I'll Be Gone in the Dark

One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
4.5 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

Regular price: £14.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Basket

Product Details

Recommended by Audible's editors

This is the heartfelt true crime account that reads like a thriller, critically acclaimed by the likes of Gillian Flynn and Stephen King. Author and journalist Michelle McNamara, who passed away before the book could be completed, also won the respect of a very different audience: the investigators who retired with the unsolved case still haunting them, the victims’ friends and families, the online community of amateur detectives she founded. Michelle’s tireless research, and the brilliant book it eventually became, blazed a unique trail, and one that may yet lead to the killer.

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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    92
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent stuff

A fascinating, detailed view of an amateur investigation (that could put professional ones to shame) beautifully read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting

Well written and informative without becoming objectifying and creepy. However narrator never pronounces the 't' in Sacramento, despite being well spoken. Sacramennow Sacramennow Sacramennow. It pulled my attention from the overall feeling of the the story and the authors' hard work.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I’m familiar with the case but thought I’d read this while waiting for Paul Hole’s book to be available on UK audible.
Given the hype I expected something more than just a ‘how I became an armchair detective. I found it rambling, hard to follow (it read like thread on Reddit) and frankly, boring in places.
The narrator was excellent and made it bearable to about half way but then I gave up and returned it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Rambling conjecture

Disappointing. This was so full of artistic licence and conjecture it lost me very early on. The narrator is excellent though and saves the product.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not quite what I wanted it to be.

It's a shame that we'll never know exactly what this book was supposed to be. It's hard to be too critical of the story given that this is essentially a collection of articles and notes that have been stitched together. Though the writing style is not for me, what does come through is a clear sense of the author's passion for the case. In terms of narration, I find the use of accents to be pretty poor and frankly, unnecessary. I also find the choice to pronounce "E.A.R" as "ear" rather than the acronym E-A-R very strange, given that it is used in some pretty serious discussions. Hearing "Ear rape" repeatedly during sombre moments detracts from the mood of the book. Similarly, is it really necessary to qualify every name with "pseudonym" rather than simply stating that many names have been changed at the start? This is worth a listen, but given the hype it has received, it wasn't what I'd hoped for.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating!

How one woman became obsessed with finding the elusive Golden State Killer; prolific serial rapist and murderer. Fascinating; a fantastic listen. Brilliant presentation.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicola Kritzinger
  • 11-01-19

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+.