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Here's a book I highly recommend

Last Wednesday night, I was supposed to drop my brother off at his friend’s house at 8 a.m.

At 7:50 a.m., he came downstairs and asked, “Ready?”

I blurted out, “I have four pages left!”

I spent the second half of last week holed up, reading "The Monster of Florence," written by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi.

My parents gave me the book for my birthday. Until then I had never heard of "The Monster of Florence," although it’s a fairly popular story in Europe. For nearly 40 years, a serial killer haunted Florence. He struck at random, killing young couples and mutilating his female victims.

Preston, an American crime novelist, moved his family to Florence and planned to write a crime story based in Italy. As research, he met with Spezi, who is a respected Italian crime journalist. Preston was floored to discover his home was the place of one of the monster's many double murders.

The two writers set out to identify the serial killer and explore the history surrounding the monster. And so begins a tale spanning four decades and hundreds of characters.

It’s a fascinating, albeit gruesome, true tale. It reads like fiction and I was unable to put it down until I finished it. I spent New Year’s Eve telling each of my friends “You need to read this book.” In fact, this review is a little vague because I’ve already loaned it out.

I highly recommend it, in particular the version with the afterword written in 2009. Preston’s afterword is about the Amanda Knox trial; I can all but promise you it will force you to reconsider your beliefs on the trial.

I’m reading the Schenectady Library One County, One Book selection “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” right now. I’ll have a review up shortly.

Read "The Monster of Florence" or something else fabulous lately? Leave a comment.

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January 7, 2010
11:25 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Thanks for the tip. The book sounds very interesting. I, too, am enjoying a book about Italy, John Berendt's "The City of Falling Angels." It tells the story of the fire that destroyed the historic Fenice Theater opera house in Venice in the late 1990s. The book features many colorful characters, much like Berendt's best-selling "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

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