Plot

For years in the ‘70s and ‘80s, a man wrecked havoc in California, leaving a string of murders and rapes in his wake. The case, just recently solved after the publication of this book, is the subject of author Michelle McNamara’s final obsessive quest.


Thoughts

I have so many feelings about this book, which has taken me weeks to finish reading, because it made me feel more things than I ever guessed a true crime book would. The author, Michelle McNamara, was the wife of comedian Patton Oswald, so when she tragically died at a young age (before finishing this book), the whole world heard about her and the obsessive study of unsolved crimes to which she dedicated so much of her time and incredible skill.

This book, in many ways, is much more than a book about an unsolved crime. It’s an ode to McNamara’s passion, a living record of her intelligence, writing chops, and, in a weird kind of way, a love letter to the community of people, including cops, data scientists, and her family, who supported the work she did in any capacity.

But, all that being said, it’s still a gristly, terrifying read that kept me up for more nights than I’d like to admit. As well-written as it is (and it’s VERY well-written), it’s horrifying, hard to read, and disturbing. There’s definitely a trigger warning here, and if you’re someone that applies to, maybe think about skipping this one.


verdict

So good. SO terrifying. So worth it.