MofFFor some reason I am still in a non-fiction phase and more interestingly, I’ve been rereading old favorites.  Recently I picked up my copy of The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston, which I read for the first time a couple of years ago.  I remembered being absorbed by the story and thought it would be good to read again. I was also interested in reading the background details about Florence and the Tuscan region, a place I will be visiting on my trip to Italy.

The Monster of Florence is the amazing true story of a serial killer who has haunted the Italian city for decades. A series of crimes unsolved for years with theories and bungled investigations galore, The book starts out as a forensic true crime story and soon becomes a firsthand memoir as the author becomes part of the story.

About The Monster of Florence: “Douglas Preston fulfilled a lifelong dream when he moved with his family to a villa in Florence. Upon meeting celebrated journalist Mario Spezi, Preston was stunned to learn that the olive grove next to his home had been the scene of a horrific double murder committed by one of the most infamous figures in Italian history. A serial killer who ritually murdered fourteen young lovers, he has never been caught. He is known as the Monster of Florence. Fascinated by the tale, Preston began to work with Spezi on the case. Here is the true story of their search to uncover and confront the man they believe is the Monster. In an ironic twist of fate that echoes the dark traditions of the city’s bloody history, Preston and Spezi themselves became targets of a bizarre police investigation.”

The Monster of Florence is as compelling as any fictional account of serial killers, including Hannibal Lector, a character whose creator based in part on the details surround the Monster.

In The Monster of Florence, Mr. Preston presents a well researched story with interesting people and background that makes the Jack the Ripper industry seem quaint. Once again, and example of true stories being stranger (and more interesting) than fiction.

The Monster of Florence is available from Amazon and other booksellers.