Cover Image: Unmasked


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Member Reviews

This  was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint.  In fact, it exceeded my expectations not only in terms of how well-written it is but the sheer honesty with which Paul Holes approached not only his professional life but his personal life.  The descriptions of crimes and crime scenes were unflinching and powerful but I was even more moved by how Holes discussed his battles with anxiety and how his chosen professional affected his personal life and relationships.  A must read for any true crime fan and, more broadly, any fans of memoirs.
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I was so excited for the opportunity to read this book before it’s official launch date. As a true crime fan and documentary watcher, you can bet I’m #HotForHoles. My overall rating is a four star; some parts were very intriguing, while others did not keep the same level of captivation throughout. Regardless, I still found myself picking this book up to read at any chance I could to get, and it did not disappoint. A great choice for a book club!
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I’m so thankful to the publisher for allowing myself and my book club to read an advance copy of this book. 

As a fan of memoirs and of police procedural shows like Criminal Minds, I was so interested in Unmasked! 

Going into this book, I did not know much about Paul Holes. But now I feel like I do! 

In this memoir, he openly discusses how he started his career, how got into solving cold cases, his family life and the toll that being in this line of work had on him personally. I appreciated how he was so candid with sharing how his mental health was affected while trying to track down serial killers. 

The book itself is incredibly readable! Praise needs to be given to his coauthor for how the words flow with such ease. 

I will say, this book is quite graphic with its detailing gruesome crimes. While I feel it wasn’t over the top, I did find that I needed to take some breaks. (And don’t try to read this during your lunch break- you’ll definitely get to the bloody parts of you do!) 

I enjoyed this read and found it to be a great selection for my book club! There were so many topics to discuss.
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Paul Holes is a beloved figure in the world of true crime and Unmasked gives the reader a glimpse into his career as a crime scene investigator. Holes' story unfolds mostly in chronological order that is tied together by the years he spent investigating the cold cases of the Golden State Killer. Filled with moments of vulnerability, this memoir demonstrates Holes' commitment not only to solving crimes, but his passion for bringing some sense of justice to victims which oftentimes came at a personal loss. Essential reading for the true crime junkie!
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Thank you Paul Holes and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this. 

This is a fantastic and fascinating look at some of the most famous true crime cold cases and how they are solved. Lots of trustworthy and professional information contained within. Easy enough to read and understand as well. Definitely a 5 star book for the genre.
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Fascinating look into the life of a criminologist focusing on cold case and the price it pays for those involved. Putting together the puzzle pieces to solve crimes takes dedication and perseverance. This fast moving memoir by detective Paul Holes, is a must read for all true crime lovers.
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Highly recommended! Anyone who is drawn to study true crime undoubtedly already knows about Paul Holes and appreciates his contributions to solving cold cases, but even those who don't know a thing about him (or these cases) will be glad to have read this book. This book is well done both as a fascinating memoir and also also as a new approach to the "true crime" genre; Mr. Hole's unique perspective, and his insights into what actually happens behind the scenes as cases are investigated, are very enlightening.

Thank you so much for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Excellent book that dives into some of the most famous cold cases in recent US history, told by the investigator, including the case of the Golden State Killer. Highly recommend for anyone interested in true crime.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of Unmasked. 

If you love true crime, you know Paul Holes. I was excited when I saw that he had a book coming out and couldn't wait to dive into some unknown cases with him. 

Paul covers many different cases, as we travel through his decades with the Contra Costa Sherriff's department. Some of the cases I was familiar with, but many I wasn't. We learn how he became involved in solving cold cases and how he returns to the EAR case throughout the years, woven in between these other experiences. We see him fighting for the truth, but we also see the psychological implications of a job that involves dealing with murder and death, as well as the damaging effects it has on his marriage and family. 

I enjoyed this book, and it definitely made me want to reread Michelle McNamara's I'll be Gone in the Dark, so I can compare their experiences with each other. Unmasked showed a different side of Paul, we know he is passionate about solving these crimes and giving family's closure, but we see all the underlying currents propelling him forward. For him, it's a mission and a calling, but it's also a compulsion, an obsession.
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Anyone who even remotely follows true crime knows who Paul Holes is, but for those who don’t: he is a retired forensic scientist and cold case investigator best known for hunting down the Golden State Killer and his friendship/investigative partnership with Michelle McNamara (author of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark). 

In this memoir, Holes outlines cases he’s worked on — some famous, some lower-profile, some solved, some still open — and openly shares the physical and mental toll decades of exposure to the worst things people do to each other took on him — and why he kept doing the job anyway. 

I have an image in my head of Paul Holes (and other investigators) as stoic and unphased by the horrors they see — like they’ve somehow transcended visceral emotional responses because they’re so experienced. But Holes
doesn’t shy away from sharing details of his panic attacks and nightmares and the effects his obsessions had on his personal life. For someone who is admittedly a private person and describes decoding his own feelings as “playing chess with missing pieces” — Holes is brutally honest in discussing his emotions and failings in addition to his many successes. 

I also loved that he included some information about the technical aspects of DNA testing.

This is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in true crime. 

(Review will be posted on IG @leavemetomybooks closer to pub date)
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