It’s a pleasure to be added as a contributor of this blog. For my first entry, I have to apologize, for I am writing the first book I’ve read after being invited. I may upset some with the first entry I post to the blog, but this is one I cannot shake for some time. I’ve included some trigger warnings in which I will do with each book I post…just in case.

Trigger warning: rape, murder, home invasion, one occurrence of animal violence.

As I am writing this, all my doors and windows are locked. My home security system is checked. My dog and I are safe, but I am weary. This is not the kind of book one would like to snuggle up with before going to bed.

The Golden State Killer terrorized California during the 70’s and 80’s resulting in fifty rapes and ten deaths. In 1986 he disappeared. The book goes into the timeline of the brutal rapes and murders with a contrast to present day and McNamara’s obsession with the cold case.

Nostalgia of a time not that long ago (according to archeologists), where people didn’t lock their doors in suburbs and hitchhiking across the country was seemingly safe. Especially in the Sunshine State, until a guy who stalked homes for days to learn the layout, hid binding for hands and feet under couches or in closets with the intention to rape/kill. He called homes of the victims to learn schedules. He was so brazen, it didn’t matter if a woman had a man in the house. Not to mention the creepy, throaty messages of “I’m going to kill you” on an answering machine days before he struck. The Golden State Killer would strategically move the victim’s SO to another part of the house after he was bound and gagged, and place dinner plates, cups and saucers on his back stating “If I hear a sound, I will kill your wife.” He had to hear the sound of his SO being raped and not do anything.

This book doesn’t tie up loose ends. The rapes and murders haven’t been solved and may avenues are exhausted. What the book does do is tie personal ends of an obsession to find the killer and give light to the exhaustive detectives that either died chasing the case, retired, or are trying in present day with technology to find this diabolical monster.

Michelle McNamara died before her book could be completed. With the help of her lead researcher, an investigative journalist, and husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was able to be pieced together and published. McNamara was only 46 when she died. Growing up, she signed her journal, “Michelle the Writer”, something she aspired and became. It’s a shame we won’t hear from her again. But maybe…maybe he will “step into the light”.

I give this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads. This is a rating I rarely give, but one I will read again (thats how I rate books). If you are like me, and trying to fulfill your Read Harder challenge on Book Riot, this one book satisfies two topics, “Read a book of true crime”, and “Read a book published posthumously”.