Once again, I only read one book in the last week. And once again, it was a non-fiction book. The difference is that, while last week was a book about everyday sexism in current times, this week was a true crime book about murders in the vein of Jack the Ripper a few decades ago.
I quite like reading true crime novels, especially when they are about murder. There is nothing quite as chilling or scary as reading a book about a gruesome killing, or series of killings, which happened in real life, and yet they’re also often fascinating examinations of the killer’s psychology, motives, the crimes and the investigations, all taken from actual events.
For reference, the way I rate is as follows:
1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved
The Monster of Florence: A True Story by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi
The Monster of Florence take a look at a series of murders from Italy’s very own ‘Jack the Ripper’, splitting the events into two parts: ‘The Story of Mario Spezi’, an investigative journalist who became heavily involved the case from the beginning and gave the killer their pseudonym; the second part is ‘The Story of Douglas Preston’, an American Journalist who moved to Florence long after the murders and befriends Spezi. The former part explores the investigation at the time of the murders; the latter part looks at the continuing investigation long after the final death and recounts how Preston and Spezi ended up caught in the middle of it.
It took a few chapters to get used to the writing style and the manner in which Preston was telling the story but, once I did, I was hooked. The story of The Monster of Florence is interesting but also incredibly frustrating, the latter of which only increases the further you get through the book. Preston goes over each aspect of the case in great detail and, while there is clear bias, he does go into the opposing theories and lines of investigation. This includes the descent of the investigation into conspiracy theories. A number of times, the book did feel like it had strayed into fiction but a quick google into the facts of the case only demonstrate how surreal it got at times. It was certainly a fascinating read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in true crime.
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