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The Monster of Florence
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Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston

In the nonfiction tradition of John Berendt ("Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil") and Erik Larson ("The Devil in the White City"), New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston presents a gripping account of crime and punishment in the lush hills surrounding Florence, Italy.

In 2000, Douglas Preston fulfilled a dream to move his family to Italy. Then he discovered that the olive grove in front of their 14th century farmhouse had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence.

Preston, intrigued, meets Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to learn more. This is the true story of their search for--and identification of--the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation. Preston has his phone tapped, is interrogated, and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself.

Like one of Preston's thrillers, The Monster Of Florence, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide-and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I'm really excited to start this book. I chose it for next month for my real-life book club, too, but I know there are some people here on GR who've expressed an interest in reading this. I can't wait to read your thoughts!


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I'm about five chapters in and it's giving me the uber creeps!

Oh and I know some of you aren't big on reading introductions, but the introduction in this is more like a preface or prologue. Make sure you read it. (Meghan, I'm looking at you.)


Jennifer Zimny (jen_the_librarian) | 5 comments I am now about 150 pages into the book. What's crazy, I think, is how badly the Italian police botched the investigation by not sealing off the crime scenes! It amazing how much evidence they destroyed. I have to keep reminding myself that it's the 70's and 80's. . .but was their lack of collecting DNA evidence because of the lack of technology then or just plain incompetence?


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I know! And I can't understand why, if there are so many peeping Toms around watching people have sex in their cars, no one saw any of these murders. Especially since, at least in two of the cases so far, the woman victims were dragged out into the open for their mutilation. Maybe the Monster did that so he could see what he was doing?


Jennifer Zimny (jen_the_librarian) | 5 comments I think I remember reading somewhere that Florence was not used to murders taking place. . .so when this happened, it was a shock. The police didn't know what to do. I can't wait to get to the second half!


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I just read the chapter where the author gives an account of the rather bloody history of early Florence. Fascinating. I never learned any of that stuff when I toured the city! It was all about the art! Florence was one of my favorite places in Italy.


Jennifer Zimny (jen_the_librarian) | 5 comments See. . .and I don't know if I really want to visit Florence now or not!! :-) I just love biographies that go into the history of places or people like that. Under the Banner of Heaven was the same way. Gave you the murders and then went into the background of the religion. Alright, I'm going to get to the end of the first section by the end of tonight!


message 9: by Sarah (last edited Oct 04, 2010 09:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
JEN... You HAVE to visit Florence. If for no other reason than for the art and the architecture! Seeing The David was a very moving experience. And Il Duomo is just incredible.


Jennifer Zimny (jen_the_librarian) | 5 comments Oh, it's on my list of places to visit someday! However, Haworth is first and foremost on my list! So I just got to the point (this is not really a spoiler!) where Spezi reads the FBI's profile on the Monster. SO interesting! I didn't get to the end of the first section because I started getting a bit creeped out. . .but I will today! :-)


Jennifer Zimny (jen_the_librarian) | 5 comments So I found myself this Saturday/Sunday stuck at my parent's house. . .I'm picking them up from the airport coming home from Hawaii. . . .so I have a good dent in the book. I'm really enjoying the second half of the book! It's just insane how the Italian police work!


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I'm ready to go back to this now. Hope to finish it by the end of the week!


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Well, it's not the end of the week, but I am finished with part one. At this rate I will be done with it by November. Heh.


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I finished! Wowza. Fascinating stuff. If this were a novel, I'd think it too implausible. I can't believe this stuff really happened!


Deborah | 12 comments This was a fascinating book. It was interesting to learn about polic procedures in Italy. This would make a really good movie.


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
I heard that Tom Cruise and United Artists have purchased the film rights. I wonder, though, about the fact that the murders are still unsolved? How will they wrap up the movie?


Victoria | 2 comments I found the book fascinating. Did you know that the 2007 murder of a female student which resulted in the conviction of Amanda Knox was prosecuted by the same prosecutor who was persecuting Spezi and Preston and handling the Monster investigations at the end? Italian criminal justice is not very admirable.


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