Full of Books

Zodiac by Robert Graysmith Review

Title: Zodiac

Author: Robert Graysmith

First published January 1, 1986

307 pages, Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9780425098080 (ISBN10: 0425098087)

Rating: 3.92


Mystery and fear surround the name Zodiac. With 37 claimed victims and a trail of anonymous notes taunting the police, the serial killer remains at large, his identity unknown.

In this gripping account, Robert Graysmith brings together all the pieces of the puzzle to provide a complete picture of Zodiac’s reign of terror. The question remains: is Zodiac still out there, waiting to strike again?

This book will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about one of history’s most enigmatic killers.

About the Author

Robert Graysmith is an accomplished author and illustrator with three New York Times Bestsellers under his belt: Zodiac, Auto Focus, and Black Fire. During his time as the political cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Graysmith was present for the unveiling of the letters and cryptograms from the notorious Zodiac killer during the morning editorial meetings.

Currently residing in San Francisco, he continues to write and illustrate.

Graysmith’s most recent work is yet to be named. Two films have been produced based on his books, with Zodiac and Auto Focus being brought to the big screen.

In the film rendition of Zodiac, Graysmith is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Additionally, the author has lent his voice to narrate the audiobooks for his publications, Zodiac and Auto Focus.

Editoral Review

Robert Graysmith’s “Zodiac” is a true crime book that catapulted the real-life story of the Zodiac Killer into the national spotlight. Graysmith, a former cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle, became obsessed with the unsolved murders committed by the Zodiac Killer in the late 1960s and 1970s.

His book, first published in 1986, chronicles his investigation of the notorious serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Zodiac” fits into the true crime genre, but Graysmith’s writing style and attention to detail elevate it beyond the typical true crime book.

The book is written like a detective story, with Graysmith following the clues and leads he discovers in his investigation of the Zodiac Killer. The book is divided into three sections, each of which follows a different suspect and their connection to the murders.

Graysmith’s prose is gripping and suspenseful, making it hard to put the book down. The book’s plot follows the investigation of the Zodiac Killer, with Graysmith as the protagonist.

The book’s setting is San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s, during the height of the hippie counterculture movement. Graysmith’s investigation leads him to several suspects, each of whom has their own motive and opportunity to commit the murders.

One of the strengths of “Zodiac” is Graysmith’s attention to detail. He thoroughly researched the murders and the investigation, interviewing witnesses, police officers, and suspects, and poring over police reports and other documents.

His dedication to accuracy is evident, and it makes the book all the more compelling. Another strength is Graysmith’s ability to create a sense of suspense and tension throughout the book.

Despite knowing the outcome, readers will find themselves on the edge of their seats, eager to know what will happen next. However, the book is not without its weaknesses.

The book is over 30 years old, and some of the information contained within it has been proven inaccurate, and some of the suspects that Graysmith points to have been conclusively cleared by DNA evidence. Additionally, some readers may find Graysmith’s obsessive behavior towards the case and the suspects uncomfortable or concerning.

Overall, “Zodiac” is a well-written and meticulously researched account of the investigation into the Zodiac Killer. The book is a must-read for true crime enthusiasts and those interested in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area.

While it has its flaws, it still stands out as a gripping and suspenseful work of true crime literature. As a recommendation, I would recommend “Zodiac” to anyone who enjoys true crime books that delve deep into the investigation process.

However, readers who are uncomfortable with obsessive behavior or inaccuracies should proceed with caution. I would give “Zodiac” a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, based on its masterful storytelling and attention to detail, but the limitations mentioned above would be taken into consideration.