Sarah Null's Reviews > The Monster of Florence

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
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's review
Jul 26, 08

bookshelves: nonfiction, book-club, owned
Recommended to Sarah by: Jennifer
Recommended for: true crime readers, Silence of the Lambs fans
Read in July, 2008

On June 7, 1981, the morning of my third birthday, Mario Spezi recieved the phone call that would alter his life, make his career as a journalist, and begin the inquiry into the long and strange case of The Monster of Florence.

When my husband and I honeymooned in Italy, less than three weeks after Douglas Preston arrived in Florence, we had never heard of Il Mostro di Firenze. Now, I will never forget about it.

The first half of The Monster of Florence details the crimes of the Monster, sixteen murders in all, and Spezi's investigation and reporting of the case. The second half details the partly inept, partly corrupt, investigation by the authorities into the case, including the arrest of Spezi as the Monster and the questioning of Preston as an accessory.

This story has it all: sex, murder, corruption, man-eating pigs, satanic cults, missing vaginas, inept investigations, personal vendettas, village idiots, conspiracy theories, kinky orgies, and much more. A handful of careers were made, and more than a handful of lives were ruined in connection with this case. Nine men were arrested, some were convicted (and later released) based on the testimonies of the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. And today the case is still unsolved.

It's also interesting to note that the true case of The Monster of Florence inspired Thomas Harris to write Hannibal.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Sarah Null So far I love it. The writing's not amazing, but it's good enough. And the story is tres fascinating. And creepy!!


Mary My library just notified me that the book is waiting for pick up. Can't wait. I lived in Florence for awhile, so I'm really looking forward to this. Sorry to hear the writings not that great. Is there a shortage of good editors out there?


Sarah Null The writing isn't bad, it's just not anything especially brilliant. I've actually put this down for a while so I can finish up a couple of half-read books but I'm anxious to get back to it!


Mary I just picked this up at the library and found out that they delivered an audiobook. It's turning out okay, because the presentation is pretty dramatic. Like listening to old time radio.

Too, too weird


Sarah Null I hope you'll join the discussion of this book here.

I think it'll be even more interesting for you having lived in Florence. I've been to Florence once and absolutely loved it. I'd love to go back and I'll make sure I do NOT have sex in any parked cars!


Sarah Null Ko, I liked it very much.

Have you finished it, Dunderhead?


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