Reading Roll Call – January 6, 2020 – Chase Darkness with Me

Reading Roll Call is a classroom activity I conduct with my students at the beginning of every week to see what they are independently reading. I always share the title of a book that I am reading to model participation and showcase the lifelong commitment to reading that I’ve made.

The Reading Roll Call idea stems from Donalyn Miller‘s book Reading in the Wild. I have adapted the activity and idea into blog form to track my reading progress on a weekly basis. Happy Reading!


I am a huge fan of crime fiction and true crime.

I grew up watching Criminal Minds and The First 48. Despite my dad telling me not to “watch that crap”, I became fascinated by the audacity of murderers and criminals to do the actions they did.

Over the past few years, true crime has blown up, if you will, into a niche of people fascinated in crimes like me. My wife has introduced me to multiple true crime podcasts including Swindled, Crime Junkie, and Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad.

One of the co-hosts on The Murder Squad is the author of the book I’m starting this week, Billy Jensen. Jensen is a journalist turned true crime solver via his investigative writing and crowd sourcing techniques via social media.

I was catching up on The Murder Squad episodes over Winter Break and listened to an interview with Jensen; Paul Holes, the other co-host of The Murder Squad; and Karen Kilgariff, a co-host of My Favorite Murder. The interview was all about Jensen’s then-new book Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders. I was motivated to get this book as soon as possible.

Apparently, I’ve been racking up Audible credits without my knowledge over the past few months, so I’m taking my first stab at audio books. I’m hoping it will be a similar experience to podcasts and I’m looking forward to the new-to-me way of reading books.

Goodreads Synopsis

“Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked. Put together the pieces. Identify the suspect.

Journalist Billy Jensen spent 15 years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common – it didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

In Chase Darkness with Me, you’ll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You’ll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle’s pursuit of the Golden State Killer which is chronicled in I’ll Be Gone in the Dark which Billy helped finish after Michelle’s passing, and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown 4 family.

And Billy gives you the tools – and the rules – to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces the walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true crime narrative unlike any you’ve listened to before.”

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