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

Lindsay’s thoughts

It’s official — I am adding true-crime to my ‘favourite genres’ list!

I loved this true-crime memoir! I was quite literally hanging on every word, feeling both frightened and fascinated as I turned each page.

Paul Holes spent the majority of his highly successful career as a cold case criminalist investigator. He started working in police forensics and lab analysis, but always found himself drawn to investigating the high profile cold cases that sat gathering dust on the shelves. Once Paul felt the itch to open a cold case, it haunted him until he was able to make some sort of headway on the case in the search of finding answers. He had the drive and determination to continue working cold cases long after colleagues and superiors had moved on to more pressing matters. He motivated himself to keep pushing forward on cold cases by focusing on getting answers for the families who were lost in the grief of having no answers for the crimes against their loved ones.

One of the things I found most memorable while reading this book was the negative impact that Paul Holes job had on his personal life. His extreme dedication and obsession with the cold cases surpassed his dedication to his family. He simply couldn’t “turn off” his work mind. His thoughts constantly spun with the details of his cases, negatively impacting his marriages and fatherhood as his mind would constantly be elsewhere when he was at home. It’s an upsetting fact, but it is a true testament to how seriously he took his job and provides some insight as to why he was so successful.

I recently finished, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, the true crime book about the Golden State Killer. Reading these two books close together really enhanced the impact they both had as they strongly compliment each other.

Overall, this is one of the best memoir and true-crime reading experiences I’ve had. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy.

Thank you to Celadon Books for the review copy!

7 thoughts on “Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes”

  1. Oh wow that does sound so interesting!!
    I have not been able to read true crime. This seems like it may not give me nightmares, as it’s not in the mind of a killer.
    Sounds awesome!

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