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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read
This book is just flabbergasting. I feel deeply sorry for the people who had their lives wrecked by Robert Freegard, especially for Sarah. What an evil man. Having finished this book i still can not beleive how gullable this people were, even though i understand how Robert worked. I just cant understand why the parents handed over so much money to him. Nobody seemed to...
Published on 19 July 2007 by A. Bartholomew

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I was deceived!!
Unfortunately for me, I forked out $40 on what I thought was going to be a well-written, captivating account of Sarah Smith's ordeal. However, I was mistaken. I found the writing to be a little on the amateur side, and felt it lacked the depth I was anticipating. I was expecting - among other things - a much more comprehensive look into Sarah's psychological state during...
Published on 10 Oct 2007 by Fi


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, 19 July 2007
By 
A. Bartholomew "AB" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
This book is just flabbergasting. I feel deeply sorry for the people who had their lives wrecked by Robert Freegard, especially for Sarah. What an evil man. Having finished this book i still can not beleive how gullable this people were, even though i understand how Robert worked. I just cant understand why the parents handed over so much money to him. Nobody seemed to question him and delve further into what was going on. They didn't just hand over a few hundred quid to Robert Freegard, but hundreds of thousands of pounds. Surely alarm bells would ring as they had to fund what there children were doing. Just one phonecall to the police to check him out would of stopped this going on. It just goes to show how comeone can have so much power without you realizing it.

For Sarah it must be hard for her to try and get on with her life knowing she has missed out on 10 years. She will definatly be more wiser now and cautious. Good luck to her :o)

Personally i think this book is a fascinating read, a great insight into how Robert Freegard tricked his way into their lifes, and did what he did for 10 years. Have a read and see what you think.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compulsive read, 25 Jun 2007
By 
Kim Queenan "kim" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
i agree with the firt reviewer this is an unbelevable true story, at times in the book you are thinking why is sarah so gullable, but here we have a very clever and manipulitive con man who totally brain washed his victims. this is a compulsive read, and will probably make you very wary of charming men.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I was deceived!!, 10 Oct 2007
By 
Fi (Auckland, NZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
Unfortunately for me, I forked out $40 on what I thought was going to be a well-written, captivating account of Sarah Smith's ordeal. However, I was mistaken. I found the writing to be a little on the amateur side, and felt it lacked the depth I was anticipating. I was expecting - among other things - a much more comprehensive look into Sarah's psychological state during her journey, rather than just the mostly physical account of events. Sarah's gullibility was very frustrating to me, despite Kate Snell's very brief attempts to help the reader understand brainwashing, and therefore Sarah's helpless predicament. From all accounts, Sarah was an intelligent girl, yet it apparently evaded her that nobody under police protection would be treated so appallingly. I found myself feeling irritated by her for this, and at times felt she was weak. I realise that this was not the author's intention, which is why I am so critical of how this book was written.

I of course have a lot of sympathy for her for being robbed of 10 years of her life, but I actually felt more sadness and warmth towards her parents. It is my opinion that this is because the author neglected to provide the reader with much insight into Sarah's character/personality, which made it hard to feel much for her on a personal level. Her parents, on the other hand, had their emotions and vulnerabilities clearly illustrated, which, from a reader's point of view, I think made them easier to identify with.

Finally, I would have liked to have read more about her reunion with her parents. At the book's beginning, it was clear that Sarah was close to her parents, and in particular, her mother, so it may have made me warm to Sarah if there had been more than just a very brief (couple of sentences) mention of how it was when they reunited. After everything her parents had been through, it felt as though the author had again omitted something significant.

So overall, I was disappointed with this book, and felt that I didn't get a whole lot more out of the 319 pages than I did from reading the back cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic real life nightmare, 12 Jun 2011
This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Paperback)
Maybe these people were naive to be duped but he was also a very good con-man. Robert Freegard seems to be a text-book sociopath and intelligent enough to use this to his advantage. Most people do not expect people to lie and presume others are as honest as they are. Between 1 and 3% of the population have sociopathic tendencies and upset peoples lives on a regular basis albeit in lesser ways than this. A gripping read, and may help to identify one of these people if they appear in our lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strange and sad story, 6 Jun 2011
This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
I found this book fascinating, wanting to read on and on to find out how Sarah finally escapes from the control of this con man. It was very sad to find out how he tricked her, brainwashed her and abused her for ten years. Although she must have been somewhat gullible, it was very brave of her to open up in a memoir and admit just how foolish she had been. I'm sure that she learnt a lot for her ordeal and has come out of it a much stronger person. This book highlights just how easily some people can be deceived and I hope anyone who reads it learns something of human nature from it.

One negative point is the style of writing. It constantly switches from first person to third person, sometimes without a warning and it took me a while to get used to this theme. Also, bizarrely, there are great chunks of text in very light grey type which is extremely hard to read against the white page. I assumed this to be a printing error at first (I read the hardback version) but soon found out that it is actually meant to be like this - I would guess it's the co-author's or publisher's attempt at distinguishing researched facts from those taken from Sarah herself? Anyway, it definitely should have been in black ink!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read, 18 Jun 2007
This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
This story is so extraordinary that it is difficult to believe that it's true- but it is!

A young con-man, no older than his student victims, persuades them that he works for MI5, and that they are being hunted by the IRA. In the case of Sarah Smith he takes over her life for ten miserable years, moving her from place to place, job to job, continually fearing that she will find terrorists at her door. Isolated by her family "for their own protection", she is forced to con huge sums of money from them which she hands over to her "protector".

Kate Snell has written a mavellous book in which, with great psychological insight, she shows us how intelligent young people were duped by a ruthless but charismatic con-man, using extremely sophisticated techniques. He and his victims are brought vividly to life, so that we understand both his motivation, and their increasing helplessness
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Reading, 14 July 2007
This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
The story of Sarah Smith (and the other victims of Robert Freegard) is an extraordinary tale and one that I sympathise with. The sociopath is an extraordinary person and having been victim to one myself I know how powerful their persuasive personalities are. I salute the victims of this man for coming forward and telling their story, it is not easy, particularly with the perception society has of the victims of con-men. The more victims that stand up and tell their story, the more will be protected from the same treatment, and (like with rape in the early part of the 1900s) perceptions of this type of crime will change.
I thoroughly recommend reading this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 2 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Paperback)
I thought this book was a fanastic read, I couldn't put the book down. Those who gave low marks for this book are lacking in empathy. THis poor woman kept doing what this man said because she was scared stiff. She was scared for her life and for the life of her family and she believed him when he said he was working under cover. Easy to think you wouldn't do what this woman did, until you are put in the exact situation you wouldn't know how you would react. I thought it was a fantastic read and I just hope she is now settled back with her family and that the trauma of what happened to her has faded.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Totally conned, 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Deceived: A True Story (Hardcover)
Certainly a fascinating read but I still find it difficult to imagine how perfectly intelligent people, if a little nave, could be so totally taken in by this conman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 18 Aug 2013
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What a story really gripping to think people were taken in
and believed this evil man he must serve a long sentence for the misery he caused.
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