The Monster of Florence - Douglas Preston Mario Spezi is a reporter fascinated with the Monster of Florence case that has never been solved. After sucking Douglas Preston in with his fervor, Mario and Douglas endeavor to finally solve this mystery. The book is divided into two sections, Mario's story and Douglas' story. Mario details all the craziness of various investigations performed by various Italian law enforcement agencies while Preston's seems more like memoir with irrelevant family (his family) doings and more a recap of what Mario stated than any real investigation.

Once I got past the introduction and had the basics of the case, the story just flowed and I was sucked in. The incompetence of the Italian police was truly a revelation. The entire Italian investigation was a farce with arrests left and right based on innocuous details that meant nothing and could barely be called evidence. They didn't even secure the crime scenes - letting any and everybody just walk on through. How in the world could they know what evidence was really evidence and not just detritus?

Spezi spotted the squad car of the local carabinieri marshal and pulled off next to it. All was quiet: Cimmino and his squad hadn't arrived, nor had the medical examiner or anyone else. The carabinieri officer guarding the site knew Spezi (a reporter) and did not stop him as he nodded a greeting and walked past. He continued down a small dirt path through an olive grove to the foot of a lonely cypress. There, just beyond, he saw the scene of the crime, which had not been secured or sealed off. p11

Each person of interest was immediately arrested and jailed with such ridiculous evidence it was laughable. Each supposed "monster" was immediately released from jail upon the commission of the next murder. Each time this happened, a new "agency" took control of the investigation and took it into even more ridiculousness. This is supposed to be a heinous murder investigation, yet I found myself rolling my eyes and laughing at the antics of these imbeciles. I just couldn't understand how the juries/judges could believe the asinine claims of the police, prosecutors and witnesses. Heck just plain common sense could tell you that these claims were improbably given the evidence or lack there of.

As Douglas Preston states on page 202 - They cared more about saving face (apparently an Italian thing) than saving lives, more about pushing their careers than putting the Monster behind bars. This about sums up the entire investigation.

So in review, I really liked Douglas Preston's book but the investigation itself was shameful and those Italian "cops" should be questioned by internal affairs (except they don't have anything like that over there.)