|5 out of 5 stars|
True Crime Addict is the story of Renner's spellbinding investigation, which has taken on a life of its own for armchair sleuths across the web. In the spirit of David Fincher's Zodiac, it's a fascinating look at a case that has eluded authorities and one man's obsessive quest for the answers.
”Closure is for doors.”
James Renner is a fascinating guy. He was told by his psychologist that his results to the MMPI test were “very similar to those of Ted Bundy, the serial killer” but that he also tests as very smart so he should be able to channel his darkness into socially acceptable work. He has a tendency to get fixated on things—sometimes those things are missing women. He flings himself into the investigations under the banner of “it takes a psychopath to catch a psychopath.”
He believes in sharing his thought processes and all the data that he collects as he pursues the question of what happened to Maura Murray. It’s a compelling and fascinating story and quite a number of people who regularly followed his blog become associate investigators with him, and he comes to refer to them as his Irregulars, giving a nod to Sherlock Holmes.
Of course, this public sharing also attracts its share of nut bars, one of whom has the nerve to publically threaten Renner’s son. He manages to find a place of calm, but reports his feelings: “I knew him for what he was: a crazy man only pretending to be dangerous. And he had no idea who I really was: a dangerous man working really hard not to be crazy.”
There are so many things that just defy belief—things that Renner refers to as fearful symmetry. Coincidences, strange synchronicities, things that verge on the paranormal. Renner doesn’t limit himself to just Maura’s case. He also throws in details from other cases that he has investigated, including his own family history, which has horrors of its own.
It’s a wonder that Renner is as well-balanced, albeit medicated, as he is. His intelligence does seem to be mostly keeping him out of trouble (though his temper does get the better of him more than once). He writes one hell of a story that sucked up two evenings and made me resent the necessity to do laundry or feed myself. I’ll be searching out more of his work asap.
Often, I think that I would like to have coffee with certain authors. This time around, however, I think I am just as glad not to know Mr. Renner personally. No offense, if you run across this review Mr. Renner, but I already have enough darkness in my life.