Friday 16 July 2021

Book Review | Sleeping with a Psychopath by Carolyn Woods | prettylittlewriter

 Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the eARC.

'Carolyn Woods was living happily in a quiet Cotswolds village when an attractive stranger abruptly arrived in her life.

Introducing himself as Mark Conway, he exuded confidence, and to her surprise, Carolyn quickly became captivated by this mysterious man. A rich Swiss banker (who later confessed to being a spy), he offered Carolyn companionship and introduced her to an exciting, glamorous world.

In fact, some things were so astonishing she began to question her new lover. Was all as it seemed?

The truth was even harder to believe. For a start, his real name was Mark Acklom, he was wanted by Interpol, and he was rich but for one reason only....'

This is an unbelievable true story that shook me to the core. I honestly couldn't understand how this poor woman was taken in so easily by Mark, who's real name is Mark Acklom (honestly, google him, he's despicable).

When I first requested this novel via Netgalley, I actually didn't realise that it was a true story. So going into it, and hearing Carolyn telling us that she slept with this man after a day of knowing him, and fell madly in love, giving him all her money and trusting him blindly, I was outraged and genuinely thought she was an absolute idiot.

When I realised that she had actually been through all of this in real life, I was shocked and heartbroken for her. In some ways, I still can't actually believe she was taking in by him (he's an arrogant and disgusting racist, and personally I would have wanted NOTHING to do with him), however, the amount of people throughout the book that we learn he has convinced with his lies, makes you wonder just how good he must be to have all these people doing his bidding.

I also felt like the 'character' of Carolyn throughout the book, specifically during her relationship with Mark, was quite an arrogant, vain and snobbish woman. I struggled to feel any sympathy for her during this part of the novel, and it was only when she finally realised what had been happening to her, and she decided to go to the police, that I actually felt sorry for her and what she had been put through.

It must have been incredibly hard for her, especially with how shockingly rubbish the authorities were and how little help she received to start with. The justice system really did fail her.

The novel itself has been written well, especially the first half where it sounds more fictional with her telling the story of their relationship and the ridiculously wild things they did; the second half felt much more like an autobiography rather than a novel, as it was very factual and to the point with the court cases and police proceedings. 

I didn't enjoy the read as much as I thought I would from the synopsis, but it's worth reading to understand Carolyn's side of the story.

3/5 stars

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