Sunday, March 26, 2023

Nerds and Beyond Book Club: Reader Q&A for ‘Chase Darkness with Me’ by Billy Jensen

BOOKSBOOK REVIEWSNerds and Beyond Book Club: Reader Q&A for 'Chase Darkness with Me'...
Image courtesy of Billy Jensen

Welcome to another Q&A article of our Nerds and Beyond Book Club series! This month, we read Chase Darkness with Me by Billy Jensen. We had our Book Club answer some questions after reading! Here’s what they said:

What were your expectations before reading this book versus your reaction after reading it?

Julia (@jahooliaa): I was expecting it to be closer to a memoir where he details different stages of his life and significant events that happened that led to him becoming interested in crime. He does, but just not in the slightly more linear way I was anticipating. I did really enjoy the way he told his story, though. I liked how he focused more on the true crime aspect of his life and how different cases personally affected him. I also liked how he was able to interweave life events into talking about the cases he worked.

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Nicole (@nicmanz15): My first expectation before reading this book was that it was going to be very factual, almost like a college textbook. However, as soon as I started reading it, I realized this was not the case. I loved how it was more like a story of Billy Jensen’s life and that I could feel his passion for solving these cases just from the words on the pages.

Was there a case or part of the book that stood out the most? If so which one?

Julia (@jahooliaa): The case of the Man in the Green Hoodie stood out the most to me, because that was the first case where Jensen decided to use social media to find the suspect and succeeded. Social media has several pros and cons, and it was cool to find out that it’s powerful enough to help catch people who think they got away with their crimes.

Nicole (@nicmanz15): The case that stood out the most to me was the murder on 9/11, because it brought into perspective that on such a tragic day for so many, there were other horrible events that happened. Though it may seem small in the grand scheme of the events of the day, they deserve respect and justice too.

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If you got to ask the author of this book a question, what would it be?

Julia (@jahooliaa): With all of the cases you know go unsolved and knowing you can’t solve them all, how do push through that discouragement and still work on cases for several weeks, months, and even years?

Nicole (@nicmanz15): If I got to ask the author a question, I would ask him where he thinks crowd-solving will be in the next five years; next 10 years.

What new things did you learn?

Julia (@Jahooliaa): The two most interesting things I learned was how many unsolved cases there are in the United States. The number was completely staggering, and I never realized how many unsolved crimes there are until this book. The second was how police and detectives can use familial DNA to locate their suspects.

Nicole (@nicmanz15): I learned just how useful social media and crowd-solving can be with helping to solve crimes.

Bonus Question: If you’ve read other true crime books, how would you day it differs from others, if at all?

Julia (@Jahooliaa): I’ve only read a few other true crime books, and I think this one stands out the most prominently to me because it was a true crime memoir (the first I’ve read, so I can’t compare it to other similar memoirs), not just a book that was about one serial killer, or bank robber, etc. Jensen brought a unique voice to the genre, which helps it stand out for me. And I’ll definitely be recommending it.

If you want to participate in our Book Club, send an email to with “Book Club” in the subject line. We’ll be emailing out discussion questions to be posted in an article at the end of each month.

We will be posting our book for the month of November soon, so be sure to check back and join us!

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