Reviews

Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases by Paul Holes

jaimetherese's review

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dark emotional informative mysterious reflective sad tense fast-paced

4.0

asomeone's review

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dark informative reflective fast-paced

4.0

rainbowbookworm's review

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3.0

Someone else jumping on the [b:I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer|35068432|I'll Be Gone in the Dark One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer|Michelle McNamara|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1499131009l/35068432._SY75_.jpg|56363890] bandwagon. Holes's life is interesting, but I was never fully invested in his investigation. actually, that was not true, there was one moment where I was nervous for him, but it was fleeting.

liltuck's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging informative sad medium-paced

5.0

maochen's review

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dark inspiring medium-paced

5.0

Incredible story--the drive needed to not only bring the closure to victims but to literally make it one's life purpose. Incredible journey within the cases we know that have crossed our true crime lexicon but also through the ones we don't hear about that deserve just as much if not more closure. May you find peace. 

Very insightful and forthcoming with "flaws" (I would argue that it's a matter of being wired differently) to point out that those in this line of work are people too and have families, and no one escapes unscathed. 

moreglittermorefur's review

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4.0

Fascinating memoir from a one of the most accomplished criminologists-. The biggest cold case followed in the memoir was the the Golden State Killer (East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker) which IMO is one of the most gruesome serial killers in California history. After following the case through Michelle McNamara's "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" it was so interesting to hear about the challenges of the case from the guy (and task force) who finally cracked the case, close friend's of Michelle, and the science/politics of what hoops Holes had to go through to find the killer.

Extremely brutal (not for the faint of heart)- I can see how it would be an obsession for those so close to the cold cases but also deeply and negatively impact their lives. While horrific and contained many graphic descriptions of the crime scene, I think Holes did a good job respecting the victims throughout the book and it did not feel sensationalized like a lot of true crime.

alireadsandknits's review

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dark sad tense medium-paced

4.0

blue_cookies123's review

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Didn't get into it -- will try again though

madisonjordan5693's review

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2.0

I can’t stand Paul Holes after this book. He spends half the book lamenting about his failed marriage (it is almost entirely his fault that it failed). Chapter 10 made me want to rip my hair out. I’m very disappointed as I thought this book would be more about the actual cases he worked on. Instead it’s just him being a martyr for 7-8 hours straight (audiobook format).

duchessofreadin's review

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5.0

Oh my goodness, where do I even start with this book??

As I was reading through, I kept saying, "I know this case," "I remember this case," and "wow, I have been following this case for years!"

Part of the blurb reads: I order another bourbon, neat. This is the drink that will flip the switch. I don’t even know how I got here, to this place, to this point. Something is happening to me lately. I’m drinking too much. My sheets are soaking wet when I wake up from nightmares of decaying corpses. I order another drink and swig it, trying to forget about the latest case I can’t shake.

As I read it, and as I dove into the book, I could feel the obsession that drove Paul Holes through his many years. I wanted to dive into the evidence locker and look for long-lost cases. I was completed drawn into this book, unable to set it down, wanting to continue reading, and couldn't wait to turn the page and see what happened. It got to the point that I even got the audio version, so that I could listen while I was cooking dinner, taking a shower, or going through my work day.

Paul Holes goes through the ins and outs of the cases, the nights that he spent reading through cold cases, looking for the one piece that might draw the case together, always looking for the next high on the investigation. He spent hours digging into cases that were deemed unsolvable, because while one investigative team might have hit a wall, fresh eyes could find a new avenue of investigation, looking for the evidence that would lock a killer away for life.
There were some heartbreaking moments as well. Listening to the story of the detective who was shot to death when he returned to a home looking for evidence literally broke me. I was already familiar with the case, but hearing it again from someone who had been close to him was an entirely different matter.

I absolutely LOVED this book! For those who love true crime, this is going to be the perfect weekend read! I loved the different aspects of the investigative side, the ups and downs, highs and lows, and the catching of the "bad guy."
Get ready for a book that will suck you in and leave you with a book hangover when you are done. You will not want to walk away from this one!