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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
By: Michelle McNamara
Paperback, 368 pages
Format: Physical copy from personal collection
Dates read: 01 Jan 2020 – 05 Jan 2020
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark —the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
I’ve always been a huge fan of true crime novels and this book did not disappoint me in the least. I had this book on my library hold list for over a year and still had a six month wait to go when someone graciously gave me a copy for Christmas. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to dive right in.
This book was so well written and the case so insane that at times you forget you are reading non-fiction. Michelle knew every detail and wrote with such ease that you are sucked into this book in the same way that you can get swept up into a work of fiction. You can’t help but feel like you are in the room with the Golden State Killer as he commits some of these crimes. At times I had to stop and remind myself that this case is real and the Golden State Killer is a real man out prowling around in a quiet neighborhood just like my own and not just the sick creation of some Hollywood director.
Even if you do not typically enjoy non-fiction books, do not miss this book – the 12 month library hold is worth every second. You will find yourself on the edge of your seat and riveted to this book as Michelle takes you deeper and deeper into the case.
Open the door. Show us your face.
Walk into the light.Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
I need to see his face. He loses his power when we know his face.Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Yet he was still out there blending in, a man whose ordinariness was his mask.Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Michelle McNamara was a screenwriter, journalist, and true crime writer. She was the founder of the blog “True Crime Diary,” which covers lesser-known crimes and cold cases. In 2005, she married comedian Patton Oswalt. They had one daughter together, born in 2009.
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