5 out of 5 stars
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“Liar, liar, pants on fire” doesn’t begin to explain the depths of deception that so-called fireman James Scott was willing to go to create a false life. On the surface, he seemed to be a charming and genuinely caring man, but his facade began to crack, and his excuses no longer held up to scrutiny. When his fiancee Coleen and her sister Karen sought answers, the truth became a bitter pill to swallow, and their lives would never be the same. Coleen Greenwood and Karen Crear share their eye-opening story as victims of an elaborate scam in Playing with Fire.
In their riveting true story, Coleen shares what happened to her after agreeing to an innocent date with a match she met on a dating site app. I appreciated how well Coleen and Karen depicted the events of 2016-2017 when James Scott first arrived on the scene. The twin sisters recollect James’s actions and how his outgoing and confident personality won over everyone they knew. It was amazing how this man got away with so many audacious crimes. But even the author states, “we all believed that James was a wonderful, kind, charitable man; an individual who would always help his fellow friends, a truly good person.”
This story was smooth-flowing and easy to read. The authors engagingly dipicted how James charmed Coleen with thoughtful gifts, romantic gestures, and relatable tales of woe. In telling her tale, Coleen and her sister could see the cracks in James’s stories, but even they were surprised at how far the deception went. Part two of the book dove into a new web of deceit as the sisters discovered they were not the only victims to get burned in this fireman’s game. It was fascinating to see how sheer luck, good timing, and a gift for playing with the emotions of others made it possible for one man to create such a life. This mind-blowing story is well worth reading and may even be relatable for other victims of sociopaths and pathological liars.
There were occasional moments where the pacing of the book dragged a bit. But as the increasingly surprising events unfolded, I desperately wanted to know how Coleen and Karen caught James in his lies. I could not put this book down! There were minor editing errors, but I disliked nothing about the book. Therefore, I give Playing with Fire five out of five stars.
This book tells the true story of a scam and court case in the United Kingdom. If you enjoy memoirs and trials of victims overcoming crime, you may want to check out this novel. My favorite part was the strength that came to the family as they had to overcome the pain of this situation together, and I was encouraged by their efforts to support each other through the devastating outcome of discovering the truth. There were a few swear words throughout the book but no erotic content.
Playing with Fire
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