Ill Be Gone In The Dark By Michelle Mcnamara: Review and Summary

Review of the HBO docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” is a book written by the late Michelle McNamara, an American true crime author who was passionate about researching and writing about unsolved crimes. McNamara’s book, which was published posthumously in 2018, tells the story of her investigation of the Golden State Killer, a serial killer responsible for a series of murders and rapes throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s.

Themes and Ideas

The main theme of “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” revolves around the idea of obsession and its effects on an individual’s life. McNamara was a true crime enthusiast and her obsession with the Golden State Killer led to her devoting countless hours to researching the case. Her determination to catch the killer had a profound impact on her own mental and physical well-being, and ultimately led to her untimely death.

Another important theme in the book is the idea of justice and closure. McNamara writes about the traumas suffered by the victims and their families, and the importance of bringing the killer to justice. She also touches on the complexity of the criminal justice system, and the challenges faced by law enforcement in solving these kinds of cases.

McNamara’s writing style is gripping and compelling, and she does an excellent job of bringing the story to life. By incorporating details from police reports, interviews with victims, and her own investigative work, she provides a detailed chronology of the crimes and the police investigation into them. Her writing is very descriptive, and she uses this skill to bring the reader into the heart of the story.

One of the strengths of the book is McNamara’s skillful weaving of the individual stories of the victims, the investigation, and her own personal experiences. She provides insight into the lives of the victims, their families, and how the crimes affected their communities. Additionally, she provides a behind-the-scenes look at the investigation into the Golden State Killer, and gives readers a glimpse of the challenges faced by law enforcement in solving crimes of this nature.

One weakness of the book is that it can be difficult to keep track of the many characters and details presented throughout the narrative. At times, the book can feel overwhelming, with its numerous references to different individuals, dates, and events.

“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” has been compared to other works in its genre such as Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” and Ann Rule’s “The Stranger Beside Me,” and it holds up well against these other classics of the true crime genre. McNamara’s investigative work and her ability to weave together a compelling narrative have brought attention to the Golden State Killer case, which has now been solved thanks in part to the renewed interest generated by her book.


In conclusion, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” is a must-read for true crime enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the psychology of criminal investigation. McNamara’s writing is engaging and powerful, and she has crafted a narrative that is equal parts gripping and haunting.


Who is Michelle McNamara?

Michelle McNamara was an American true crime author who devoted her career to investigating unsolved crimes. She is best known for her book “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” which chronicles her investigation of the Golden State Killer.

What is the Golden State Killer case?

The Golden State Killer was a serial killer and rapist who committed a series of crimes throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s. He is believed to have killed at least 12 people and raped over 50 women. The case remained unsolved for decades until a suspect was identified and arrested in 2018.

What is the significance of “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark”?

“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” is significant because it brought renewed attention to the Golden State Killer case and helped to generate leads that ultimately led to the killer’s capture. Additionally, McNamara’s writing style and investigative work have been praised by critics and true crime enthusiasts alike.

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