Monday, July 14, 2008

The Monster of Florence

I'm a sucker for true-crime books and shows. If any of my neighbors ever go missing under mysterious circumstances, I'll be right there to help the cops.

I picked up this book last week because I couldn't find the book I really wanted. The trip to the bookstore was unplanned, so I didn't have my usual reading wish list with me. I also wanted to pick up Edith Wharton's Custom of the Country, but the store didn't have it in stock.

I am so glad I grabbed The Monster of Florence. I stayed up way too late two nights in a row because I couldn't stop reading.

The first half of the book deals with a series of gruesome murders in the hills around Florence. The killer stalked and killed couples "parking" in the hills, shooting the man and mutilating the woman in each case. To this day, the murders have not officially been solved.

The second half deals with the botched investigations and trials and the eventual involvement of the authors in the cases. They were both investigated as part of a grand plot initiated by a secret sect of devil worshippers. One of the authors, Mario Spezi, ended up in prison for a time because the judge in the case was convinced he was actually the murderer.

While the murders have never officially been solved, the authors leave little doubt as to who they think is responsible, and given the evidence they present, I'd have to agree.

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