Review: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (2018)

Genre: Adult Crime Nonfiction
Year Release: 2020
Source: Library Audiobook

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Listened to the audiobook
Trigger warning: graphic discussions of murder, sexual assault, and home invasion

Being the fan of true crime that I am, I had heard so many amazing things about McNamara’s work. With my recent interest in nonfiction, especially, i thought it was finally time to dive into this piece of true crime canon.

The writing is incredible. This account covers all the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer’s movements and crimes, in addition to the police work and investigation that went into finding out his identity. Some of this material might get quit dry, as far as the data collection goes, but McNamara has such a knack for keeping the reader on their toes. But she also had such a way of adding dimension to each of the victims. There is as much empathy on every page as there is dogged perseverance in uncovering this monster’s identity. The passion for bringing his face to light infused every anecdote and every fact presented in a way more reminiscent of a memoir.

The editors deserve much credit as well. McNamara died before the book could be completed. The way they put together her notes and findings flowed seamlessly with the finished parts of the manuscripts, highlighted only by the editorial notes appended to those chapters.

A memoir as much as it is a true crime nonfiction, this harrowing read left me with a sense that someone out there cares about solving cold cases and unsolved crimes. Though DNA had been what led to the killer’s arrest in 2018, that does not at all diminish the volume of research that went into this thorough account.

2 thoughts on “Review: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (2018)

  1. Pingback: November 2020 Reading Recap | Jo Writes Fantasy

  2. Pingback: Review: UNMASKED: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes (2022) | Jo Writes Fantasy

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