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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars

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on 31 December 2015
Fun read, very similar to catch me if you can.
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on 5 February 2011
An interesting tale about the young Scottish fraudster tho i thought it was one which could have been told better. As he's an out and out liar I thought there were definetly parts of this story where he was telling porkies or at the very least 'embellishing the truth ' . Not all your readers are dim-witted hotel receptionists Mr Castro. However in saying that it was amazing that his youthful brazenness did get him so far. If a movie or documentary does ever get made then with a good director it could be good to watch.
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on 6 April 2007

Neil Forsyth's fast-paced writing style brings Elliot Castro's amazing story to life. From the word go, I was pretty much sucked in to this page-turner. This is not just a book about crime. There are some hilarious moments as well as some deeply emotional and personal moments where I couldn't help but feel for Elliot. It's a truly outstanding piece of writing with a story that will definitely interest anyone who holds a credit card or wants to know how credit card fraud works.

It's a thriller, a comedy and a drama all in one. Buy it!
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on 10 August 2014
Saw this pegged as the british reply to "wolf of wall street" or "catch me if you can", it is neither! We hear many times about how repentant the chap is about his time and how he didn't see it as stealing. but we hear very little about the fun he must have had (and lets face it thats what we want to hear about!)

I wouldn't recommend this book
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This book tells the fscinating story of a highly intelligent boy who, for whatever reasons, didn't thrive at school (and was actually expelled from several schools) and ended up without any formal qualifications. Instead, he grew into a young adult using his considerable brainpower to extract vast sums of money from credit card organizations. The book explains some of the techniques involved, though hopefully not in enough detail to encourage others to follow the criminal's example. Indeed, even as we read about his high living in luxury hotels in London, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Dublin, Sydney, the Bahamas, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other places, we are regularly reminded that the criminal was constantly on the run. Even so, he spent spells in prison in Canada as well as Britain, usually for a length of time that seems lenient in retrospect.

When the criminal tried to stabilize his life in Belfast, chosen because it is part of the UK but with its own distinctive police force, he learned that he couldn't do so for any length of time because people started wondering how he really came by his wealth. People can spot the difference between those who are genuinely wealthy and those who are not, even without any evidence. The stories that the criminal told just didn't add up. When he was continually on the move, people didn't see him for long enough to worry about such matters. So it was that a long spell in Belfast combined with regular visits to certain other places, especially Edinburgh and his parents' adopted home of Glasgow, made it increasingly difficult for the criminal to operate effectively in the places he liked. As the criminal acknowledges, he might have evaded the police for much longer had he continually sought out new places to visit. Somewhere along the way, the criminal realized that his life of crime, while having its moments, would be ultimately unsustainable. The excitement of all the international travel and the lavish spending on luxury goods most of which he couldn't use, was fading. The criminal releazed that the police would eventually catch up with him once and for all, come what may.

The other side of the story, from the police perspective, gets limited coverage here but this book is the story of the criminal, so that's fair enough. Nevertheless, the author discussed the case with at least one of the detectives involved. He was based at Heathrow Airport, but what becomes clear is that the various police forces involved focused on their own local cases although they alerted each other if the criminal was captive and whenn he was scheduled to be released. Whether this was incompetence or whether the police were constrained by the way that policing operates in Britain, I can't say for certain. It looks like incompetence but I've seen how how other British public services operate and I know that it may not be. In that case, politicians should read this book and see whether there is a need to change police organization in Britain.

Meanwhile, the Heathrow detective built up a long list of crimes based on information supplied by credit card organizations. Unfortunately, this information was of a historical nature so all he could really do was wait until one of the other police forces caught the criminal and alerted him. Eventually this happened and, finally, a case came to court based on a s substantial number of crimes. Although the criminal got his longest sentence yet imposed, I suspect that most people would regard it as lenient, especially with all the time deducted for good behaviour while inside prison.

Maybe the criminal will spend the rest of his life as a law-abiding citizen, but his job opportunities are limited, not only by his criminality but also by his lack of formal education. For somebody who started to read books enthusiastically long before he reached school age, this is a complete and utter waste of talent.

Although the education system as such is not mentioned in the book, the criminal's story confirms my fears about the way in which the British education system fails to cater adequately cater for the needs of highly intelligent children. It is an issue that politicians need to examine, as are the issues of discipline and bullying in schools. I'm not advocating a return to grammar schools, which would in any case not address the crimninal's problems (which started at primary school) but the present system clearly doesn't work. Far too often, we hear that intelligent children will cope with school anyway because their enjoyment of the academic work will compensate for whatever else happens. Although an extreme case, the criminal proves otherwise. Whatever the shortcomings of police, schools or politicians, the cdriminal's story makes a highly entertaining read.
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on 8 January 2012
The true story of a likeable character who painlessly obtained money from individuals and companies to fund his luxurious life style; until; his conscience over-ruled him. He then chose to help the law fight crime.
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on 28 June 2016
I read an extract a few years ago in a Saturday supplement and was fascinated as to how he made it possible and sustained a "living". I am in no way condoning what he did as he lived off other people's money simply because he was wanted a certain lifestyle. I like the way the book doesn't just tell Elliot Castro's story but also the author's thoughts on his subject
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on 14 June 2007
Elliot Castro, you and I have very similar backgrounds and CV!

Your book is truly fantastic and deserves to be where it is on the Amazon hit list. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and your tales of woe and the high life you enjoyed on other people's money was exactly my modus operandi for years.

I get the impression we suffer from the syndrom of having to buy our friends. In bars. And expensive hotels. Your honesty at telling your stories is truly remarkable. Your ability to coerce money out the credit card companies was awesome!

Congratulations on your book. You may like to read 'High Stakes - How I blew 14 Million Pounds' I wrote that in prison!

Good luck for the future

Nigel Goldman
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on 13 November 2013
Pretty good account, lacked details, perhaps for legal reasons, so it was hard to see why he was so good, just that the took quite a bit of money and had fun with it. I enjoyed this book.
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on 26 August 2011
Great rollercoaster of a ride. Still reading and difficult to put down. You really want him to succeed. Ordered second hand and received very quickly and in decent condition.
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