My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I was offered the chance to read this memoir, I was pretty excited. I read a few of the previous reviews and it seemed like something I would enjoy reading.
There are times when I will go on a true crime binge. Books, documentaries, TV shows etc. It guts me when cases are not resolved and the families and friends of these missing people are left waiting for news of their loved ones.
I enjoyed reading this memoir, although at times it was very emotional. You could really feel how much James Renner wanted to find out what happened to Maura Murray. He became obsessed with it. His interest in missing people and true crime didn’t start with Maura Murray’s case. When James was only eleven a local girl named Amy Mihaljevic went missing. Seeing her posters plastered all over his neighborhood upset James and from there his obsession only grew. He even wrote a book about the Amy Mihaljevic case.
In this book, James is investigating the case of Maura Murray. Maura was a UMass student who went missing in 2004 after wrecking her car in New Hampshire. To be honest I had not heard of this case myself but while reading this book did some google searches etc. and learned a lot about it. I can see how someone who is already interested in these cases could become immersed in it and want to know what happened. Unsolved cases are always toughest on everyone involved.
I visited the writers blog and while there is a lot of information from the blog in the book, it was still a very interesting read. There are a frenzy of theories about what happened to Maura everywhere on the internet. There also seems to be a lot of difference in opinion when it comes to Renner’s intentions, especially online.
A lot of the book is about James Renner himself. It is understandable that after so many years of immersing himself in all the aspects of crime and especially missing person cases it would definitely start to take its toll. This was quite a personal journey for James Renner. We can see how deeply it affects him both professionally and personally. The word “addict” as used in the title is apt in this case for sure. From what I read, I felt that he was honest and open about all parts of his life and that made the read even more enjoyable. He wasn’t trying to look perfect, he showed his true self..flaws and all. The reader learns a lot about Renner’s family too. His young son’s struggles as well as his own.
In the end I thought this was a really interesting and engrossing read and I look forward to reading more by James Renner.
Thank you to Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press and James Renner for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.