Read the first five paragraphs of Douglas Preston's
The Monster of Florence, a true crime story,
and predict what you think is going to happen next?
I hope you found the first page of the story interesting. Now answer these questions to test your ability to understand the text.
First of all, see if you can remember the answers. Write your answers in full to practice your writing skills.
Then read the text again and check.
1. How long had the family been living in Italy at the time?
2. What were the two famous landmarks mentioned?
3. What was the olive grove famous for?
4. Why was the narrator curious about this murder site?
5. Who did the narrator arrange to meet?
6. During their conversation what did Mario Spezi do?
7. Who murdered the seven couples in the hills?
8. What do these numbers mean: 100,000, dozens, scores?
9. What did the narrator and Spezi decide to do?
10. What happened in the end?
Here are the answers:
1. How long had the family been living in Italy at that time? They had been living in Florence for six years.
2. What were the two famous landmarks? The two famous landmarks were two villas: one owned by the explorer who named America and another said to have been designed by Michelangelo and used by Prince Charles.
3. What was the olive grove famous for? It had been the site of two double murders.
4. Why was the narrator curious about this murder site? He was curious because he was a murder mystery writer.
5. Who did the narrator arrange to meet? A reporter called Mario Spezi, who was an expert on the murder case.
6. During their conversation what did Mario Spezi do? He smoked, drank espresso and wrote in his notebook.
7. Who murdered the seven couples in the hills? Nobody knows. The cases hadn't been solved.
8. What do these numbers mean: 100,000, dozens, scores? A hundred-thousand people were investigated by the police, more than a dozen people were arrested and scores of people's lives had been ruined.
9. What did the narrator and Spezi decide to do? They decided to work together to catch the murderer.
10. What happened in the end? Spezi was arrested and jailed for three weeks and the narrator had to leave Italy and was not allowed to return.
For writing practice try writing the next five paragraphs of the story.
Firstly, make notes. Think about how the story might develop and introduce more characters who could be important to the story.
When you've finished, email your text to me and I'll check it out. I'm curious to know what ideas you had.
Remember to use the past tenses to tell the story:
past simple, past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous, just as in the story above.