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Extended Audio Sample The Monster of Florence, 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:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”


  • “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 New York Times Bestseller
  • 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

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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! "

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