Nonfiction · True Crime

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

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.” McNamara 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.

My Opinion:

This is a very creepy, fascinating, incredible story!

While reading this book I kept reminding myself that this is real! These things really happened! I read my fair share of mysteries, thrillers, suspense, and so on, but this is my first true crime. This book gave me an uneasy feeling unlike anything I have ever experienced. I am so grateful that the Golden State Killer has been captured, otherwise I may not be able to sleep at night.

To add to my uneasy feeling, this story takes place in my home state. In fact, many of the locations listed I have either lived in or visited over the years. To be clear I was not in the state of California during the years of his crime spree and in fact had never even heard of him until he was captured. Nonetheless, it was odd to read about the cities he terrorized, freeways he traveled, residential complexes he targeted, and many other landmarks that I am so familiar with.

It saddens me that so many people were either killed or have to live with the terror he caused them. There were many many missed opportunities to stop his reign of terror, but unfortunately he slipped away in the night. To me he didn’t seem particularly careful and it is quite amazing he eluded authorities for so long.

I cannot help but to be in awe of the amount of time, research, interviews, and so on that Michelle conducted. She clearly had a passion for solving the unsolvable and wanted nothing more than to bring this suspect to justice. It is such a shame that she didn’t get to see the fruits of her labor.

This is my first true crime story! I have been bitten by the true crime bug so I can guarantee you it will not be my last!

Book Details:

My Rating: 5/5
Genre: True Crime
Series: None
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 2/27/2018
Pages: 328 (Hardback)

*Book 8/20 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

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34 thoughts on “Book Review – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

      1. We’ve got The Stand next month, so maybe in September we can read something, as I won’t be on placement, and I’ll actually have time. I worked this past Saturday, a 13 hour shift, to ensure I’m off this coming weekend for 24in48!!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Her true crime books were unbelievable!! She actually worked with the serial killer, Ted Buddy, but didn’t know he was a murderer at the time. They were friends. She wrote a book about it called The Stranger Beside Me. I didn’t read that one. I think I’m going to go add it to my Amazon shopping cart for Prime Day deals today. 🏃🏾‍♀️

        Ann Rule died in 2015. 😔

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Fantastic review! I’m definitely going to read this one! I can’t imagine how scary it is to read about something that actually happened in your state even if you weren’t there when it happened. Serial killers fascinate me and I’ve read a lot of biographies of serial killers like Bundy, The Zodiac Killer, Jack the Ripper, Luis Garavito, and more so I know I would love reading this!!

    Liked by 1 person

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