The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The Monster of Florence” is the first non-fiction book I’ve read by Douglas Preston and it is nothing like his works of fiction. This book covers not only the serial murders that took place in Florence and near by but also examines the political atmosphere that influenced the investigation. While the story is sometimes difficult to follow because of all the suspects involved. The investigation is as compelling as the crimes, the investigators and courts often as diabolical as the criminals. Offering insight into the judicial system of Italy and the corruption hidden within, Preston carries the reader along through dark and dangerous paths. When even Preston and his journalist friend become targets of the courts the tension rises.
While the details of the murders are revealed they are not as important to the plot as one might expect. The point of the tale does not seem to be whether or not the killer is ever apprehended and tried but rather the process used to track the killer or killers down.
This is not a book for readers who want a mystery with a neat solution nor is it a tale that examines the psychology of the murders in any depth. It is more an expose of the Italian, especially the Florentine, criminal justice system. If you can get past the multitude of criminals on both sides of the law it is an interesting read.