Michelle McNamara's devastating passing in 2016 was the first time I'd heard of her investigation into the criminal who would come to be known as the Golden State Killer. My curiosity was piqued when I learned that her manuscript would be published posthumously. McNamara's narrative deeply conveyed the palpable fear faced by the communities in which the GSK hunted. Paired with Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen, I had an exciting and eye-opening introduction to the genre of true crime. Recommended By Kara G., Powells.com
Tenacious, resourceful, and compassionate, Michelle McNamara pursued the elusive Golden State Killer tirelessly until her untimely death. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which chronicles that pursuit, is at once a gripping, keep-you-up-all-night, real-life whodunit; a testament to McNamara’s inimitable resolve; and an extraordinary parting gift from a talented writer. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
#1 New York Times Bestseller - The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case — which was solved in April 2018.
SCIBA Book Award Winner
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018.
Introduction by Gillian Flynn — Afterword by Patton Oswalt
"A brilliant genre-buster....Propulsive, can't-stop-now reading." Stephen King
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.
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. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic — one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
“Unputdownable.... Powerful.” Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
“This is a one sit-down read. That’s how riveting it is. Very few writers have the skill to bring a decades-old cold case to life; in these pages, Michelle McNamara has not only successfully resuscitated the fascinating case of the Golden State Killer, but done so with humanity, insight, and grace.” Michael Connelly
“A singular, fascinating read. It’s lifelike in its incompletion... a posthumous treasure that feels thrillingly alive. A-” Entertainment Weekly
“What makes McNamara’s work so compelling is her empathy and sensitivity toward the people touched by these crimes.... I wish I could read the next 10 books she would have written.” Los Angeles Times
“Both a vivid and meticulous investigation of a twisted predator who terrorized quiet, upper middle-class communities in California for nearly a decade, and a wrenching personal account from a writer who became consumed by her subject.” New York Times
About the Author
Michelle McNamara (1970–2016) was the author of the website True Crime Diary. She earned an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Minnesota, and had sold television pilots to ABC and Fox and a screenplay to Paramount. She also worked as a consultant for Dateline NBC. She lived in Los Angeles and is survived by her husband, Patton Oswalt, and their daughter, Alice.