Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime
Rating: 5.0/5.0 Stars
Main Takeaway: Immaculately researched content, amazingly woven narrative, and an inspiring account of the difference one person can make. Must read (just not at night)!
In this true crime novel, Michelle McNamara, who was a true crime blogger and reporter, pieces together for the first time the various crimes committed by the Golden State Killer (AKA, The East Area Rapist & The Original Night Stalker), in an effort to finally put a face to the injustices. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, incomplete at the time of Michelle’s death and published before the capture of the Golden State Killer, weaves together the case of the Golden State Killer, who ravaged California throughout the 70s and 80s, with McNamara’s own tales of her obsession with this case.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark gave me chills. I had goosebumps as I read accounts of what the Golden State Killer had said to his victims. I shut this book and violently threw it across the room when I realized I had been too absorbed in it to realize the sun had gone down, night had arrived, and I was sitting alone in my apartment. This book was scary (I now proudly own pepper spray because of it), but it was also incredibly detailed and the narrative read naturally like a story.
This book deals with hard topics. It’s not easy to read stories of women being raped, of men and women in fear of being killed, of gruesome murder scenes, of real life cold blooded killers. Before I started this novel, I fully expected to have a hard time making my way through the case, and I was completely surprised when I did not. McNamara knew these tough topics, and she knew how to present them. McNamara knew just how much detail was enough to get her point across, and she never once crossed the line. McNamara knew that shocking detail was not necessary to absorb the reader in this case, because the case is shocking enough as it is. Above all, she knew how important it was to find justice for the victims of the Golden State Killer, and her dedication to this cause radiates from the pages.