I rarely read non-fiction. If I do, it is usually a writing craft book or self-help- motivational.
I was drawn to this book more because of the author, Michelle McNamara. To be more specific, because of her husband, Patton Oswalt. Patton is an actor best known to me as Spencer on King of Queens.
After I read a little bit about the subject matter, the golden state killer, I decided to add it to my to be read (tbr) list.
There really isn’t much in the book about Patton Oswalt except how he supported his wife during the time she wrote it. Basically I discovered that they were married and had one child, a daughter. They did tell a little bit about how life was for Michelle being married to a celebrity and how they often attended big gala events that she didn’t always enjoy. I am guessing as a writer, she was more of an introvert.
I did get pulled into Michelle’s quest to help find this killer. Michelle was an investigative journalist. When she was a child a woman was killed in her neighborhood and that crime was never solved. That seed planted in her the desire to solve cold cases. She created a popular website: TrueCrimeDiary where she blogged about her investigations into cold cases. That lead to her writing this book.
Though this book is true crime, it often reads like a novel. The author has a smooth voice and it sometimes feels like she and you are sitting together with a drink in front of a fireplace on a cold night as she shares her story. Her characters feel well rounded because they are real people. She introduces them to you showing both their virtues and their flaws. She investigated the family of the victims as well as the investigators on the case. She shows how because the killer killed in several different cities, it took a while for the police to connect the dots. There struggle was enhanced because we did not have the technology we do now, in the 80’s. But when they did eventually had dna technology and this shows how they were able to use it. The tension built as they followed more clues. With each new clue, I wanted them to turn the corner and catch the madman.
I cheered on their search because she shared enough about the crimes to show how truly horrible they were without picturing an 80’s slasher movie. Her writing wasn’t graphic but it did show how the victims felt. She enabled us to feel what the victim felt at the time of the crime.
I do feel that Michelle helped solve the crime even though the police deny it. They say that she did help keep the case alive. HBO did make a documentary about this but since I don’t have HBO, I haven’t been able to watch it.
I would highly recommend this book. It is a page turner. It does make you feel good at the end because the police do catch the killer. The sad part though is that Michelle died before this happened. After this book came out, Patton Oswald was on a promotional tour for the book and woke one morning to see a news show saying that the killer had been apprehended.
Again, if you’ve never read true crime, this might be a good book to start with. My tbr list is so long, I am not sure when I will read more true crime but I haven’t eliminated this genre.
Just a heads up though. I am having issues with my laptop and have scheduled an appointment to take it in for repair today. So if I miss blogging next week, know that I will be back as soon as possible.
Would love to see your comments, let me know what you are currently reading since I am continually adding to my list. Do you read true crime? Do you have any suggestions? How are your reading goals going? What are you reading now? Do let me know that you are out there.
Until next time,