A Cruel Deception by Kim Booth

Today I hand back to Mandie who has a review of A Cruel Deception by Kim Booth. Thanks to Sarah Hardy of Book On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting us to join the tour, and to the author for the review copy. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Review Copy

About the Book

‘No one knows this horrifying true crime case better than the detective who cracked it. Kim Booth will take you on an unforgettable journey into lies, deceit, cunning and malice.’ Nick Louth

For Joan and Ted Warner, an innocent and trusting couple, a chance encounter with Barbara Hendry, a cunning con-woman who turned their settled lives into a living nightmare

The Warners were not victims of a remote scam, carried out over the internet by fraudsters from afar. For six years, faking a friendship face-to-face, this plausible woman carried off the impersonation of a member of the nobility fallen on hard times, manipulating the emotions of her victims, deceitfully draining them of every penny they had set aside for their retirement, and plunging them into debt.

Hendrys intention was to slip away, having sucked the Warners dry of all their hard-earned savings. But for some dogged investigative work by a determined detective she would have succeeded- and remained free to prey on other vulnerable victims.

Follow this journey of fraud and depravity in the company of the one man who knows the full story – the British detective who cracked the case and brought Barbara Hendry to justice.

A Cruel Deception is an insightful and gripping work of true crime, which illustrates the depth of wickedness and the possibility that we can all be deceived. 

Available from: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Mandie’s Thoughts

A Cruel Deception tells the true story of how Ted and Joan Warner were deceived by someone they believed to be a close friend. Over the course of 7 years they took out loans and borrowed from friends and family to help this person to the point they were almost led to bankruptcy.

Told from the point of the investigating officer it is certainly an eye opener as to just how much effort was made by Barbara Hendry to keep this deception going for so long. I think what was even more surprising was the number of people she managed to convince to assist her in this deception. This is a case from the late 70’s – early 80’s so everything was done old school… no internet scam. Everything was done by letter, phone call or face to face. The author has not sugar coated this story in any way as he takes you through the investigations, the witness statements and even the Warner’s refusal to believe they were victims of anything criminal. You could sense the frustration the author felt and over time they formed a sort of friendship with the Warners.

You really have to feel sorry for Ted and Joan. They were hard working, decent people who just wanted to help out.  As their lives were turned upside down and it started to affect their health you begin to understand how they didn’t want to believe that anything was wrong. Their determination to pay back every bit of money they had borrowed when the easy way out would have been declaring themselves bankrupt shows the kind of determination that is not always present in people today. As far as they were concerned it was their mess and they would fix it. Barbara on the other hand was something else. Even as the evidence was against her, she initially refused to admit she had done anything bad. In an age where this type of fraud is carried out over the internet on a daily basis, especially on the elderly and usually by people not really known to the victim this is a stark warning to all. We all say this would never happen to me and am sure the Warner’s thought the exact same thing….. right before their so-called friend promptly started taking them for every penny they had… and the money they didn’t have. The only thing that I struggled with was the detail in the statements from everyone involved in the case. At times they went from one straight to another which if I am honest distracted me from the case but that is probably just me.

If you like true crime, then check this book out. It’s not fast paced and there is no gruesome murder, but you will get an insight into all that goes into a fraud investigation.

About the Author

The author retired from the Lincolnshire Police as Detective Inspector in charge of the Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit. He now provides anti-fraud advice and fraud investigation on a consultancy basis together with assisting authors with police procedural issues and story lines. 

Author Links: Twitter

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