Michelle McNamara’s posthumous true-crime book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark has debuted in the No. 1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list (combined print and e-book, nonfiction), and her widower, Patton Oswalt, shared the news Wednesday on Twitter.
“I hope you know, sweetie,” Oswalt wrote. “I feel like you know. And I hope you know it when your work leads to his capture. #IllBeGoneInTheDark debuts at #1 on the @nytimes bestseller list. I’m so proud of you.”
McNamara had been working formally on I’ll Be Gone in the Dark from 2013 through to her death in April 2016, though the research process started long before then. The book is an alternately intimate and thrilling account of McNamara’s search for the Golden State Killer, an unidentified man believed to have committed at least 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders from 1976 to 1986. McNamara was unable to complete the book before she died, leaving Oswalt (who writes the afterword) and other contributors to compile the volume. (The finished product is one of the best reads of 2018 so far.)
On the day the book was published, Feb. 27, Oswalt honored his late wife by tweeting, “You did it, baby.” The book is currently climbing on Amazon’s best-seller list as well, and has garnered rave reviews.
“She was a very logical person with a lot of compassion,” Oswalt told EW of McNamara’s rigorous research and writing process. “When she saw someone act with such cruelty, the logic part of her brain would kick in and go, ‘Well, that kind of cruelty should be met with justice, and there should be someone to answer for the victims.’ To have all of those threads and have it be open and unresolved for so long really ate away at her sense of order. She took on the pain of the survivors and of [those] that lost family members because of this guy. That’s what drove her.”
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is available for purchase here.