Book Review: The Monster of Florence

In a classic case of truth being even stranger than fiction, Preston, author and co-author of a number of books including Relic and The Wheel of Darkness teamed up with Italian journalist Mario Spezi in an attempt to shed light on the killer known as the Monster of Florence. When a pair of lovers was discovered murdered in 1981 police didn’t immediately connect their death with a similar case that took place in 1974 but as more couples fell victim to the Monster of Florence, fear rippled through the city as residents realized there was a serial killer in their midst.

When Preston decided to move his family from America to Florence, he was unaware that one of the couples had been murdered in an olive grove not far from their new home. After learning about the grisly crimes that included mutilation of the female victims, Preston joined forces with Spezi who had long sought the killer’s identity. As their investigation unfolds, Preston and Spezi come to believe they have figured out who was responsible but in a bizarre twist of Italian police work, the two men find themselves charged with obstructing justice and suspected of being the Monster.

Divided into two parts, the book first focuses on Spezi’s work on the case while the second part brings in Preston’s involvement, what emerges is a compelling true crime tale every bit as twisted and engrossing as any fiction. A gripping read made even better by the knowledge that this is no abstract fiction but a true crime that remains unsolved.

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