Book Club Discussion Questions for 'I'll Be Gone in the Dark' by Michelle McNamara

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It's true, many of the JUGS team are totally swept up in the true crime craze that's sweeping popular entertainment at the moment. The countless podcasts we've binged and the Netflix shows we've devoured in one sitting are proof that the true crime genre is addicting. So, when the gals at My Favorite Murder suggested the book I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, we jumped on it. Once you have too, use this handy guide to host a book club-style discussion with all your gals!

  1. One of the many tragic things about this book is that some of it had to be completed after the author's death. It's pretty clear which parts these are, but what were the main differences of the narrative style between the writers? What do you imagine being the challenges of writing in someone else's voice?
     
  2. McNamara diverts from writing solely about serial killers and rapists to give a more personal narrative. Did you find this to be a nice respite or just a distraction from the good stuff?
     
  3. Some of the descriptions of the attacks were pretty difficult to read. Did you find these parts more or less upsetting than consuming similar content via television or podcast?
     
  4. Did you find yourself behaving differently after reading how some of these attacks occurred - perhaps by being more observant/nervous? How did McNamara's behavior change while researching the Golden State Killer?
     
  5. Had you heard of the East Area Rapist or the Golden State Killer before reading this book? If so, did this change your perspective at all?
     
  6. McNamara goes back and forth in the timeline of the attacks - what purpose did this serve in her storytelling? Did you mind it?
     
  7. If the Golden State Killer was still active today, would he be caught? How do you envision it going down?
     
  8. Will he be caught? Is he alive? Whaddya think?
     
  9. Why are people so fascinated with true crime? Are you interested in the genre? If so, do you ever feel guilty or strange about it?