I have tried so hard to separate my emotions from this book. I originally wanted to read it without the hype, and to be honest, I planned to wait a while before reading it to let the Bookstagram buzz die down so I could have an open mind. Well, the arrest completely changed that for me and I had to get my hands on a copy. I’m telling you all that because I’m sure there are others like me, certain that it will be a let down. I don’t say this very often, so listen carefully: I was SO WRONG.
First things first, this book truly isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s graphic, tragic, and truly shows how humans can be more horrific than the most terrifying monsters. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, the Golden State Killer is a serial rapist and murderer that has remained a cold case for 40 years. His victims include 55+ rapes and 10+ murders (known) in California. This case became a source of obsession for Michelle McNamara and she, along with her cyber sleuths on TrueCrimeDiary.com. Then, in 2016, Michelle suddenly abruptly passed away, leaving her husband and colleagues to determine the outcome of her life’s work.
This wasn’t a detached retelling of a crime, a calm and collected report devoid of emotion and passion. It was frenzied, graphic, and left me with a taste of the obsession that plagued Michelle. She devoted her entirely life to finding this killer, sacrificing time with her friends and family in search of the truth. She doesn’t paint herself as a martyr, but rather a woman obsessed. She felt obligated to share the stories of those effected, even if it cost her livelihood (or ultimately, perhaps her life).
“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”
To be entirely honest, I was a bit concerned when I heard that the story would be released post-mortem, even though it wasn’t finished. I mean, this was her baby, and anyone that interfered would change her vision. I am thrilled to report that after reading the story, I no longer have that concern. It was the perfect memorial for her work, and it so beautifully accentuated her efforts.
Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you’ve heard about the recent arrest of a suspect in the GSK case. Michelle herself actually warns us about falling for a suspect too quickly, so I’m trying to remain calm until the verdict. At the end of the day, I hope for the victims to finally receive justice they so desperately deserve and, as Patton so perfectly says:
“I’m still hoping he hears that cell door slam behind him. And I hope she hears it somehow too.”