Review: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

411n3qI1+eL.jpgA masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer – the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorised California for over a decade – from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case. ‘You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.’ 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, 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. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic – and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

My review:

During last December, I had a very non-fiction week where I read three non-fiction books, two of which were true crime. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark was a truly fantastic read and I found it incredibly thrilling.

I first knew about this book when Renee told me she was reading it and as soon as the real killer was caught last year, I knew I had to read it too. The case was too fascinating. I did buy it several months ago but it wasn’t until I stopped checking my “blogging calendar” that I was able to blindly pick a book from the shelves without worrying about what I should read next. It was an amazing experience.

I love how real and down to earth Michelle seems from what she writes. She’s a normal woman married to an actor, and who happens to be a bit -okay, REALLY- interested in serial killers and unsolved cases, particularly the Golden State Killer (a nickname she created, by the way).

Although you already know how the story ends, that doesn’t make this book less interesting. I find it super tragic that Michelle died before her work was published and that this book was published before the killer got caught -only some months later-. Isn’t life weird?

Even if you don’t usually read true crime, this is a great book that’s never boring and it keeps you turning the pages as if you were reading pure fiction.

Are you familiar with the GSK case? What did you think of this book? Would you ever think of starting an investigation on a cold case on your own? 💙

Review: Born A Crime by @Trevornoah #NonFiction


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Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

These past few months I’ve been meaning to read outside my comfort zone more often so I thought it would be a good idea to add more non-fiction books to my TBR. Born A Crime caught my attention because I had read Hum If You Don’t Know The Words and became really interested in reading about South Africa and Apartheid. I didn’t know Trevor Noah (yeah, sorry!) but I started watching some of his monologues and had a bit of a crush on him. After reading his book, I was completely in love.

Born A Crime was exactly the kind of non-fiction book I’ve looked for all my life. It practically read like fiction and at the same time I learned a lot about the country and its traditions. It was both funny (sometimes hilarious) and sad, because it dealt with some tough topics and, obviously, because of Apartheid. But Trevor Noah has a unique way of telling his story that made me smile with every single chapter.

The book kept me interested during all of Trevor’s journey and, honestly, I would’ve read a hundred pages more. He was honest and fun to read about, he was smart, resourceful and caring, and he made mistakes but acknowledged them afterwards. Based on his memoirs, he seems like a great guy and I would definitely read another book by him.

I liked how he talked about topics like racism and discrimination, I admire his principles and I l mostly loved the way he narrated every anecdote, turning them into a big story and making me care about every small detail he mentioned about his family or his school days. His mother was a fascinating person too and the last part of the book was quite heartbreaking.

All in all, this is my favorite non-ficion book so far and I would definitely recommend it even if you’re like me: mostly a fiction girl.

Spiegel and Grau, 2016