October 18, 2018

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Synopsis:
"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 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.
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 have to start this review by saying – I LOVE THIS BOOK. I feel so passionately that it is, without a doubt, one of the best True Crime books ever written. If you’re a fan of True Crime, don’t even bother finishing this review, just go right down to the amazon link and purchase it.

Now, this book is about the Golden State Killer, so it is full of horrific details. If you aren’t prepared for topics of rape and murder, this one isn’t for you – fair warning. I think Michelle does a great job of taking you straight to the scene without making the experience of reading way too overwhelming. She gives a lot of detail but knows when to pull back. That said – these topics are not triggering to me, so I understand that someone else’s experience may be vastly different from mine.

Not only is I’ll Be Gone in the Dark about the horrific moments in the lives of California residents, but also it’s about Michelle and her relentless pursuit of the truth. She brought every incident to life with her words. It’s deeply moving, it’s gripping, it’s heart wrenching. It’s just an incredibly written novel and quickly shot up my list to one of my favorite books of all time.

Reading this book is heartbreaking. After it was released, the Golden State Killer was caught. But, Michelle also passed away before the book was completed. Her obsession with finding this killer and not letting this case die surely led to the eventual discovery of his identity, but she was not alive to witness this historic moment. I almost felt empty when I turned the final page because her story was complete, but his keeps going.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a fantastic book. 10/5 stars.


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