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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 (219 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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...

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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!

11 of 12 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well done Michelle

Well written and I just can’t stop listening to it. For me it the time line about her research she put into her book. The lives of these people, who were victims of this horrible human being and the families he destroyed. Michelle tells you about events of her life and the many people who worked together to catch him.

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Good

Really enjoyed the book, it was not as case oriented as I thought, I've gotten more info on the crime from podcasts, but overly it was good. The narrator was great.

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easy reading

Great book knowing some background helps though.
A variation of voices may have been helpful in some parts but it's okay

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Captivating

I found this book through listening to My Favorite Murder and couldn’t wait to listen. The way it’s been written completely captivated me and Michelle, the author, managed to give every horrifying detail in a way that wasn’t glamorizing or entertaining the way a lot of crime books like to do. Simple, petrifying and enthralling. I’m glad they finally caught him.

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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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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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  • 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.

2 of 2 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+.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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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  • 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.

15 of 19 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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  • Amy
  • 15-06-2019

Enthralled till the end.

Enjoyed every minute. The narrators soft seductive voice treads gently on harsh words carrying this book along beautifully. Fantastic writing.

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  • David
  • 13-06-2019

Chilling

Chilling how methodical am frequent this parasite was. Well told story from author to narrator.

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  • Holly Walker
  • 27-05-2019

Gripping story

I’ve never read (or listened to) a true crime novel before but this was gripping, it doesn’t give horrific details but plenty of clues and is full of compassion to the victims.
The first book I’ve listened to on audio that I’ve had to download a PDF, which was a bit of a pain but no big problem. It did help to keep some victims and locations clear in the mind, especially as I’ve never been to California.
I recommend this, even if it isn’t normally something you listen to.

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  • Rachel Sanderson
  • 27-05-2019

Brilliant, Obsessive, Incredible

I listened to the whole book in 2 sittings. It really is that good.
The research is detailed, meticulous, and accurate, but the book is respectful of the victims and their families. It's a hard line to tread, but Michelle McNamara managed it with aplomb.
As a small aside, the depth of Michelle's love for her family, and their love of her, is a subtle undercurrent in the book that occasionally caught in my throat when I remembered that she is gone and what a hole she must have left in their lives.

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  • Alex
  • 09-05-2019

Tremendous

Brilliantly narrated, tremendously written and researched. This book is not for the faint hearted however. If you like me have an interest in the people who dedicate their lives to catching monsters you will love it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • N Prior
  • 23-04-2019

Wow

This was a brilliant listen. She puts so much into trying to find such an evil sick minded criminal, her research is great, the story has her heart and soul in it, thanks to her crowd sharing investigations the cold cases never died. And thanks to tech and dogged determination by both scientists and police we now know who the criminal who evaded her is, he did hear the cell door close behind him and wore handcuffs, I just wish she could have been here to bare witness for those he murdered, and to go to bat for the next victims who's stories she would have told with equal passion and empathy, Michelle McNamara you will be missed.

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  • Toni H.
  • 21-04-2019

Thrilling

I listened to this over a period of several weeks, in which I'd disappear into the story wholeheartedly and I am in awe of the level of care and commitment shown by the author and her friends and family following her passing to continue her work.