Reviews in 200 Words

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi

In Journalism/True-crime on August 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

A particular light shines on a country’s legal system when an outsider takes a look. Taken for granted by locals, inherent intricacies are exposed as illogical. Rights and responsibility seem like afterthoughts. Justice feels moribund, unobtainable. And our sights keep turning toward our own tipped scales.

Next thing you know you’re making sure the skeletons in the closet are better hidden than they had been.

The most notorious serial killer case in Italy is almost unknown in America, so it’s one riveting surprise after another when American thriller writer Douglas Preston and Italian journalist Mario Spezi collaborate. Fourteen lovers stalked and killed in the Florentine hillside. The crime scenes point at the same brutal, precise, and sexually impotent killer. But this isn’t “Silence of the Lambs” with a Tuscan twist.  With only enough evidence for a theory, the Italian judicial system arrests, convicts, and ruins a motley cast of innocents. Careers need building; resumes need padding, and so much face-saving results in so many miscarriages of justice.

“Law and Order” would have us believe there are always clues, and that justice is always served. But evil isn’t so easy to arrest.

-Jay Cullis

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