Cover Image: Little, Crazy Children

Little, Crazy Children

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Member Reviews

This was really an excellent read for any true crime lover. I had never heard of this case, so I was instantly intrigued and engaged by this horrific and devastating story. A true tale of injustice and an eye opening glimpse into why case reviews are so crucial.
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Renner is a force to be reckoned with and has written a riveting true crime novel.  
Many thanks to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Before picking up this book, I had never heard of the murder of Lisa Pruett in Shaker Heights, Ohio. I'm a true crime fan, so I was excited to be approved to read Little, Crazy Children.

I agree with the other reviews I've read that say the first part of the book is a well-written, well-researched true crime story. The remaining third is the author's thoughts and opinions on the case, which felt a little unnecessary to me. 

I still enjoyed hearing about this case, and would read another by James Renner. This case is heartbreaking, and I hope for both the family of Lisa Pruett and the city of Shaker Heights that it's solved one day.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the e-ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
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I’ll be honest in saying this is a book that didn’t really need written. Not only did it drag on and on but the author even made sure to include a rather self-serving interlude about how he was so mistreated after the publication of a previous book. Something that had nothing to do with the topic at hand.
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the author did their research well, hard to detect who was a stronger suspect just as you knew you didn't know. the detail described was amazing true tragedy what happened to Lisa and also Kevin but raises a lot of questions about our law enforcement and their process to carry out their duties   a true must read
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Little, Crazy Children by James Renner is a much more traditional true crime book than his previous works. Amy: My Search for Her Killer and True Crime Addict had elements of memoir throughout, while Little, Crazy Children is a straightforward account of Lisa Pruett’s murder in Shaker Heights, Ohio for the first 80% of the book. The last 20% is when Renner shares his perspective and theories, and this was my favorite part of the book. It makes sense that he organized the narrative this way; Lisa and Kevin’s stories deserved to be told on their own, and the research and writing was excellent. I would highly recommend this book to both true crime fans and James Renner fans, and I look forward to reading what he writes next!
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I found this book highly distributing. A young girl is discovered murdered in a neighbor's back yard after sneaking out to see her boyfriend. A classmate obsessed with her and jealous of her relationship is accused of the murder because several people claimed he made verbal threats against the couple. Absolutely chilling, this goes through several theories of what might have happened, but the case remains unsolved to this day. I received a free copy for my honest review.
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Well researched and written. Very sad. Still no answers. I absolutely adore how the author ended the book with Lisa's words..

"Give this letter back to me after you read it so I can sign it so fifty years from now you can remember me." 

🪽
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Anyone who's a fan of Dateline or 20/20 will enjoy this book.  Most true crime novels that simply tell the story without telling the story behind the story become boring within a chapter or two. This stands out for me because the author digs into the details, gives us all the dirt thrown on the suspects , and writes the interviews in a plausible, real talk kind of way. The way the story unfolds through the young people spreading this piece of gossip or that one particular story they heard from a friend makes for a spectacular read. The author uses the whisper down the lane approach and it just works. The twists and turns keep you thinking and you can't really pin down anything until almost the end. Most of all, I enjoyed the way discrepancies kept showing up throughout the initial interviews with the youngsters but it wasn't touched upon until later, so you aren't sure whether the detectives caught it or not. Very interesting indeed!
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I loved James Renner's other books so I was excited to see he had a new release. This book surrounds the murder of Lisa Pruett from Shaker Heights in Ohio and how it essentially divided a town over "whodunnit". 

The first half of the book is essentially police and court transcripts from the investigation. Renner does not really do any of his own writing for this portion but it still kept my interest.

The second half of the book is Renner's writing. I can see why people (reading other reviews) are put off by this but it is just that Renner is a very casual writer, as I have found in his previous books and blogs. I found this part the most fascinating because it followed up with a lot of the characters and potential new leads in the case. 

Overall, it wasn't my favorite Renner book but I still found it interesting.
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Very well and written and researched. I read alot of true crime books and I hadnt heard of this case. I found it to be very interesting.
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This was a true crime case I have not heard about before, so I was excited to have a chance to review this book. I loved the first 2/3 of this book, but the last part of the book was disappointing. The first 2/3 of the book was well written and gave plenty of details of the case. It is clear that the author of this book researched court documents to give precise details on things such as interviews and coroner reports. I liked that the writing contained dialog to keep the information more digestible. The last part of the book focuses on the author's thoughts on the unsolved case. I dislike when authors talk about themselves in books like this. I also dislike when authors talk about their thoughts on a case, especially if they weren't part of the case from the beginning.
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Thanks to Kensington Books, Netgalley and the author for an ARC of this book.  I am leaving this unbiased review voluntarily.

This book covers the murder of Lisa Pruett, a teenager in Shaker Heights, the ensuing investigation, trial of the suspect and then everything that happened after.  The author had to conduct many of his interviews and research during Covid, which makes for an interesting background.  Having lived through those dark days many of us can identify with feelings of helplessness and despair, and there is a pathos to the writing which ties in with this tragic story.

The book is thoroughly researched, well-written and engaging.  It's not disrespectful or salacious, but there are many twists and turns that read a bit like a thriller. I believe the author has treated this tragic case with empathy with a focus on exposing the truth, wherever it may lead.  

If you're a fan of the genre and you like good storytelling (without the pomposity of Pulitzer Prize Winners) then this is the book for you.
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James Renner does a deep dive into the murder of Lisa Pruett in the Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Shaker Heights in 1990. Mr. Renner does an excellent job of clearly laying out the investigation and subsequent trial for the reader. It grabs you from the very beginning and keeps your attention throughout. I definitely would recommend this book to true crime readers. Thank you NetGalley for gifting me a digital ARC of this book.
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Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for an eARC copy of Little, Crazy Children by James Renner. 

This was my introduction to the Lisa Pruett murder case and it was heartbreaking. Imagine sneaking out of your home in the middle of the night to see your boyfriend who was freshly out of the hospital, only to be murdered. I could imagine that the sound of the screams and not knowing who or where they came from haunting the boyfriend and his family. James Renner does a wonderful job detailing the case and the history surrounding the neighborhood. One of my favorite true crime novels.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.    Thank you NetGalley. 

This was my first book by James Renner, and it was quite interesting.     This was a true crime book about 16 year old Lisa Pruett in Ohio.   If you have not heard about this story / crime, Lisa was on her way to her boyfriend's house at midnight in 1990 when she was horrendously stabbed to death just a few feet away.      
The community teamed up against another young teen - Kevin, certain that he was the murderer.     He was arrested withh zero evidence and later acquitted. 
 
30 years later, there are still so many questions left unanswered.     James Renner did an amazing job with this book and the facts.   

Would definitely read another by him.
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This book had me hooked from the start.  I love a true crime story, and this book covered all of the angles.  In the end I have my own suspicions and opinions.  It is sad that the truth will never be known about who really killed Lisa.  If you are a true crime fan, I definitely recommend this book!
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riveting true crime novel.  I couldn't put it down

thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the copy for review
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This was a true crime story I had not heard of before I read the book. I enjoyed the story and thought it was well researched. It was a little heavy on the details in places and that made the story drag slightly for me. All and all I'm glad I read it.
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Thank you for a copy of this true crime story. It tells the story of Lisa, a young girl living in Shaker Heights, OH who was brutally murdered in the middle of the night on her way to her boyfriend''s house for a secret meet up. It unravels the mystery of who killed her, why, and how the town itself had a role in all of this, thus the title of the book. This book is well researched, intelligent and fascinating. And it unfortunately doesn't have a happy ending, but that is life. I enjoyed this true crime story and definitely recommend if that is also a genre you enjoy. Very well written!
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