The book is not particularly my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it, despite the sad subject. The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, raped and killed from the 70s until just recently when he was caught. An ex-cop! Michelle died in 2016 before the book was started.
I saw Patten Oswald, the author's widower, on a talk show and was intrigued. The book was stitched together from McNamara's extensive research and writings on the GSK. In fact, she provided the moniker. She was obsessed with this particular case. She maintained a crime web site for many years. She was tireless in her quest to see the GSK put away. Endless interviews, site visits and so on were her bread and butter.
She had written published articles on the subject, as well as several partially complete essays, and reams of notes and thoughts. These were compiled together into this book.
Her writing is excellent. The subject matter is gruesome, but she never allowed the reader to get drawn too deep into the darkness. Unfortunately, other parts of the books are not her words directly. The narrative jumps about in time, which is confusing, is it tries to pull the pieces together.
Reading about young women (and couples), attacked, bound, psychologically tortured, and often finally raped and killed is pretty hard.
The GSK was finally found by submitting DNA to a commercial DNA ancestry tracing service. The bad guy turned out to be a cop. Surprised? I am not. Rape is about exercising power and control over others. That is practically the job description of a cop.
The book is engrossing and despite that fact that I knew how it was to end, enjoyable (and disturbing). It is a real shame that the murderer was caught just after her death and the release of the book. She earned the right to see the story's ending.
Lee Moller is a life-long skeptic and atheist and the author of The God Con.