Unmasked by Paul Holes

"Non Fiction" words carved into wood
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fascinating. Gritty. Eye-opening. For true crime addicts.

Paul Holes brings his crime scene experiences to life in this memoir of his fascinating career. While this focuses greatly on his career-long quest to catch The Golden State Killer, it covers the solving of so many other cases. The details are fascinating, the cases heartbreaking, and the story unputdownable.

Paul’s memoir brings his personal and family life into focus during his crime-solving career. We learn about the ups and downs of his home life and how his work affected his family. I liked seeing this personal side to his work-story. It brings a down-to-earth element to the narrative.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle this book. I get pretty freaked out reading about murders and serial killers. I start to panic a bit and see danger at every turn. Additionally, the gritty details can really turn my stomach. So…this book had all of that, but I really just didn’t want to stop reading. I found the story so captivating, and I really wanted to understand how these murderers are caught.

Overall, I would highly recommend this true-crime readers!

Content Warnings:

Gritty details of murder and crime scene investigation.

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ Goodreads
LibroFM – Use code lfm137076 to get one month free!

From the detective who found The Golden State Killer, a memoir of investigating America’s toughest cold cases and the rewards–and toll–of a life solving crime.

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.

Crime-solving for me is more complex than the challenge of the hunt, or the process of piecing together a scientific puzzle. The thought of good people suffering drives me, for better or worse, to the point of obsession.

People always ask how I am able to detach from the horrors of my work. Part of it is an innate capacity to compartmentalize; the rest is experience and exposure, and I’ve had plenty of both. But I had always taken pride in the fact that I can keep my feelings locked up to get the job done. It’s only been recently that it feels like all that suppressed darkness is beginning to seep out.

When I look back at my long career, there is a lot I am proud of. I have caught some of the most notorious killers of the twenty-first century and brought justice and closure for their victims and families. I want to tell you about a lifetime solving these cold cases, from Laci Peterson to Jaycee Dugard to the Pittsburg homicides to, yes, my twenty-year-long hunt for the Golden State Killer.

But a deeper question eats at me as I ask myself, at what cost? I have sacrificed relationships, joy—even fatherhood—because the pursuit of evil always came first. Did I make the right choice? It’s something I grapple with every day. Yet as I stand in the spot where a young girl took her last breath, as I look into the eyes of her family, I know that, for me, there has never been a choice. “I don’t know if I can solve your case,” I whisper. “But I promise I will do my best.”

It is a promise I know I can keep.

Just the Facts:

Unmasked by Paul Holes
Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir
Publisher: Celadon Books
Pub Date: April 26, 2022

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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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