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Book Review: I'll Be Gone in the Dark

Updated: Feb 7



I'll Be Gone in the Dark was written by Michelle McNamara and published by Harper Perennial in 2019. You can purchase it on Amazon/Kindle.


Michelle's efforts to stay on the case should be commended to the highest degree and her writing ability is exceptional.


1974 was the start of one of the most horrific and disturbing crime sprees in California and American history. The rapes, burglaries and murders would not end until 1986. Northern California saw fifty sexual assaults and then this mysterious and violent predator moved into southern California where he committed at least thirteen murders. The killings, burglaries and rapes stopped in 1986 but the work of detectives and numerous police agencies went on for years in efforts to capture the perpetrator. Communities remained nervously on edge knowing that this evil monster was still lurking around, but decades would pass without resolution to these heinous crimes.


Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist latched onto the story, determined to locate the psychopath that she called the "Golden State Killer". Her tenacity and unwavering obsessive efforts kept her going morning, noon and night; where she poured over police reports, interviewed victims and visited online communities who were just as determined as she was to somehow find the guy who was responsible for so much upheaval and tragedy. The energy and time that Michelle put forth, ended up being a factor in her death. She died in 2016 from an undiagnosed heart condition, combined with a mix of drugs that she took in order for her to sleep. I'll Be Gone in the Dark was still being written at the time of her death and the Golden State Killer was still at large. But her dream of unmasking him would soon be fulfilled.


Michelle's efforts to stay on the case, like a dog on a bone, should be commended to the highest degree, as her ability to keep the case in the forefront of the community's attention was instrumental in bringing ultimate justice to the people. Aside from all of the research and hard work she did on the case, her talented writing ability gripped me and kept me eagerly glued to the page. I only wish she could have lived to see the day of the monster's mug shot. She was a very accomplished writer and it's sad we didn't see more from her because of her passing.


This is a must read!


I give I'll Be Gone in the Dark 5 out of 5 stars.

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