Extended Audio Sample

Download The Monster of Florence Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Monster of Florence Audiobook, by Douglas Preston Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (12,339 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Douglas Preston Narrator: Dennis Boutsikaris Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781600242106
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 0 votes

In the tradition of John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, Douglas Preston weaves a captivating account of crime and punishment in the lush hills of Florence, Italy.

Douglas Preston fulfilled a lifelong dream when he moved with his family to a villa in Florence in the year 2000. 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.

With the gripping suspense of Preston’s bestselling novels, The Monster of Florence tells a remarkable and harrowing chronicle of murder, mutilation, suicide, and vengeance—with Preston and Spezi caught in the middle.

Download and start listening now!

BK_HACH_000105

Quotes & Awards

  • In an interview on the final disc, Preston describes his and Spezi's journalistic search for the still-at-large infamous serial killer of the title as "the dark side of Under the Tuscan Sun." It's that and more: a chilling personal account of their investigation and how the authors incurred the wrath of bungling members of the Italian judiciary and were themselves accused of the crimes. Told from Preston's point of view, Dennis Boutsikaris's crisp, intelligent vocal rendition reflects the various stages of the author's life in Italy: his delight in arriving with wife and young son at a lovely villa in Florence, his surprise in hearing that a grisly double murder was committed in the villa's olive grove, his fascination with Spezi's stories of The Monster, and eventually his astonishment, frustration, anger and fear upon discovering that he and Spezi are suspects in the murders. Boutsikaris is particularly effective in giving voice to the author's rueful and yet wistful final thoughts. Publishers Weekly
  • “Remarkable…Preston knows how to load his storytelling with intriguing evidence and damning details. His feverish style keeps the reader turning with the hope of uncovering the killer’s identity.”

    USA Today

  • The Monster of Florence is the most exasperating true-crime book in years, because the Italian authorities seem determined to spin the wildest fantasies rather than following actual clues…When Preston is questioneda bout whether he and Spezi planted evidence to prove their version of the crime, the book’s through-the-looking-glass tension is almost unbearable. Although The Monster of Florence doesn’t solve the case, presenting only a likely story, its headlong rush into the horror of official incompetence is more than compensation for the real-life loose ends.”

    AV Club

  • “A dark and fascinating descent into a landscape of horror that deserves to be shelved between In Cold Blood and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Engrossing…Boutsikaris’ reading nicely captures the disbelief and frustration of Preston and Spezi as they encounter lying witnesses and impenetrable officials at every turn…This excellent reading of an excruciatingly tangled true-crime story should attract listeners in droves… Boutsikaris’ narration is clear and easy to follow, even as he explains complexities of the Italian judicial system.”

    Booklist (starred audio review)

  • “This suspenseful procedural reveals much about the dogged writing team as well as the motives of the killers. Better than some overheated noir mysteries, this bit of real-life Florence bloodletting makes you sweat and think, and presses relentlessly on the nerves.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Dennis Boutsikaris’ crisp, intelligent vocal rendition reflects the various stages of the author’s life in Italy: his delight in arriving with wife and young son at a lovely villa in Florence, his surprise in hearing that a grisly double murder was committed in the villa’s olive grove, his fascination with Spezi’s stories of the Monster, and eventually his astonishment, frustration, anger, and fear upon discovering that he and Spezi are suspects in the murders. Boutsikaris is particularly effective in giving voice to author’s rueful and yet wistful final thoughts.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “Dennis Boutsikaris navigates Italian names and places with ease as all the chief suspects are acquitted or released from prison. He also shows impressive talent in later scenes when Preston and Spezi’s continued investigation compels prosecutors to save face by jailing Spezi and interrogating Preston for obstructing justice.”

    AudioFile

  • “Preston teamed up with Italian journalist and ‘Monsterologist’ Spezi to write an article—and became part of the story…Truth is truly stranger than fiction, as lives are destroyed, reputations are ruined, and evidence is manufactured to fit the suspect-of-the-month. Preston fans and true-crime fans are sure to riveted.”

    Library Journal

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month: June 2008
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice, September 2013
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick for 18 Creepily Fascinating True Crime Books You Really Need to Read
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma | 2/13/2014

    " Interesting true serial murder case, but rather badly written and constructed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liesl McQuillan | 2/9/2014

    " If I ever had musings of moving to Tuscany, this book and the Amanda Knox trial have convinced me otherwise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 2/7/2014

    " This was quite a thrilling story! It was hard to keep track of characters at certain points, but the larger story was so engrossing that it didn't really matter. It does not portray the Italian justice system in an esteemed light, which is especially interesting in light of the recent Amanda Knox case. Quite unbelievable actually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anastasia | 2/6/2014

    " Its good until and after a point where Preston is figuring out the name of the killer. After stating that he learned all facts there are about the case, he questions Spezi and waits for an answer like a little girl. A little too cheesy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dwan Tape | 2/3/2014

    " The writing varied in quality, occasionally egregiously so, but towards the end the story becomes especially interesting. Beach read material. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 2/1/2014

    " I enjoyed this book but it really made me appreciate the American justice system. This is the true story of what happened after a series of murders occurred in Florence Italy starting in the 1960's. Young couples who were parked beside olive groves were murdered and the unknown murderer was called the Monster of Florence. The book focuses on the reporter who worked for the local newspaper and who reported the events. It seemed like the police went from person to person and everyone they interviewed was arrested for the crime at one point. Douglas Preston, who is co-author of the Pendergast series, moved to Florence with his family in the 1980's. He became aware of the murders and met the reporter, Mario Spezi. They collaborated on an article about the murders. Suddenly, a conspiracy theorist who ran an internet blog, pointed her finger at the Mario Spezi and he was arrested as being the Monster. Douglas Preston was called in for questioning and had to flee from Italy. The Italian process of "saving face" made the police look at people who could have had no way or reason to murder six people. The story is one that you can't put down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 1/21/2014

    " This should be read before the book A murder in Italy. It really gives u insight into Italian so called "law" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 1/20/2014

    " I read this book some time ago because I am a great fan of Douglas Preston. This one I found especially fascinating because it is not a work of fiction, but rather one of reporting. In fact, Preston's investigation into the crimes described in the book got him kicked out of Italy. For an incredible and chilling read this is one of the best I've seen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Raine | 1/7/2014

    " A fascinating account of a shocking true crime and the even more shocking investigation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Dumont | 12/28/2013

    " Such a disturbing story! The corruption makes my blood boil. Well written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 12/26/2013

    " An extremely insightful look into the Italian justice system! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karol | 12/19/2013

    " Loved this book. I actually hiked through Florence/Tuscany and actually found myself in a number of the places talked about in the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 12/18/2013

    " Fascinating crime read. Will make you reconsider committing a crime in Italy ;) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alvin | 12/11/2013

    " This book is phenominal, a rare combination of true story, literary fiction and thriller rolled into one. I loved learning about the odd history of Florence and its Monster! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 7/11/2013

    " I chose this book from an online review I read, it was a slow start but very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah | 5/18/2013

    " "Eravamo compagni di merende." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mafe Rosario | 1/10/2013

    " What a great, mysterious and intriguing story ! Loved that he mentioned the Amanda Knox case ... I recommend it to everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 11/11/2012

    " .....and the prosecutor in this book is the same one who prosecuted Amanda Knox. No wonder she never got a fair trial! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Morgan | 7/2/2012

    " If I had one complaint, I would say that this book just had so many facts to keep up with, it could be exhausting. It is a true story though, so the facts are important and significant. Very haunting and thrilling - a real life murder mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Val | 5/22/2012

    " Excellent book - I could not put it down. The combination of the history, the locale, and the horrible fascination of this true story is amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Lenza | 4/11/2012

    " Chilling true story of a serial killer on the loose in the Italian countryside. Preston intersperses his narrative with history of the region, especially the tension between Sardinia and mainland Italy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi Mangan | 1/13/2012

    " I gave up true crime long ago after scaring myself so silly I couldn't sleep. A friend recommended I read this and I'm so glad I did. The case itself is fascinating and the ineptitude of the Italian police shocking. An absorbing read well worth a few sleepless nights. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 9/9/2011

    " This was one of those read it in 3 days type of books. Fascinating. Very interested in the Amanda Knox case and am following it now in "real life". I wonder what the true story is... I always like this author. Especially when he co-writes with Lincoln Child. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeanette | 5/16/2011

    " A little too dry and uninteresting for my taste. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kali | 5/12/2011

    " I loved reading about one of Italy's most mysterious crimes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 5/8/2011

    " A great read! I wish I had known about this when I was there in 1990-91. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 4/27/2011

    " just started, so far its holding my interest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 4/26/2011

    " It was an interesting perspective, told from the reporter who reported on the cases and from an american in Italy. I left wanting to know more, and, of course, wanting to know the answer! "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston, a regular contributor to the New Yorker, worked for the American Museum of Natural History. He is an expert horseman who has ridden thousands of miles across the West. He and author Lincoln Child have cowritten numerous bestselling thrillers.

About the Narrator

Dennis Boutsikaris has won two Obie Awards, one for his performance in Sight Unseen, and played Mozart in Amadeus on Broadway. Among his films are W.Batteries Not Included, The Dream Team, and Boys on the Side. He is a recipient of both Audie and Earphones Awards and has read over 140 audiobooks.