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Book Review: Unmasked- My Life Solving America's Cold Cases

Unmasked was written by Paul Holes and published by Celadon Books in 2022. You can purchase it on Amazon/Kindle and you can visit the author on Amazon and on social media.

I respect what detectives and others in the criminal justice system have to deal with, especially in their attempt to solve a cold case.

Paul Holes became interested in the criminal world when he was watching the TV show Quincy as a kid. The main character in the series was a medical examiner who routinely engaged himself in police investigations and helped to solve crimes. He watched and one day he said, "That's what I want to do!" And so, it began. Mr. Holes started at the bottom and worked his way up in the profession, from being a crime lab assistant to eventually becoming a detective and then as an administrator with the Sheriff's Department in Contra Costa County, California. He is proud of helping to solve cold cases, from Laci Peterson to Jaycee Dugard to the Pittsburg homicides and his dogged and determined hunt for the Golden State Killer. His interest in GSK started in 1994 and he describes it as a "passing hobby" that eventually consumed his life, and he acknowledges that he has sacrificed relationships in his pursuit of evil. Investigating murderous crime scenes was a passion that he couldn't escape, causing him to lock up his feelings after seeing the horrors of a killing and how it destroyed the lives of the families and friends of the victims. In the end, GSK, Joseph DeAngelo, was caught and brought to justice as a result of the work that Paul Holes worked so many years on, but it took its toll.

This is not a book for the squeamish, as it gives descriptions of real-life murders and the impact that it has on all that become involved. So many have the false impression that people like Paul Holes, a professional criminalist, are able to do their jobs and not let what they see and hear every day affect them. This is the major take away from reading this book. It allows us to see what's within all of those "locked up feelings". It gave me a deeper respect for what detectives and others in the criminal justice system have to deal with, especially in their attempts to solve a cold case. Well written and compelling. Could not put it down.

Unmasked is a must read!

I give Unmasked 5 out of 5 stars.

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