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Comment: PB has a few pages with a very few orange HIGHLIGHTS, otherwise book is like new with very minimal shelf wear nice tight binding and overall nice clean pages - spooky reads - scary and true - unsolved - illustrated - enjoy!
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The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes Paperback – October 31, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

James Renner is genuine. He cares about these victims. They have become a part of him. He’s not writing from a distance with apathetic cynicism. He’s right in the heart of the cases, digging and searching for answers. When it comes to true crime, this is the kind of writer we need. (Crime Shadow News 2008-12-15)

Renner’s book is chilling because it reminds us that the bad guys often get away. Instead of the neat closure that we find at the end of every “CSI” and “Monk” episode, we have nothing but a pile of frustrating questions . . . This book is for the true-crime aficionado that understands the frustration of a cold case . . . It is for those of us that find the ice-cold splash of reality intellectually more refreshing than the perfect neatness of fiction. (Professor Plum crimecritics.com 2009-01-08)

This is a great book for true crime aficionados who don’t necessarily require a tidy ending . . . Renner has a great, documentary-like feel to his storytelling―you experience the cases firsthand as he sorts through the clues, theories, conjecture and intrigue. (Michelle McNamara truecrimediary.com 2009-02-16)

Takes the imagination to a dark and chilling place. This, Renner’s second book, shows off his talents in the [crime reporting] genre: an investigator’s persistence, a strong sense of mystery-suspense storytelling and a direct and restrained style that can both pull back to describe a crime scene and turn sympathetic to illuminate victims’ vibrant but lost lives . . . Renner’s writing is gripping, well researched and hard to put down. (Erick Trickey Cleveland Magazine 2009-03-01)

Not for the faint of heart. This well-written book delves into 13 true and as yet unsolved Northeast Ohio cases―many involving grisly murders . . . Renner tracks down leads as he reviews the cases and confronts suspects. Although new techniques, such as analyzing DNA may someday be used to discover what really happened, Renner’s book makes clear that today the truth stubbornly remains elusive. (Laura Kennelly Morning Journal 2008-12-14)

Most of [Renner’s] mysteries are as enticing as any you are likely to see on any network crime show. The only difference is that in these real crime stories, the guilty remain at large. (Terry Mapes News Journal 2009-01-25)

A most fascinating book. I know journalists are constantly told to stay objective, but it’s obvious that these cases have touched Mr. Renner on a personal level . . . I highly recommend this book to any true crime fan. It is one of the best I have read in a long time. (Trench Reynolds CrimeNe.ws 2009-03-18)

About the Author

James Renner is a novelist and freelance journalist. His true crime stories have been published in the Best American Crime Reporting and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies. His film adaptation of a Stephen King story was an official selection at the 2005 Montreal World Film Festival. A graduate of Kent State University, he lives in Akron, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Gray & Company, Publishers; 1 edition (October 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598510460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598510461
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hugh C. Howey on January 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Renner's book is chilling because it reminds us that the bad guys often get away. Instead of the neat closure that we find at the end of every CSI and Monk episode, we have nothing but a pile of frustrating questions. Boxes stuffed with evidence and empty prison cells. In his 13 unlucky chapters we meet grieving friends and family desperate for closure. We are presented with enough accused that some of them must be innocent while all suffer the stigma of guilt. And we are introduced to the hardworking men and women that devote a lot of time to unraveling these mysteries with often frustrating results.

If you want the pleasure of chasing a bad guy and nabbing him, this isn't your tale. This book is for the true-crime aficionado that understands the frustration of a cold case. It is for the amateur sleuth that wants to paw through Renner's facts hoping to find a missed clue. It is for those of us that find the ice-cold splash of reality intellectually more refreshing than the perfect neatness of fiction. This book will color your awareness of the cases covered on news sites like DreaminDemon.com and give you a new-found respect for the men and women in law enforcement.

The 13 crimes are a varied bunch. You have a dead stripper that nobody cares about, a high-profile bank robber that people compared to D.B. Cooper, and everything in-between. There is a man that seemed very likely to have killed his wife, but enough doubt and missing evidence to stay a conviction. There is an apparent suicide that doesn't seem at all apparent to Renner, the boy's family, nor myself. There is the titular case of Robert Buell, who was put to death for raping and killing women in the early 80's.
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I had prompt delivery from seller. The book is very interesting since I was born and still live in Cleveland area. The Beverly Jarvos, Maple Hts. killing still wears on my mind since I am from Maple Hts. and my mom still lives there.
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I heard Mr. Renner on a Cleveland radio station and just had to buy this book. It is very well written and very interesting. Not too much detail that is hard to understand, but interesting details that keep you glued to the book. I hope Mr. Renner writes more like this.
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I'm a huge fan of all things true crime from documentaries to podcasts and all things in between. I've had The Serial Killer's Apprentice on my TBR list for a while , searching for a copy at one of my local libraries, but was, unable to find a copy in our library system. After hearing James Renner on True Crime Garage discussing the Amy Mihalajvich case I decided it was time for me to purchase my own copy of the book. My money was well spent, I was impressed with how we researched and well written the book was. Although the book discusses several cases rather than just one the book offers a wealth of details and in several instances information not previously released to the public. After reading this book I'm anxiously awaiting Renner's book on the disappearance of Maura Murray which I first heard about on the ID channel show, Disappeared. I would recommend this to those readers who enjoy true crime or non fiction. 5 well deserved stars for this immersive true crime anthology!
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Format: Paperback
Being a former cleveland gal I enjoyed this book very much. My favorite was the kidnappings of Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, my grandmother lives near by there and I know the area well, I hoped and prayed these girls would be found and Mr. Renner wrote a great chapter in this book concerning the abductions and no bodies, thank God, were ever found. In the last month a startling thing happened, after 10 long years, the girls were found and freed!! It was a miracle! The two girls along with a third, were imprisoned in a house in Cleveland only about twelve miles away from where they were abducted, it was a true miracle! Its a horror story to be sure but at least the girls are alive now.

All the stories were good in this book, as I said my favorite was the "west-side" girls because I know the neighborhood so well, I hope other stories in his book are also solved, this was an amazing story and more so now that the girls survived the horrors and hell of a sadistic predator, the details are almost too distubning too hear.

Since Mr. Renner knows the streets and area's and locations and all the details I hope he perhaps writes a book about his case since he was one of the first, if not only, too write about it. I think it would make a fine follow-up book.

You will enjoy this one through especially if you are from Cleveland. A great book too read around the fireplace on a cold snowy night!
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I have no connection to Ohio, but I still found this book to be a fascinating read. There is enough information about each cold case to make them all seem solvable, and I hope that someone out there is able to provide some closure for the families of the victims included. I'd heard of one or two of the cases; probably because I read the author's blog about Maura Murray's disappearance, but most were unfamiliar to me. There are some very strange coincidences in many of the cases, and some even seem as though they may be connected to others in the book. If you are from, or have a connection to Ohio, or if you are just a fan of true crime stories, definitely read this book. You never know when someone out there will finally remember or choose to provide that final piece of the puzzle that will mean justice for an innocent crime victim.
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