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15 September 2008

The Monster of Florence...




I absolutely believe that I am supposed to move to Italy one day. I was in Italy once when I was 6 years old, and the images have always stayed in my mind. So for me to read a book set in Italy is always a treat for me -- the descriptions of tiny, narrow roads dating back to another time are beyond breathtaking, and I completely immersed myself in the beautiful culture & lyrical language ... 


But The Monster of Florence brings a different tale to the table. A true story set in the lush countryside of Florence, the story is centered on three different players: Douglas Preston, an American author who has just moved with his wife and family to Florence for the beauty of the country; Mario Spezi, an Italian journalist who was working for the local newpaper, La Nazione, when the killer first hit; and the main focus of the story, a faceless and nameless serial killer who kills lovers in their cars in the Italian hills, and then brutally mutilates the female corpse. The Italians were stunned that this chilling behavior could actually take place in their own backyard, and what follows is a complete spiral of police work, politics, and even freedom of the press. Mario Spezi followed the crimes as each occurred, becoming one of the primary focal points within a case that he soon becomes an integral member of.


Douglas Preston, successful writer and traveler, has come to Italy to write a different book, and along the way in his research, he meets with Mario Spezi to learn more on another pivotal point in Italy's history. The research mission turns into an investigation into a crime that spans years, and regions. For those that enjoy true crime, and for those that are amazed at the beauty of Italy, you won't be disappointed to read this book -- Douglas Preston has committed to the truth in an honest manner and it isn't hard to imagine yourself right along with him and Mario as together they partner to uncover the truth of a sinister and frightening killer that becomes blended into the facade of Italian culture, politics, and police work.


You have to know, of course, that Italy is an amazing and gorgeous country -- I'm still planning to move there one day, and I can only imagine a small café, a good book, and my practiced attempts to order food in Italian...




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