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2.96 of 5 stars 2.96  ·  rating details  ·  181 ratings  ·  45 reviews

Julian and Annie have only just announced their forthcoming marriage when Annie's twelve-year-old son, Dan, fails to come home from school. Despite an extensive police investigation, the days turn into weeks and it is as if Dan has vanished into thin air.

Over the next three years Annie refuses to give up hope that somewhere...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 14th 2010)
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Frayn has taken a riveting true story--a teenage con artist successfully impersonates a missing boy--and written a deeply boring, opaque, and stiff novel.
Paul Pessolano
This book is loosely based on an actual occurrence in Engalnd. It is an English novel and is written in the English style.

Annie has lost he husband to cancer and she is bringing up her twelve year old son and his sister. Julian has come into her life and they have decided to get married. Dan, her son, has serious problems accepting the upcoming marriage and disappears.

The wedding, of course, is put on hold and an effort is made to locate Dan. The English detectives seem to put few resources into...more
Adele Ward
Would You Know Your Own Child?

Imagine my surprise when I realised the hard-to-believe premise of Deceptions, by Rebecca Frayn, is based on a true story. If your son disappeared at the age of 12 and returned a few years later, would you be able to recognise him with certainty? Would you know if the returning prodigal was an impostor, and if so would you pretend not to notice?

It really doesn’t matter whether this is credible or not, or that we can ruin part of the plot by reading about the story t...more
Ian Kirkpatrick
Rebecca Frayn’s second novel is elegantly written with a compelling and convincing plot which demonstrates one of her key skills as a writer.

She chooses to narrate the story as a male character, Julian Poulter; slightly detached, emotionally ambivalent and yet utterly believable. Julian’s profession as an art valuer, trying to spot fraudulent copies and fakes, creates a deft sub-text to the central premise of the book, alongside his own agendas and self-deceptions. The unreliability of his narra...more
Melanie Garrett
I'm still dithering about this novel. Very much a book of two halves for me. After setting up a reasonably straightforward premise, the narrative then consisted of mining all conceivable thoughts parents with a missing child might have. However, since we were seeing all this through the eyes of the mother's partner, who never really seemed terribly interested in what might have happened to the missing boy, after the first thirty pages of detached observational minutiae, it was hard to muster any...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pretty much from page one of this book I was hooked. It is a sparsely and tightly written book with no unecessary padding and the book leaps straight in. The story is narrated by Justin, the fiancé of Annie who is widowed with two children, 12 year old Dan and 8 year old Rachel. Justin and Annie have just become engaged and life is finally settling down for the couple when….bam! Dan doesn’t return home from school. Being narrated by Justin really worked, in my opinion: Dan wasn’t his child, and...more
Maggie White
Enjoyed reading this book although thought the plot was transparent and was diappointed that it wasn't the pageturner I had expected. Dan is 12 when he fails to return home from school one day. This event has a drastic effect of Annie (his mother) and Julian's relationship. Julian is the new partner of Annie and they were just planning their wedding when this happened. The story is told through the eyes of Julian as the outsider. 3 years later there is a call from Glasgow saying that Dan is ther...more
Very readable, although I knew what would happen, since I had already seen the (wonderful) documentary The Imposter. This book didn't explore all avenues thoroughly enough for me, for example, there is (quite rightly) a lot about the mother's obsession for her missing son, but at the end of the novel after the revelation and the newspaper cutting, we hear no more about that. Would she really send the newspaper cutting to Julian? As far as we're concerned she's still in denial.

Julian was an inte...more
Tragic book :( it was based on a true story which made it even worse. Did I enjoy this book? I'm still undecided. I think it wasn't much of a mystery that they boy was an imposter. Also, the mother was quite irritating. Not sure why, just knew I didn't like her much. Sad ending, sad tale. Horrible to think people would exploit a grieving mother by pretending to be her son. Which raises the question...how could she NOT know??!! Good grief, his eye color had changed, he couldn't read, ride a bike,...more
I had to read the synopsis to remember what this book was when looking at it in my library history just now. Considering I read it 2 weeks ago, I think that about sums it up. The writing kept tripping me up and pulling me out of the moment. I wish I'd written down a few of the choice turns of phrase to share! I haven't reach much contemporary Brit Lit, but I have to believe this was more a pompous author/editor than a current style.

The two characters I was really curious about (the younger daugh...more
Kitty Bullard

When children disappear there is always a sense of urgency and loss. This story will leave you breathless with suspense. A happy forthcoming marriage is soon to be overshadowed by heartache and fear as Annie's son goes missing, you'll be surprised to find out who the culprit is.

A wonderful exciting and scary book about just how easy it is to be deceived.

-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club

Read more: http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.probo...
This was a fair book. I read it in a day. The story is about the disappearance of a young boy one day and how the family handles it. Dan never comes home from school not long after his mother and her boyfriend announce that they are going to get married. From there it's a roller coaster ride of emotions for them and his little sister. It's every parent's nightmare and the ultimate question you are faced with is "How well do you know your child?" What drew me in was that it was loosely based on a...more
Sarah Kelly
It is a scary thought for all parents what they would do and how to cope if a child goes missing. This story is told from the view of a step-parent (which would almost be harder than a parent as far as not knowing what to do for your spouse). It is even scarier to know that someone would play on the emotions of a parent. I was stunned to learn it was based on a true story, but also to know that we could lie to ourselves to such an extent to create a false truth!
This one had an interesting concept to it – and I was surprised to read at the end of the book that it was based on a true story. Definitely a good character study. My only problem with the book is that I found the woman extremely annoying, and I had a hard time warming up to the narrator. They were the most likable characters in the world. Yet this is a good literary novel about a family struggling with losing their child and then getting him back again.
This book is loosely based upon a real case which occurred in England. It is a story of a son's disappearance at age 12, told by the soon to be stepfather. The boy disappears one day on his way home from school and no one has a clue as to what had happened to him. Three years later, he shows up. But is he the missing boy or not? It is a terrible ordeal to lose a child , and this is what this story addresses; deception and possible self-deception.
The blurb attracted me and I picked it up in the library. I was not disaapointed. Though I felt toward the ending the story lost its intriguing quality to me. I found this book interesting, entertaining and different from usual missing child stories. The book kept me hooked to it untill I finished it all. I started it in the afternoon and finished it by night. I would surely read another book by author.
I didn't realize this was based on a true story till I finished the book. It's quite disturbing to think there was a con-artist who thoughts things through so well even though he was so young. A movie is now out as well, 'The Impostors' based on Frederic Bourdin's impersonation scams. I recommend this book for the unusual psychological angle, not so much the author's rendition of characters.
Good book. This book wasn't on my to-read list but crossed the circulation desk when I was working at the library. It sounded like an interested storyline so I brought it home. Surprisingly I did enjoy this book. The story dragged for a few chapters in the middle, but it wasn't too bad.

I can not believe this was based on a true story! How horrible for Dan's poor mother!
I hate being critical, but good grief this book was long and boring. I don't know if I was missing something, but it was disjointed and quite frankly annoying.
I read it in one night, in one go. This would usually be a good sign, but in this case it was a mere matter of getting it over and done with.
I'm disappointed because I expected so much.
Well scrawled on the front of this book is the Times claiming this is a complusive thriller! What a let down! I figured out the storyline right away and only finished this to prove me right. This wad no gripping tale for me! However I did like that it was from the boyfriends perspective!
Started it, got sidetracked, had to return it to the library. Renewed it and finally finished it during Hurricane Irene! [Yes, KT, this was a real book-book!]. Although I thought I knew what was happening half way through, my mind kept changing ... just like Julian's, the narrator!
A missing child story told from the perspective of the mother's fiance which was a very unusual and effective perspective to use. This books just slightly missed the mark for me. I felt much more connected to the characters in the beginning than I did toward the end.
Valley Cottage Library
SUMMER READING REVIEW: "This is the story of a family torn apart when a child disappears. The personalities of the adults in the story are very interesting, and the plot has several interesting twists." -Elaine Philhower
It's billed as a thriller, but it was only mildly interesting. No thrills. Probably wouldn't have finished it if I weren't reading it on my commute. I would like to find out more about the true story, though.
Christina Burge isgett
Didn't know it was loosely based on a true story until I finished. It seemed to hold my interest but I was able to foresee the ending. Oddly enough, I did not feel a connection to the mothers plight.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A book told from the "step-fathers" point of view. Though interesting and heartbreaking I thought the novel was a bit drawn out. In some areas there was too much unecessary detail.
This is a good enough beach read about a missing 12 year old boy, set in England. It is based on a true story. It is a good enough mystery to keep me reading all the way through.
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