I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

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McNamara sketches a hypothetical but hopeful scene in which a car pulls up to the kerb and detectives emerge to finally arrest the monster who has eluded them for more than 40 years. You can’t help but believe that had McNamara lived, that outcome might have been a little more likely.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Introduction by Gillian Flynn
Afterword by Patton Oswalt

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark will undoubtedly be stocked in the True Crime section, which is fine, but in so many ways it’s a brilliant genre-buster. It’s propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading, which makes it all too easy to ignore the clean and focused writing.

What readers need to know—what makes this book so special—is that it deals with two obsessions, one light and one dark. The Golden State Killer is the dark half; Michelle McNamara’s is the light half. It’s a journey into two minds, one sick and disordered, the other intelligent and determined. I loved this book.”   —Stephen King

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

"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’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

 

About Michelle McNamara

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Published February 27, 2018 by Harper. 340 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Critic reviews for I'll Be Gone in the Dark
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Stephen J. Lyons on Mar 23 2018

Her dogged reporting makes “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” both hard to read and hard to put down. The accounts from survivors are nightmarish and the crime scenes of the homicide victims are disturbing.

Read Full Review of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Jeremy Lybarger on Mar 21 2018

McNamara sketches a hypothetical but hopeful scene in which a car pulls up to the kerb and detectives emerge to finally arrest the monster who has eluded them for more than 40 years. You can’t help but believe that had McNamara lived, that outcome might have been a little more likely.

Read Full Review of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One... | See more reviews from Guardian

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Robert Wiersema on Mar 09 2018

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark stands as a testament to that work, a masterpiece of reportage and inquiry.

Read Full Review of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

https://www.20somethingreads.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Alex Bowditch on Mar 09 2018

I absolutely loved I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK. It’s a must-read for any true crime fan. Upon finishing, I only wish that the world could have been fortunate enough to have received more work from this brilliant woman.

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http://ew.com

Good
Reviewed by DAVID CANFIELD on Feb 20 2018

While McNamara was — spoiler alert — ultimately unable to unmask the killer’s identity, her book is reflective and candid in such a way that it still produces revelations.

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https://www.bookreporter.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Alex Bowditch on Mar 09 2018

I absolutely loved I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK. It’s a must-read for any true crime fan. Upon finishing, I only wish that the world could have been fortunate enough to have received more work from this brilliant woman.

Read Full Review of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One...

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