I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

Feels like: everything you love about a psychological crime thriller, except it’s real.

Sounds like: the My Favorite Murder podcast (which, if you’re not listening to, you should.)

Fans of True Crime rejoice, you have found your new bible.

If you’ve already plowed through everything Ann Rule and you’re chomping at the bit for something that feels heart-wrenchingly personal and nail-bitingly scary, Michelle McNamara has you covered. This book is everything you’ll want in a true crime thriller. It’ll keep you up at night and make you triple check you’ve locked your doors. And that’s not hyperbole. I really did that.

Michelle McNamara was a true crime journalist who created and wrote for TrueCrimeDiaries.com. She was investigating the sadistic rape and murders committed by the Golden State Killer (her nomenclature) when she unexpectedly passed away in 2016. Sifting through years of data, files, and articulated evidence, Michelle’s husband Patton Oswalt and a band of motley detective friends finalized her book for posthumous publication this year.

We are all grateful for their efforts, because Michelle’s writing is phenomenal. Her lyrical prose take you on a journey from her child’s playroom (lovingly doubling as her writing office) to the streets of Northern California some three decades earlier, where the darkness of night hides a notorious rapist plaguing the citizens of sleepy suburbs. The Golden State Killer committed over fifty sexual assaults and ten sadistic murders. He has never been identified.

I’m grateful I chose to listen to this as an audiobook. I tend to listen to my true crime rather than read. It feels like a good friend is telling me a story, which makes the gruesomeness of the facts easier to digest. The narrator’s voice is soothing and conveys Michelle’s story with compassion and clarity.

You can feel how deeply personal this case had become for Michelle, how much of her life she had given to the pursuit. There are so many false starts, high hopes, and wrong turns. Just when she thinks she’s onto something, the evidence sends her (and you) spinning into another direction.

There are so many others taking up the gauntlet now. I’m excited to be living in a time where I’m convinced this monster will be unmasked.


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