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James Renner Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Man from Primrose Lane (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Forgetting (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Muse (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Googleplex (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gordie and Skoot Kill a Bear (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Keepsakes (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Winds of Astrodon (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Amy: My Search for Her Killer (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Serial Killer's Apprentice (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
It Came from Ohio (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Enormous Stories (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Crime Addict (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Little, Crazy Children (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

About James Renner

Largely writing thrillers, James Renner is an American fiction writer with a gift for creating tension and suspense with the reader. Really knowing how to raise the pressure, he has a real understanding of exactly how to keep his audience held on the edges of their seats. He’s also well regarded for his foray into other genres as well, using elements of science-fiction and fantasy over the years too. An extremely versatile novelist, he has successfully adapted to a number of different styles over throughout the course of his career.

Often looking and returning to the subject of serial-killers, this is an interest that’s keenly fascinated him as a writer. Setting himself apart from other writers within his field too, he definitely has something completely unique of his own to say. He’s a gifted writer knowing and understanding the genre well, all while researching his subject matter in-depth, giving it an even greater degree of authenticity. Part of this comes from the fact that, prior to becoming a full-time novelist, he was also a journalist, writing many works of non-fiction.

An inspired writer, he’s made many innovations in the literary field of the non-fiction true-crime genre, changing the playing field in the process. With a strong visual style prominent throughout his work too, it’s no surprise that he’s seen his writing being optioned for a big-screen adaptation as well. Many of his books are non-fiction, as he really gets into the minds of his subjects, clearly showing them as they actually are. He’s a writer with a lot more to say and offer too, as his writing career continues to grow, on into the foreseeable future.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on the 30th of March, 1978, James Renner would originally come from Akron where he was raised. Interested in reading and writing from an early age, he would focus on his craft over time, coming to develop his own singular voice. Attending Kent State University, he would graduate in 2000, before going on to work as a reporter for the Cleveland Scene, followed by working as an editor for The Cleveland Independent.

Working as a journalist for some time, he would come to nurture his craft as a writer, focusing on non-fiction stories. Many of these would be true-crime, which would lead him to establish ‘The Porchlight Project,’ which would offer support to the families of those missing and murdered as a non-profit. Previously he also founded the sketch comedy group, ‘Last Call Cleveland,’ and he currently writes to this day from his home in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and two children.

Writing Career

It was in 2012 that James Renner would write his first fiction novel, which was a stand-alone thriller called ‘The Man From Primrose Lane.’ Gaining a lot of acclaim for this, the book would be optioned in 2013 for a film, which fell through before being pitched as a television series to Fox in 2017. In 2015 he would go on to write the novel ‘The Great Forgetting,’ which was an urban fantasy, followed by ‘Muse,’ which was a mystery horror published in 2019. Previously he’s also written a number of non-fiction works too, beginning with ‘Amy’ in 2016, along with several short-stories too, as he continues writing to this day.

The Man From Primrose Lane

Initially released through the ‘Sarah Crichton Books’ publishing imprint, this would arrive on the 28th of February in 2012. The first fictional novel to come from James Renner as an author, it would establish his style as a writer of thriller novels. A stand-alone mystery novel, it’s straightforward with its self-contained narrative, whilst also being highly compelling too.

Murdered in 2008 on a summer’s day, an elderly man from West Akron was reclusive, known only as the Man From Primrose Lane. Now David Neff is a man broken just four years later, as he went into exile following his wife’s suicide, with him being the man who wrote about the Ohio serial-killer. Finding connections between the elderly man and his own wife, he begins to uncover the trail, as he’s drawn back into another investigation. Will he finally uncover the truth behind it all, where will his journey take him, and just who, exactly, is The Man From Primrose Lane?

This book does everything a good solid mystery novel is meant to, making for a very well written mystery story. Making the most of its more than compelling premise, there’s a twist and turn with every single page turn, as it keeps the reader constantly guessing. There’s a lot just under the surface, as it has a well written story that really entrances the reader every step of the way.


Originally published in 2019 on the 14th of May, this would first come out through the ‘Cemetery Dance Publications’ label. Not a part of any series as such, it’s a stand-alone novel that can potentially be read in one sitting, with it being fairly short. Nonetheless, it’s a compelling hybrid of the noir and the supernatural, bringing horror and mystery together on the page.

Disappearing in 2014 on the 19th of June, William J. Latch is a Boston attorney who’s vanished, leaving behind ten mini-cassette tapes in his offices containing transcriptions. Featuring his last will and testament, the tapes lead the way into a supernatural underworld, as there’s a box with something unearthly within it. This then takes the central detective on a long path to uncover the real truth behind it all, as he’s taken on a twisted journey into the unknown. Will he be able to find out what’s really going on, can he uncover the truth behind it all, and what will finally become of the muse?

A mixture of genres, this combine the classic hard-boiled noir with Lovecraftian horror, making for a more than compelling mystery. It definitely doesn’t hold back and is very much for adults, but it’s an addictive read that’s highly engaging and difficult to put down. The central character is very flawed, but it keeps the reader constantly glued to the page throughout, as its premise is an interesting one.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Renner

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