St. George Dragon Puppet Show in Paris by Alfred Eisenstaedt

St. George Dragon Puppet Show in Paris by Alfred Eisenstaedt

This new book was way too much for me…

Last week, after hearing rave reviews, I picked up a copy of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. The true-crime book focuses on a journalist’s obsessive search for the Golden State Killer, a serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s.

While I lay in our cozy pink bedroom, cuddled under the covers, my mind started racing: the Golden State Killer would sneak into people’s houses at night and attack them while they slept. He used a flashlight to blind them. He preferred suburban couples. Suddenly the room felt ominous. Was that a footstep? Was something under the bed? Where was Alex???

The author, Michelle McNamara, seemed equally terrified by her years of research: “There’s a scream permanently lodged in my throat now,” she said.

I made it all the way to page 16 before shutting the book for good.

My friend Stefan actually cut himself off from scary books as a teenager. His dream was to move to a cabin in the woods one day, and he didn’t want to fill his head with chilling images. “I only slipped once with the Blair Witch Project,” he admits. (Update: He now lives in said cabin and never gets spooked.)

Funnily enough, I’m okay with fictional thrillers. I tore through The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. But true crime makes my blood curdle.

Curious: Can you handle scary books? What about movies and podcasts? Which do you love? Am I just a wuss? Please weigh in below…

P.S. The Shining as a romantic comedy, and a terrifying podcast.

(Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.)