it goes deeply into history of Italy and of the way cases are handled in Italy.  If you are looking for an answer….there is none.  If you are interested in getting hooked on a story and then never finding out the end…this book is for you.  An unsolved crime that spanned from the 1960’s until the late 80’s resulting in 16 deaths and many many suspects being held with no evidence.  Apparently speculation is enough to get you put in prison for up to a year with no charges.  And writing a book about the crimes while dissing the police effort is enough to get you put in the slammer and thought of as a suspect. 

This book frustrated me and was put down MANY times.  If I wasn’t reading it for book club I would have probably not finished it and when I did finish it I was angry at the result.  I think that is what Douglas Preston wanted though, he was frustrated as an American thriller author of fiction when he became intangled and then a suspect because he was pulled into the real life mystery.  I think he wanted us as the reader to be frustrated as well.  Mr. Preston you succeeded in the frustration and the anger at the Italian legal system.  Yes, it’s messy and nothing appears to be based on facts.  It puts the point across that should I travel to Italy I should stay out of trouble at all costs! 

I give the book 2 1/2 out of 5 butterflies.  A lot of the history not relating to the crimes could easily have been left out, it felt heavy and uneeded to get the point across.

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