Teaser Tuesday: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I generally don’t tease a non-fiction read, but it would actually be criminal not to share a book of this caliber. I have spent the last five days inside this story, (it could easily be read in two) it has crept under my skin, meandered through my thoughts during waking hours and flowed through my subconscious during fitful sleeps.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer | Michelle McNamara, 328 pgs.


TEASER TUESDAY is a weekly book meme hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can join, just open your current read to a random page and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences (no spoilers, just enticing bait to lure would-be readers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments.

*I’ve abandoned the ‘random-page’ Teaser rules in this post because I handpicked the quote. No other passage better illuminates McNamara’s motivation and fervor for writing this laboriously researched account. Reading her story, also touched upon in the book, leaves the reader doubtless that she was meant to write it.

“It was a heady feeling, the idea that one could conjure a man from a stain on a calico patchwork quilt from 1978, that one could reverse the flow of power. If you commit murder and then vanish, what you leave behind isn’t just pain but absence, a supreme blankness that triumphs over everything else. The unidentified murderer is always twisting a doorknob behind a door that never opens. But his power evaporates the moment we know him. We learn his banal secrets. We watch as he’s led, shackled and sweaty, into a brightly lit courtroom as someone seated several feet higher peers down unsmiling, raps a gavel, and speaks, at long last, every syllable of his birth name.”

A brief synopsis to make better light of what just a fraction of IBGitD entails:

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.” -Goodreads

Reading this story has changed me in small and profound ways. In the very least it has robbed me of some peaceful nighttime moments, but it also led me into heightened awareness, a deeper understanding of crimes against women, the dedication of police detectives and the unwavering humanity of one non-fiction writer. I haven’t read a lot of true crime, but of what I have, this is by far the most unrivaled I’ve seen and believe I may ever see. The most gripping, and I predict BEST book I’ll read this year.

2 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

  1. The snippet you included here sucked me right in. That line about the doorknob – wow, what power in a few words. I’m going to read this, and I usually steer clear of non-fiction stories about murderers. Years ago a book was written about a woman I knew, killed by her husband. The book was written by a famous true-crime author, and I saw too many things she did that were hurtful to the victims. Kind of soured me on the genre. But this one seems far different.


    1. Your book sounds horribly unfair.
      Yes! I included that memorable passage for that very reason. Michelle’s words stir so much emotion and passion, I sensed immediately this book was going to be different. The crimes are nightmarish and she doesn’t back away from it, but never provides salacious detail or writes gratuitously.
      It’s a well-balanced book that is about the dedication and hope of the GSK’s pursuers. I’ve refrained from reading up on the latest news about the case, but plan to do so right after I finish. I hope you do check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

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