When I first sat down to write my review of Chase Darkness With Me, I made a quick list of words I would use to describe its author, Billy Jensen:
I reread what I’d typed, mumbled “wait a minute” to myself, and went back to look at my review of Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. And sure enough:
Normally, this is where I’d shame myself for lazy writing and do the whole thesaurus thing, but here, the repetition feels warranted and actually kind of perfect. They were like-minded collaborators and friends, after all, and upon McNamara’s death, Jensen worked to ensure that her extraordinary — but at that point unfinished — book would be published. Their empathy for victims, tireless pursuit of justice, and insatiable desire for answers could not be more similar. Both their books kept me up way past my bedtime. I’m keeping the intro.
Tenacious, resourceful, and compassionate, Billy Jensen has made it his life’s work to ensure the monsters who commit heinous crimes don’t get away with it. In Chase Darkness With Me, he chronicles his journey from melodramatic teen goth to crime-solving trailblazer, shares the techniques and lessons he’s picked up along the way, and offers his strategy for tackling the 200,000+ unsolved murders in the U.S. since 1980 (hint: it involves YOU). The end result is a timely, empowering, and atypically hopeful addition to the true crime genre, and a deeply affecting tribute (I cried, often and in public) to those who have inspired and aided Jensen’s work. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Although he works in the shadows, you probably already know who Billy Jensen is. He helped finish Michelle McNamara's instant classic, I'll Be Gone in the Dark, he's been a guest on My Favorite Murder, and he's got a podcast with retired investigator Paul Holes called The Murder Squad. And now he's written a book of his own, one that's part true crime memoir, part how-to guide for aspiring amateur detectives. In contrast to the whirlwind of cases and suspects he writes about, Jensen's voice is measured and straightforward. He doesn't give up, even when the murderers he seeks are maddeningly just out of reach. He wholeheartedly believes in what he's doing and I believe in him too. Chase Darkness With Me is a smart, engaging glimpse into the work and determination that goes into solving mysteries. Recommended By Lauren P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
With an exclusive behind-the-scenes conversation between Billy Jensen and retired detective Paul Holes on the Golden State Killer, their favorite cold cases, and more
Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?
Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common — they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there.
But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.
You'll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You'll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara's pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools — and the rules — to help solve murders yourself.
Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you've read before.
"This unexpected and gripping book tells the fascinating story of a guy who was fed up with all the unsolved murders he was writing about and came up with a system to solve the crimes himself. True crime fans won’t be able to read it fast enough." John Douglas, former chief of FBI’s Investigative Supportive Support Unit and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit
"An intense, fascinating read for true crime lovers and newbies!" Patton Oswalt