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I'll Be Gone in the Dark

One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)
Non-member price: $22.95
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Publisher's Summary

Short-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize 2018 

A 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 10 years, a mysterious and violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated 10 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 True Crime Diary, 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2018 Michelle McNamara (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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I’ll be gone in the dark

A bittersweet, beautifully written detective book. Michelle McNamara’s words run more like prose through your brain. An unforgettable turn of phrase here, a “spot-on”, perfect description there… Makes her work unique.
I’ve followed this case for years- fascinated by a monster that nobody could catch.
True Crime Podcasts, too numerous to count, have covered this case, in varying degrees of depth for years. I was hooked!
I was excited to buy the hard copy of “I’ll be gone in the dark”, when it first came out, in January 2018, and waited patiently for Audible Australia to release the audiobook here, many months later.
The absolute travesty of Michelle’s unexpected death, before she finished her story was made a little more sadder by knowing that, just weeks after her book was published, her Golden State Killer, was unmasked, through one of her suggested techniques, searching a DNA databank (i.e. GED Match), as Joseph James DeAngelo.
Know that your unbelievably hard work paid off. You got him, Michelle!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Hamish
  • Rock Valley
  • 19-01-2019

Was ok - Too much autobiography - Not enough case

I bought this expecting a true crime narrative - NOT the autobiography of a self absorbed journalist - I'm sorry - I know she's passed on - but hey - I really don't care that the author's high school crush reminded her of her Curious George doll way back when
The book is long winded - and appears to focus far too much on the author - and nowhere near enough on the case - if you want a fantastic true crime book - take a look at the zodiac account by robert graysmith - the guy manages to get through whole paragraphs - whole chapters! - without using the pronoun "I" !!!!
Yeah - lost interest in this book - didn't finish it - narrator was good...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Just listen to this, it’s captivating, I didn’t want it to finish - don’t bother with Evil has a Name.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful writing

Well researched, chilling and beautifully moving. Michelle is imortalised through love and compassion of colleagues and loved ones. a great listen for any true crime afficionados out there!

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good

It was wriitten weel and gives valuable insight into how I could do the same thing

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I have no words

Amazing writing by Michelle, and an amazing job collating all of her notes, pre-written chapters to bring us a marvellous book about her obsession with the GSK. I haven’t read a book this good in a long time.

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fantastic insights

A new perspective on the crimes committed. McNamara gives the victims a story and a life that the killer took from them.

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Obsession has a goal.

An interesting blend of true crime and biography. If you've heard of the Golden State Killer but want to know the chronology, how the crimes were identified in a time before the internet and how tech impacted the search across the decades, including Michelle's sleuthing, then you should listen to this.

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  • Aamir Butt
  • 25-02-2019

Needs an update

This book needs an update now that a lot has changed regarding pursuit of Golden state killer. Brilliant investigative book nonetheless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicola Kritzinger
  • 11-01-2019

Incredible Tenacity

Michelle McNamara is an inspiration to anyone who wishes to write. Her investigation was incredible. It’s thanks to people like Michelle that people can hopefully find closure. It’s so sad to think she didn’t live to see her work published or its major impact. Well worth a read or a listen. Performance is A+.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 26-11-2018

Dark, Compelling True Crime, But Material Missing!

This is a quite astonishing story, in fact maybe it's two stories. Michelle McNamara who sadly passed before the book could be finished and before the killer could be brought to justice lived an incredible obsession every day of her life. She did manage to write large parts of this story which was completed by her lead researcher and a close colleague. It covers her obsession which gets more understandable with every passing chapter. The Golden State Killer is an incredible story of how one single man was able to commit the most heinous of crimes over many years time after time while still evading capture. It almost beggars belief how he got away with it and baffled law enforcement agencies over decades.

The book tells that story and with Michelle's amazing depth of research it does it in detail. The lives that were destroyed: victims, family members, even children. It talks about how communities lived in fear of this man and how even the investigators that tried so hard but in vain to identify and capture him were left part-broken by their failures and constant disappointments. It talks about the online community of amateur sleuths of which Michelle was a part that kept the case alive dedicating their time to trying to solve the mystery and identify this seemingly phantom killer. Lastly it of course talks about the effect on Michelle's life and her relationships making the afterword by her husband incredibly poignant.

Tragically of course Michelle never got to see the moment she yearned for, the man finally caught and unmasked as she passed away in 2016 but this is a fine record as her legacy. It has to be said though that it's not the easiest of listens. At times it is a sad litany of evil crime after evil crime and the book goes into enough detail to make it problematic for anyone on the squeamish side. Also, unfortunately Audible have not included the pdf attachment that is supposed to come with the book which sounds like it would have been particularly useful towards the end as mapping techniques were discussed so while this is a five star book I've given four as a result.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer petamd
  • 25-11-2018

Brilliant

I was expecting a good read but this surpassed my expectations the wor!d of true crime has lost a true master of the genre with Michelle McNamara her family can be proud of this work

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank Cummins
  • 04-12-2018

What an amazing book!!

Michelle was not a detective but she was far more than an armchair sleuth. Really sad she died before the East Area Rapist was caught but one thing is certain, she knew he would be caught and virtually predicted it would be science that would get him. Well narrated by someone who was a fan of Michelle’s. Very happy I bought this book. It will be one I will return to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-03-2019

a beautifully written perspective

on a truly terrible story...
gone in the dark is a must read for anyone who has heard the story and wanted to know more.
the way some of the victims allowed their own stories to come through really personalised this perspective.

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  • Laura carr
  • 14-03-2019

Fantastic narrator

This book is beautifully written and meticulously researched. A sensitive and gentle approach to recounting details of vicious and terrifying events matched, with coldly factual descriptions of evidence and analysis and scathing conclusions as to the character of the killer, make this book a riveting page turner.

I am, however, listening to the book and not reading it, so I find the voice of the narrator vital to my enjoyment of a book, the only reason I have ever asked for a refund from Audible has been because of a bad narrator.

The narrator of this book is fantastic. Her tone is clear and professional, perfect for this book, and her voices for characters are subtle and help to differentiate when a character is speaking from the rest of the narration, without being too distracting.

I would highly recommend this book.

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  • daisyrock
  • 24-02-2019

If only she'd have lived to see the day...

I came to this after listening to Audible's excellent free download on the same topic: Evil Has a Name. McNamara deals with traumatic real crimes in a sensitive and compassionate way. Very interesting to see the twists and (wrong) turns taken by the various investigators.

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  • Paul Kosyl
  • 17-02-2019

outstanding book. I would highly recommend this.

this was an amazing listen, especially as he has now been caught. It's so sad Michelle macnammara spent her life pursuing this killer and didn't see him brought to justice. But she had it figured out in the book!

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  • Fiona S
  • 07-02-2019

Unfinished

I enjoyed (if that's the right for a book about such a monster) this book but can't believe the ending (or lack of). I understand the killer was caught after the book was written but surely there could have been an extra bit at the end? He was arrested in April 2018 & I was waiting for all he information about him but NOTHING, I felt cheated. I also found the jumping around between dates & attacks confusing. However it's amazing how much hard work was done by Michelle & unbelievable that police didn't catch him until 30 years after the last attack. Very interesting & incredible dedication by the author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-01-2019

Enjoyable, if a little disjointed

As much of it was patched together posthumously, I found the "narrative" somewhat difficult to follow. Nonetheless it was a really interesting listen and very well performed. Glad I got it.

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  • Patrick F.
  • 21-01-2019

Amazing

Beautifully read and written.
Outstanding the amount of work that Michelle and the guys put into this book.