In 2000, "New York Times" bestselling author Douglas Preston fulfilled a long-held dream to move his family to Italy.
But after settling in an idyllic village just outside Florence, he discovered that the olive grove in front of his family's new home had been the scene of one of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence.
The killer had never been found. Preston, intrigued, met Italian journalist Mario Spezi, who has followed the case since the first murders in 1974, 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.
It's also the story of how Preston and Spezi themselves became part of the story.
Preston had his phone tapped, was interrogated, and forced to leave the country.
Spezi fared even worse: he was accused of being the Monster of Florence himself.
Like one of Preston's bestselling thrillers, "The Monster of Florence" tells a gripping and harrowing story of murder, mutilation, suspicion and ruined lives - and at the centre of it, two brave writers trying to uncover the truth at all costs.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 336 pages, 1 x 8 page section
- Publisher: Ebury Publishing
- Publication Date: 29/01/2009
- Category: True crime
- ISBN: 9781905264674
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Review by SlySionnach
I stayed up until 2 AM to finish this book. On a day when I have to get up for work at 7, that's saying a lot. This book was interesting, and I think exceptionally interesting, because the two people who are writing it aren't looking at it from afar. They researched so much and delved so deep that they became a part of the investigation themselves. I won't reveal how, but let's just say that it ended up being a big deal.The crime is a series of murders from the years 1968-1984/5 where there were 7 double homicides. The real murderer has not been found to this day. But as Preston and Spezi describe what I (as a forensic scientist) this is one of the most ill-investigated cases in possibly history, I find myself shaking my head in disbelief just as much as Preston must have done.From satanic cults to witnesses-for-hire (though not proven to be!), if you want to read about the man that Thomas Harris may have used as an influence to Hannibal (and it is known for a fact that he did use Florence), this is a good book to start with!