Patton Oswalt's late wife Michelle McNamara's book made the New York Times bestseller list this month

By Natalie Stone
March 07, 2018 06:10 PM

Patton Oswalt is celebrating the life of his late wife and the legacy she left behind.

In April 2016, Michelle McNamara died unexpectedly in her sleep at age 46, and nearly two years after her death, the late crime writer’s book — I’ll Be Gone in the Dark — has made the New York Times bestseller list.

“I hope you know, sweetie. I feel like you know. And I hope you know it when your work leads to his capture,” Oswalt, 49, wrote on Twitter Wednesday, which accompanied a photo of the bestseller page — including McNamara’s publication leading the nonfiction section.

“#IllBeGoneInTheDark debuts at #1 on the @nytimes bestseller list,” Oswalt shared. “I’m so proud of you.”

At the end of last month, Oswalt — who shared 8-year-old daughter, Alice, with McNamara — visited the author’s gravesite and brought along a copy of the book.

He posted a touching tribute on Twitter, which featured a photo of a copy of the true crime book McNamara had been working on at the time of her death sitting atop her resting place.

“You did it, baby,” Oswalt wrote alongside the photo. “The book is excellent, the writing brilliant. You tried to bring kindness to chaos, which was your way. #IllBeGoneInTheDark #MichelleMcNamara.”

McNamara had been formally working on the book from 2013 through to her death, though the research process started long before.

The book is an intimate, thrilling account of her search for the Golden State Killer, an unidentified man believed to have committed at least 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders from 1976-86. McNamara was unable to finish the book before she died, leaving Oswalt — who writes the afterword — and other contributors to complete the volume for her.

“She was a very logical person with a lot of compassion,” Oswalt previously told Entertainment Weekly of his late wife. “When she saw someone act with such cruelty, the logic part of her brain would kick in and go, ‘Well, that kind of cruelty should be met with justice, and there should be someone to answer for the victims.’ To have all of those threads and have it be open and unresolved for so long really ate away at her sense of order. She took on the pain of the survivors and of [those] that lost family members because of this guy. That’s what drove her.”

Since her death, Oswalt has once again found love: this past November, the comedian tied the knot with Meredith Salenger in front of family and friends in Los Angeles, 18 months after McNamara’s passing.