Michelle McNamara’s all-consuming hunt for a killer

The work has many notable qualities — in particular, a penetrating and elegiac voice — but the one that stands out most is its author’s death of an accidental overdose while writing it. Patton Oswalt will discuss his late wife’s book March 7 at Broadway Performance Hall. Book Review “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer” by Michelle McNamara Harper Books, 328 pp., $27.99 Picture a young mother sitting up all night in her daughter’s playroom, teeth brushed, pajamas on, peering into the bright light of a computer screen. This was Michelle McNamara in 2012, so obsessed with nailing the identity of an elusive serial killer that, in the end, it may have killed her. McNamara, a television writer and amateur sleuth, believed she was zeroing in on a serial rapist and murderer responsible for more than 50 unsolved assaults in California during the 1970s and ’80s, a case that turned to wisps decades ago. “It takes hubris to think you can crack a complex serial murder case,” she writes with disarming candor on the third page of “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” her book narrating the chase. The work […]

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