Have you ever read a book and just felt completely disturbed by it? That’s how I felt reading True Crime Addict by James Renner. As a journalist and author, Renner took on the case of Maura Murray. Young, and pursing a career in nursing, Maura went missing after wrecking her car in rural New Hampshire, way back when in 2004. It’s now 2017, and Maura Murray has yet to be found.
If you’re interested in the particular’s of Maura’s disappearance, there’s a relatively active subreddit that can give you a better understanding of the who, what, where, when and theoretical why.
What About the Book?
Right. Back to the book.
James Renner is addicted to true crime. This book serves as a testament to his addiction. He learns about Maura’s case, and devotes himself to solving it. Not only does he reach out to Maura’s family, and friends, but he also takes it upon himself to visit where she crashed her vehicle, and even makes a trek up to Canada, in hopes of meeting a woman who may or may not be Maura.
This book is a trip.
If you have an interest in true crime, True Crime Addict may be the book for you. It’s suspenseful, intense, and full of plot twists. And not just any plot twists. But, the kind of plot twists that are real, believable, and often downright chilling.
Can a True Crime Memoir Really be That Good?
Okay, so every book has it’s pitfalls. Obviously then, True Crime Addict has its own pitfalls to speak of.
Renner talks a lot about his family. While that may be interesting for some, it was hard for me to understand what purpose his familial anecdotes were supposed to serve. Stories about his son’s behavioral issues, his sister having a stalker, etc. In my opinion, these things were nothing more than distractions.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only issue I had while reading True Crime Addict. There are moments in the book where, more than anything else, Renner comes across as too speculative. When family members decline to speak with him about Maura’s disappearance, he doesn’t shy away from accusing them of being responsible for what may or may not be Maura’s ultimate demise. In these moments, it feels as if he loses sight of the fact that Maura isn’t the only victim of her disappearance. Her family members are too. If they don’t wish to speak to reporters, that’s their prerogative.
Is this a Book Worth Reading?
If you enjoy reading true crime novels, then I think so. Just bear in mind that Renner doesn’t hold all of the facts to this case, and he does present a few pretty wild theories about Maura’s disappearance throughout the book. Just be aware, True Crime Addict can be disturbing at points. I read it while home alone, and oh what a mistake that was.
Regardless, I commend Renner for his work. As a down and out journalist, he certainly found his niche as an addict of true crime.