The Man From Primrose Lane

The Man From Primrose Lane

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
6
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A mind-bending, genre-twisting debut novel

In West Akron, Ohio, there lived a reclusive elderly man who always wore mittens, even in July. He had no friends and no family; all over town, he was known as the Man from Primrose Lane. And on a summer day, someone murdered him.

Fast-forward four years. David Neff, the bestselling author of a true-crime book about an Ohio serial killer, is a broken man after his wife's inexplicable suicide. When an unexpected visit from an old friend introduces him to the strange mystery of "the man with a thousand mittens," David decides to investigate. What he finds draws him back into a world he thought he had left behind forever. And the closer David gets to uncovering the true identity of the Man from Primrose Lane, the more hebegins to understand the dangerous power of his own obsessions and how they may be connected to the deaths of both the old hermit and his beloved wife.

Deviously plotted and full of dark wit, James Renner's The Man from Primrose Lane is an audacious debut that boasts as many twists as a roller coaster. But beneath its turns, it's a spellbinding story about our obsessions: the dangerous sway they have over us and the fates of those we love.

Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, 2012
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780374200954
0374200955
Branch Call Number: FIC Renne 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 365 p

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bobcmusgrave
Apr 30, 2017

I learned of the writer James Renner after reading his book "It Came From Ohio" that I picked up on a whim and then I looked though the list of other things he wrote and picked "The Man From Primrose Lane" to start.

I got pulled into the story immediately as I grew up in the Northeastern Ohio area that the story is set in. Mentioning streets and areas I grew up in was fun. The setting may have initially pulled me in but the story of a journalist/writer investigating a mystery and learning of his previous obsession with another crime in the past kept me going. The book was hard to put down and despite some criticism I've read about the "twist" I thought it was great and held on for a fun ride all the way to the conclusion.

Recommended for anyone wanting to read a non-typical mystery novel and/or anyone who lived in the Akron/Canton or Cleveland area.

a
abcDena
Aug 20, 2016

I just finished Renner's other book, a non-fiction study called True Crime Addict -- HIGHLY recommended.

The Man From Primrose Lane gave off old school vibes, a mix of Boo Radley, 80s child kidnapping paranoia, but with a dash of time travel and romance? Somehow Renner manages to pull it off, and even when the plot gets weak in the middle, Renner's zippy and colourful writing saves the whole book from caving in.

I really enjoyed reading this and would recommend it to those who've read enough mystery-suspense to want to shake things up, or even to fans of speculative fiction.

a
archbish99
Mar 19, 2016

While I understand those who were frustrated by the sci-fi twist, I knew going in that this was a time-travel novel. And it was *brilliantly* done, in my opinion. Kudos to the author for creating a self-consistent intriguing murder mystery that plays out along a very convoluted timeline!

w
wyenotgo
Aug 27, 2015

A tremendously gifted writer has produced an exceptionally frustrating book! It seems that Renner couldn't make up his mind whether he was writing a clever murder mystery (which it is for the first two-thirds) or a fantasy/science fiction piece of drivel (the final third). After getting hooked on the crafty, convoluted mystery I felt I had been hoodwinked when it suddenly turned into a third-rate hack job. In the end, a complete waste of time. With his obvious skill as a writer, Renner should be ashamed of himself!

carrilis Jul 13, 2014

This was quite an enjoyable read until the sci-fi twist. Still liked it, but it got just a little too weird at that point, which was about 3/4 of the way thru. In the end, that twist works out, but it causes quite an abrupt change to the storyline. The story takes place in Northeast Ohio, which made it fun to read, knowing all the references that the author is referring to throughout.

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bortni1272
Jun 17, 2012

Intriguing read, it might be what a story would look like if Harlan Coben and John Connelly got together. I'm not a big fan of science fiction but this had enough mystery and suspense to keep me reading. If you've ever wondered "What if..." or "If only..." you'll want to check out The Man from Primrose Lane.

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