Thursday, June 30, 2016

REVIEW: True Crime Addict - How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray

Title: True Crime Addict - How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray
Author: James Renner
Genre: True Crime
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release Date: May 24/2016
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

When an eleven-year-old James Renner fell in love with Amy Mihaljevic, the missing girl seen on posters all over his neighborhood, it was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with true crime. That obsession led Renner to a successful career as an investigative journalist. It also gave him post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2011, Renner began researching the strange disappearance of Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student who went missing after wrecking her car in rural New Hampshire in 2004. Over the course of his investigation, he uncovered numerous important and shocking new clues about what may have happened to Murray but also found himself in increasingly dangerous situations with little regard for his own well-being. As his quest to find Murray deepened, the case started taking a toll on his personal life, which began to spiral out of control. The result is an absorbing dual investigation of the complicated story of the All-American girl who went missing and Renner's own equally complicated true-crime addiction.

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.

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Dear James Renner, can you please develop an obsession with every single cold case in the world and then spit out books detailing your findings?  BecausethatwouldbegreatTHANKS. 

I don't want you to be mistaken. This wasn't just a book about the insanely mysterious disappearance of a New Hampshire nursing student on a cold winter night, it was also the inner workings of a man who refuses to let 'dead end' mean anything but 'keep searching'. It was non-fiction content, written with the literary flare of someone who's been engrossing the minds of millions with their fiction for years (which he's written, by the way, fiction that is. check it out here). THIS BOOK WAS UNENDINGLY ADDICTIVE.

One has to wonder why they are so drawn to stories like this, in their fiction, and in their real, every day lives. I hate the news, I'll go on record to say that I wish every news station just played clips of baby pandas being born all over the world. I hate that the fact that even though I hate the news, I am explicitly drawn to the horror it spits out in droves. With that said, I cannot specifically remember the disappearance of Maura Murray. It may have a lot to do with the fact that it happened in 2004, when I was 18 years old, social media was not yet an integral part of my existence, and the news was the very last thing I wanted to watch on a daily basis. But Renner, this man was born wanting and needing to be involved. True Crime Addict read like the obsessive journal of a mentally-stable stalker, and I would be a dirty liar if I told you that I didn't stay up all night with my face THISCLOSE to his fact findings. 

And JESUS THIS MANS LIFE. In addition to the invasion of Maura's personal life, Renner also lays bare the details of his own, and it is disturbing and fascinating. There's an autistic and possibly psychic son, Renner's own medical diagnosis of psychopathy, and for good measure, a whole slew of friends in weird fields of study. There's also an entire chapter in here dedicated to his grandfather, a man who was constructed from the very ashes of hell (disclaimer: this section in the book is intensely graphic, and while I don't suggest skipping it, you might want to skip it). I have NEVER been so engaged whilst reading a non-fiction piece of work, and I can bet you every single one of my hard-earned dollars that you will agree. God..give me ALL OF the True Crime books now.

I'm addicted! Any suggestions to assuage my craving?

Recommended for Fans of: True Crime, Non-fiction, Mystery, Thriller.


Challenges: Goodreads 50 Book Goal


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credit: jamesrenner.com





CLICK HERE to read more about James!

CONTACT LINKS
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A huge thank-you to Thomas Dunne for providing a print copy of this book for review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby

Title: The Girl Who Stayed
Author: Tanya Anne Crosby
Genre: Mystery fiction
Publisher: The Story Plant
Release Date: April 19/2016
Acquired: Print arc sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.

THE GIRL WHO STAYED is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless.


Monday, May 2, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

Title: When the Moon is Low
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Genre: Cultural Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 30/2015
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.

Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.

Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.


Monday, April 18, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: All Stories are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer

Title: All Stories Are Love Stories
Author: Elizabeth Percer
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: March 22/2016
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

In this thoughtful, mesmerizing tale with echoes of Station Eleven, the author of An Uncommon Education follows a group of survivors thrown together in the aftermath of two major earthquakes that strike San Francisco within an hour of each other—an achingly beautiful and lyrical novel about the power of nature, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring strength of love.

On Valentine’s Day, two major earthquakes strike San Francisco within the same hour, devastating the city and its primary entry points, sparking fires throughout, and leaving its residents without power, gas, or water.

Among the disparate survivors whose fates will become intertwined are Max, a man who began the day with birthday celebrations tinged with regret; Vashti, a young woman who has already buried three of the people she loved most . . . but cannot forget Max, the one man who got away; and Gene, a Stanford geologist who knows far too much about the terrifying earthquakes that have damaged this beautiful city and irrevocably changed the course of their lives.

As day turns to night and fires burn across the city, Max and Vashti—trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium—must confront each other and face the truth about their past, while Gene embarks on a frantic search through the realization of his worst nightmares to find his way back to his ailing lover and their home.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

TLC BLOG TOUR: The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Title: The Opposite of Everyone
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: February 16/2016
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with Southern Oral Tradition to re-invent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula’s birthname Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own—one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. Separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.

These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn’t seen Kai in fifteen years, she’s still making payments on that Karmic debt—until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter. “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.”

Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it’s too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together—her own.

The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.