Michelle McNamara is an amazing individual.

This novel has such a unique voice to it. I’m not usually one to read true crime, but there is just enough personal expression to keep the reader going.

To preface my review, let me give some background. Michelle McNamara was a crime blogger (truecrimediary) and wife to actor Patton Oswalt. She was driven, extremely intelligent, and dedicated to finding the Golden State Killer.

“Why are you so interested in crime?” people ask me, and I always go back to that moment in the alley, the shards of a dead girl’s Walkman in my hands. I need to see his face. He loses his power when we know his face.”
― Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

I read this book via audio and I was invested in every moment. Trying to describe the experience of absorbing the information Michelle McNamara compiled over her life is daunting. The sheer amount of effort and interest is exhausting and gripping. She was a woman possessed and it’s infectious.

I admit that I didn’t know much about the Golden State Killer prior to this book. In fact, I think most of us probably don’t know much about many serial killers. We probably know the big names or historically impactful names, but this one alluded me. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark made all the information starkly clear and horrifying.

The Golden State Killer is a monster. I say ‘is’ as he is still alive. In fact, he was caught this year. Which only makes this book more heart wrenching. If you’re not aware, Michelle McNamara passed away in 2016. She did not make it to see the killer identified, caught, and arrested.

“I don’t care if I’m the one who captures him. I just want bracelets on his wrists and a cell door slamming behind him.”

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” leaps genre, crosses preference, and will reach into the reader’s mind with a vengeance.

In the words of Gillian Flynn (who does the introduction for this book):

“I love reading true crime, but I’ve always been aware of the fact that, as a reader, I am actively choosing to be a consumer of someone else’s tragedy.”

If you’re not encouraged to read the novel, try and listen to the audio book. This is a book too good to miss and too well written to pass by.

Overall:
5 stars all around – absolutely phenomenal.

Fair warning, the book will make you paranoid.

Happy Reading!
~Ash


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