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Cruel Deception

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  780 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In and out of hospitals since birth, angelic nine-month-old Morgan Reid finally succumbed to what appeared to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Morgan's Texas-born mother Tanya, a nurse and devoted wife, pulled up stakes with her grieving husband Jim, and moved on. It was the best way to put the past behind them. Until their son Michael, a boy who by all accounts was terrif ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by St. Martin's True Crime
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,641)
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Jun 29, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
4 - A MUST READ for all true crime fans!!

As a fan of true crime I thought this was one of the best books I have read. This is the second book I've read by Gregg Olsen and he is an excellent author. Some true crime novels are terrible because the author writes from the perspective of a journalist and not a story teller. Gregg Olsen, like Ann Rule, does both. The story he has weaved is sinister and heartbreaking.
Cruel Deception is the story of Tanya Thaxton Reid. A mother from Texas who "suffers"
Aug 26, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Probably 2 1/2 stars. If you're interested in the child abuse syndrome Munchausen's by proxy, in which parents create signs of illnesses and inflict injuries on their children to obtain medical attention, you might stumble across this book. For the most part, the gripping story of an investigation of a mother suspected of Munchausen's by proxy in the 1980s rises above the clunky writing. I wasn't sure I would make it past the heavy-handed prologue with its mockingbird metaphor and stereotypes of ...more
Knot Telling
Meticulously detailed, Cruel Deception takes a close look at the Munchausen by Proxy (MBP) prosecution of Tanya Reid. It was published in 1999 and the events it recounts took place in the 1980s, when MBP was not yet known even in the medical world, let alone among law enforcement.

MBP is known today as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (US, ICD-9 301.51) or Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers (UK). It describes a situation in which an adult parent or caregiver intentionally induces physi
Book Junkie
Nov 07, 2015 Book Junkie rated it really liked it
Fascinating true story of one of the first murder convictions due to Munchhausen Syndrome.
Colleen N
May 16, 2015 Colleen N rated it really liked it
Gregg Olsen gives a vivid account in Cruel Deception of Tanya Reid and the abuse she inflicts on her young children over a series of years beginning in the 1980’s. Tanya is a woman who comes from Texas and appears to come from a good home. The youngest daughter to John & Wanda Thaxton seems to have a childhood where her parents greatly cared about her and her three sisters. While her father was very strict and sometimes controlling there was no doubt that she was loved. By some accounts she ...more
Jul 19, 2011 Renea rated it it was ok
ok first off he jumped around to much... secondly it was like as soon as the book started getting good and he had me sucked into pages he ruined the moment and I quickly lost interest... it caused the book to drag on and it took way to long for me to read it cause he just kept dropping the ball...and i continued to lose interest
Eva Leger
May 19, 2009 Eva Leger rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jeannie
Recommended to Eva by: found it in a bookstore
Shelves: b-true-crime
This is one of the craziest stores I've ever come across. How this woman was left to do this for so long is beyond me. What must have been going on in her head is also beyond me. The epitome of true crime.
Leigh Podgorski
Jan 11, 2016 Leigh Podgorski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreaking Detailed Story

If you are a reader of true crime, and I am, this is one of the best books you will read. CRUEL DECEPTION flows so smoothly, it reads more like a novel than a non-fiction. Mr Olsen sets the scenes and takes you deep within the people of this heart-wrenching and only so human story. Read every word- his epilogue includes a brief moment with Tanya Reid that reveals not only her humanity in the face of her unspeakable crimes, but Mr Olsen's, which is why he is the writer
Jun 09, 2015 Lianna rated it liked it
More like 2 and a half stars. Interesting subject but not the best delivery. Many details were repeated multiple times unnecessary.
Dec 20, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
I was inspired to read this by, believe it or not, having just finished Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. The subject matter here is the confusion of SIDS with Munchausen's-by-proxy, which is a sickly fascinating mental illness that causes a person to induce symptoms of illness in another (usually their own pre-verbal child), resulting in medical child abuse. This case was one of the first cases to be prosecuted, and it is quite a read.
Chris P
Jun 10, 2011 Chris P rated it it was amazing
Chilling! Another great non-fiction book by one of the masters of the genre. Highly recommended!
Jul 16, 2011 Jessica is currently reading it
I started reading the back cover of this book as I was removing the Powell's sticker(s) this morning and got sucked into the book itself. Part of a true crime series, which genre, if we can call it that, began with In Cold Blood -- which may be the only other true crime book I've ever read -- this book is about a stay-at-home mother who at first got away with killing her baby daughter and then, away from family and unable to make friends in a new town where her quiet and possibly selfish husband ...more
Dee brown
Jan 20, 2016 Dee brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Gregg Olsens true crime writing. This book will not disappoint! If you've wanted to learn about Munchausen by proxy syndrome , this gives an in depth look at it. There were so many things I learned from reading this. It's a tragic story, but so interesting.
cheryl kell
Apr 16, 2014 cheryl kell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Interesting subject and great writing.
I stayed up until 4 am because I had to see how it ended. Only one fault, too much background info about each person in the story. I highly recommend this book.

Tracie Dawn Douthwaite
Great read gets straight into the facts of the story recommended for anyone likes true crime

I'm now a fan of Greg Olsen. Brilliant read especially if your into true crime literature, gets to the point of story right away
May 16, 2016 Nic rated it liked it
Audiobook version:

Interesting and tragic.
I think listening to the audio version made it a little frustrating as the writer's style includes hinting at information yet to come, but I thought I'd missed something a couple of times and rewound it.
Donna J. Harris
Feb 16, 2016 Donna J. Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read

I found the subject of this book interesting. The author's style of writing was easy to understand and flowed well. Would recommend to anyone who is interested in the subject.
Jan 03, 2016 Darlene rated it really liked it
Knowing in advance made this a difficult read. So hard to believe a mother can do something so horrific
Mar 25, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: olsen-gregg
Well written, a must read .
Anne Hawn Smith
Oct 24, 2013 Anne Hawn Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime, own, read-2013
This was a fascinating book about Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. It is also the story some people who showed incredible tenacity in hunting down the proof that Tanya Reed had smothered her infant daughter, Morgan and was attempting to do the same to her son, Michael. It is hard to believe that a person, usually a mother, would risk her child's life in order to draw attention to herself and to become a "partner" with the doctors and nurses who try to protect the lives of her children.
Karen Jones
Jun 30, 2016 Karen Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This is my first Gregg Olsen book, but definitely not my last. Well-written account of a woman who has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a subject that I hadn't read much about before. She was a bored homemaker who used her children to get attention from those around her by deceptive medical means.
Rebekah Crain
Oct 09, 2012 Rebekah Crain rated it really liked it
Another chilling true crime tale from Gregg Olsen. Fascinating and complexly horrid. As a mother-no, wait... even just as a person- I can't see how anyone could ever EVER get off on hurting an innocent child. :( MBPS is a sick sick disease, act, or whatever you want to call it.
♥ Marlene♥
on Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finished reading this book on December 10th.
Very good book.
I really like the way Gregg Olsen writes

One of my favorite reads of 2007
Jul 12, 2015 SouthWestZippy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
WOW, could not put book down. Well written book about the horrors of child abuse.
Crystal Durnan
Oct 21, 2012 Crystal Durnan rated it really liked it
A story of a case of Munchausen by proxy syndrome. A little dry at times.
Mar 02, 2013 Jesse rated it liked it
Well researched and compelling although the writing is a bit overdramatic.
Jul 27, 2015 Jana marked it as to-read
Shelves: need-it
Stand alone
Jan 22, 2013 Ellis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
Stacey marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
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Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A New York Times bestselling author, Olsen has written seven nonfiction books, three novels, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest o
More about Gregg Olsen...

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