Finished Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?
Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.
But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.
You’ll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You’ll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara’s pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools―and the rules―to help solve murders yourself.
Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you’ve read before.”
If you’re into true crime in general or the podcast My Favorite Murder in particular, you know who Billy Jensen is. He helped finish Michelle McNamara’s book (I’ll Be Gone in the Dark) after her sudden death, and now he’s written his own book. He discusses the Golden State Killer, of course, and his search to identify the woman and three children found in barrels (his two most well-known cases) but he discusses other cases, too.
Perhaps most valuable, he discusses how people can help him solve cold cases. (There’s an addendum with tips, including important things not to do.) There’s also a conversation with Paul Holes, which is very fun for true crime buffs and fans of their podcast, The Murder Squad.
I know we have a lot of true crime books out now, and you may be feeling incredibly burned out on the topic. Billy Jensen’s book will likely help you turn that around. His writing style is engaging but it also is full of passion to get these cases solved and find answers for the victims’ families. It’s a combination that I think many people will…I don’t want to say “enjoy,” because this isn’t a particularly fun book to read. It’s full of many people’s worst moments. But if there’s one thing that I hope brings solace to those people, it’s knowing that others care as much as they do, and will not rest until they can find answers. Possibly the worst thing about grief is feeling like you’re the only person who remembers the person lost, and Billy Jensen is careful to keep the focus on victims and not on the murderer. (For example, most people can’t name the women that Ted Bundy killed, but everyone knows his name and appearance.)
I loved this book and I hope that we get a follow up. Highly recommended.