Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Monster of Florence

I was reading this book at work one day and a coworker said to me "My, that's a titillating cover." Comments like that make me really glad for my kindle.

Here's what I will say after reading this book, don't even think about crime if you are in Italy. And, should you find yourself even near a crime whilst in Italy, you should probably get the hell out of dodge. The Italian court system is not what we are used to here in the good old U.S. of A.

Let's get to brass tacks. The book is interesting. It involves a series of murders that takes place in and around Florence from the late 60's to the 80's. It was apparently big news in Italy and everyone was freaked out about this Monster of Florence. There were also multiple people arrested for the crimes and eventually there were charges and convictions. However, the book casts some serious doubt on the people who were actually convicted. Like, serious in, the Monster could still be out there.

Where the plot thickens is when an American author (Douglas Preston) moves his family to Florence to write a book. He becomes involved with Mario Spezi, who was a journalist involved in the Monster of Florence case, and the two begin writing articles about the case. The articles were critical of the Italian justice system and eventually caused the two to be under investigation for being accomplices to the murders. No joke, either. What happens to the two of them provides really great insight into a different country's justice system. Let me just tell you guys that the rules are a wee bit different in other countries.

I loved this book, but had new found love for it when I read the Afterward. Normally I ignore both Prefaces and Afterwards, but in this case I didn't. The Afterward talks about another situation in which an American has recently been charged with brutal crimes in Italy, I'm talking about Amanda Knox. The author gives some interesting details and similarities between his situation and experiences in Italy and what happened to her. Many of the same people are involved and he suggests that perhaps there is more to look into there. I can't wait for a similar book to come out on her...and no, I'm not talking about the Lifetime movie. That'll be the shits.

So, 4/5 or 8/10 stars for this one. If you're into this type of thing you will love it.

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