Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Title: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Author: Michelle McNamara

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Harper

The Blurb

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

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, 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.

At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic—capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim—he favored suburban couples—he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening.

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. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

The Review

True crime fascinates me. Not to the extent that is fascinated Michelle McNamara. She became obsessed with the Golden State Killer and made it her mission to find out as much as she could. Sadly, she did not live long enough to see him incarcerated. 

The book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a thorough account of criminal activity that took place across America. The crimes were heinous and led to the infamy of the killer. After reading the book, you get the sense that Michelle McNamara missed her calling in life and that she should have been a police officer in charge of homicide. Her dogged determination would have been an asset to any police force.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a brilliant read if True Crime is your genre. 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara is available now.

For more information regarding Harper (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page. 

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