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Patton Oswalt Celebrates Release of Late Wife Michelle McNamara’s Book: ‘You Did It, Baby’

Patton Oswalt and Michelle McNamara arrive at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards held at The Hollywood Palladium on January 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Lester Cohen/WireImage

Patton Oswalt was committed to finishing his late wife’s final book. Mission accomplished. The comedian, whose wife Michelle McNamara unexpectedly died in her sleep in April 2016, finished her true crime novel, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. It was released Tuesday, February 27. 

The A.P. Bio actor, 48, commemorated the project’s completion by tweeting a touching message on Tuesday. “You did it, baby,” Oswalt wrote. “The book is excellent, the writing brilliant. You tried to bring kindness to chaos, which was your way.”

In the accompanying photo, he placed a copy of the novel on McNamara’s tombstone , which bears the words “Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Crimefighter, Writer, Poet, Perfect.” 

Entertainment Weekly reported Monday that that I’ll Be Gone in the Dark has been in the making for 10 years. It chronicles a woman’s search for a serial killer and rapist known as the Golden State Killer whose crimes date back to 1976. 

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Jennifer Barth, McNamara’s editor, praised Oswalt for his commitment. “If Michelle had been married to somebody else, I’m not sure that they would have pressed on with the book and been able to make it happen in the way Patton did,” she told EW. “He’s just been a real champion.”

But Patton is understandably upset that  McNamara wasn’t able to tell the story in her own words. “It’s very painful,” he revealed to the magazine. “I think other people are going to really love the book, but to me, there’s so much that’s left unsaid and unfinished.”

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Oswalt previously revealed that he and McNamara’s daughter, Alice, 8, saved him after McNamara’s passing nearly two years ago. “This is going to sound selfish, but I’m forever glad that I have Alice. If I hadn’t had a daughter and my wife died, we wouldn’t be talking right now,” he told Playboy in August 2017. “I’m not saying I would be dead, but I would be a shut-in alcoholic. Everything would be shut down. I wouldn’t have been about anything. But with Alice, it was and is, ‘You got to get up.’”

The entertainer now has one more rock in his life: wife, Meredith Salenger. He and the Hollywood Heights actress, 47, tied the knot in L.A. last November. 

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