Richard's Reviews > The Monster of Florence

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
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's review
Feb 03, 2011

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bookshelves: italy, true-crime

On the surface, this is the true-crime story of the Monster of Florence, a serial killer who terrorized Tuscany in the 1970s and 80s, as told by a murder mystery novelist who got embroiled in the case. But it's really a look at how dysfunctional the Italian justice system is. (Which didn't surprise me at all; much of Italian society seems to be dysfunctional. When I was there I discovered how exasperating it could be to order a meal or purchase a sandwich.)

It's also a cautionary tale for anyone who considers moving to another country. Some of the freedoms and rights that we tend to take for granted in America just don't exist in Italy, such as the freedom to know the charges against you and the right to talk to a lawyer.

The book was an interesting read, but sometimes confusing because of all the principals involved. There's a timeline and a cast of characters in the front of the book, which is helpful, but I found that continually referring to it was distracting and I soon gave up and just let the story carry me along.

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