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Assuming Names: A Con Artist's Masquerade

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When it was over, there were a lot of questions. The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world traveled countess?" The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?" The Mafia had been demanding the same thing When it was over, there were a lot of questions. The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world traveled countess?" The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?" The Mafia had been demanding the same thing for six months, "What is your real name?" And the psychologists asked the question they always ask, "Why?" It’s the why of it that will keep a girl in trouble. Assuming Names is the true story of a young con artist. It’s the tale of a runaway that assumed the title of Countess and then went on to fool the FBI, DEA, and Interpol—as well as a number of other celebrities and institutions—with an elaborate tale of world intrigue. A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Hello everyone. This is Tanya. You may find yourself reading my book and saying, “No, this did not happen.” You may be inclined to say it is too far-fetched and, quite frankly, impossible. I have provided evidence at my website that what I write is the truth. I mention it at the front of the book but it may be easy to overlook, so I am reiterating here. At my website are copies of the newspaper and magazine articles mentioned in the book. The articles are from the Austin American Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, and Woman’s World Magazine. They are all nationally recognized media for news. Previous reviewers were concerned I may have gone to Photoshop to create them, and while my book does paint me as the sort that would do such a thing, the reality is that those media institutions would sue me into submission before the cache could be cleared. In the end, you may not believe me, but you can surely believe what the papers wrote.


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When it was over, there were a lot of questions. The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world traveled countess?" The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?" The Mafia had been demanding the same thing When it was over, there were a lot of questions. The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world traveled countess?" The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?" The Mafia had been demanding the same thing for six months, "What is your real name?" And the psychologists asked the question they always ask, "Why?" It’s the why of it that will keep a girl in trouble. Assuming Names is the true story of a young con artist. It’s the tale of a runaway that assumed the title of Countess and then went on to fool the FBI, DEA, and Interpol—as well as a number of other celebrities and institutions—with an elaborate tale of world intrigue. A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Hello everyone. This is Tanya. You may find yourself reading my book and saying, “No, this did not happen.” You may be inclined to say it is too far-fetched and, quite frankly, impossible. I have provided evidence at my website that what I write is the truth. I mention it at the front of the book but it may be easy to overlook, so I am reiterating here. At my website are copies of the newspaper and magazine articles mentioned in the book. The articles are from the Austin American Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, and Woman’s World Magazine. They are all nationally recognized media for news. Previous reviewers were concerned I may have gone to Photoshop to create them, and while my book does paint me as the sort that would do such a thing, the reality is that those media institutions would sue me into submission before the cache could be cleared. In the end, you may not believe me, but you can surely believe what the papers wrote.

30 review for Assuming Names: A Con Artist's Masquerade

  1. 4 out of 5

    Victor

    Edit: Story is easily verified through the Dallas Morning News archives. Search for title: Teen-ager untangles her web of deceit. Date: May 1, 1986 I normally don’t get involved in these discussions because I find someone has already said what I want to say so I don’t have to say it. This time however no one is weighing in with the obvious. The vitriol in the one star reviews is either ignorance or personal. I’m not slinging insults, I use the word ignorance in the strictest definition. The Edit: Story is easily verified through the Dallas Morning News archives. Search for title: Teen-ager untangles her web of deceit. Date: May 1, 1986 I normally don’t get involved in these discussions because I find someone has already said what I want to say so I don’t have to say it. This time however no one is weighing in with the obvious. The vitriol in the one star reviews is either ignorance or personal. I’m not slinging insults, I use the word ignorance in the strictest definition. The reviewers are unaware the author’s story is backed up by the media. Big media, like the Dallas Herald, Woman’s World Magazine, the Statesmans, and the giant old elephant in the room, the Associated Press. You ask, “Really?” and the media answers, “Yes, really.” Yes really, a fifteen year old girl went and pulled a jaw dropping long con that should earn her some sort of recognition in Wikipedia’s list of famous impostors. Because none of those tricksters took on the FBI or Interpol. Nor did any of them do it before they were legal to drive. So before you trash the book as too farfetched to be tolerated, go and look the story up. Because if you’re not tearing the book apart for its unsubstantiated claims, which we’ve determined are substantiated, then I suspect the hate is personal, because this young woman has gone to some effort to make enemies. She starts the book with a Bloody Mary styled incantation against Jesus (something I was too terrified as a child to repeat three times) and then she casually makes a couple of rape jokes. Really. But it’s kind of funny. Really, again. Not every single word she writes is repeated by the media, but the big stuff is. The bits about the FBI, Interpol, the DEA, INS, the mental asylum, the sheriff’s departments, Ron Howard, the ACLU, and the Dallas Refugee Agency. All the big stuff is bona fide verified. You ask, “Really?” and the media answers, “Yes, really.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)

    Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it numerous times during the editing process and enjoyed it more and more each time I read it. As is often said, the truth is stranger than fiction. If I didn’t know this was a true story, I would have thought it was too far-fetched to be a fiction novel. I mean, you have a 15-year-old girl outsmarting so many law enforcement agencies it isn’t even funny. Yet, I laughed. A lot. I shook my head. A lot. I gasped. A lot. I think my favorite part Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it numerous times during the editing process and enjoyed it more and more each time I read it. As is often said, the truth is stranger than fiction. If I didn’t know this was a true story, I would have thought it was too far-fetched to be a fiction novel. I mean, you have a 15-year-old girl outsmarting so many law enforcement agencies it isn’t even funny. Yet, I laughed. A lot. I shook my head. A lot. I gasped. A lot. I think my favorite part of the whole book is in the middle. Ms. Thompson answered my questions with one word: “Fifteen.” That sums up every question, disbelief, head-shaking moment in this book. And it sums those moments up perfectly. Assuming Names takes the reader on one wild ride. An unforgettable ride. A ride that will keep you glued to the book until you read the last page. Would I recommend it: Yes, I would. Will I read it again: I doubt it, but I am looking forward to reading Ms. Thompson’s future books. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes. Although I was compensated for the editing work, it in no way affected the outcome of my review. My review is my honest opinion of the book.) http://everyfreechance.com/2014/03/re...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Blossom

    This seems the place to share Postal prints. My favourite photographer hangs in the White Gallery. He’s got a way of capturing the essence of things and what he’s captured here is Tanya’s most mischievous personality. It comes through in the book just as vivid as it does in the image. Love the picture and love the book. Both are just so much fun!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    I read the excerpt of this book and my brainmeats said, wait, WHAT? Then I slowed down and read it again. Born and raised in Dallas, and only 9 years younger than the author, I was intrigued more than I can describe. Growing up in the lower income parts of Dallas will show you that the soap opera you see on TV, is definitely shot in a prettier part of the city. The Dallas Tanya describes in this book is two blocks from the streets I was willing to walk down. I was immediately captivated and I read the excerpt of this book and my brainmeats said, wait, WHAT? Then I slowed down and read it again. Born and raised in Dallas, and only 9 years younger than the author, I was intrigued more than I can describe. Growing up in the lower income parts of Dallas will show you that the soap opera you see on TV, is definitely shot in a prettier part of the city. The Dallas Tanya describes in this book is two blocks from the streets I was willing to walk down. I was immediately captivated and traveled down every block with her, I've been down most of those very same streets - at different times. She was who I thought I would be when I got older, she was daring, fearless and impossible to intimidate. She had charm and the ability to talk circles around people, even those we think should be above it. A 15 year old! Hoodwinks law enforcement! Amazing! This book is a page turner, and that term does it no justice. Good books stay in the back of your mind while you're at work, the characters take on a life inside your mind and when you aren't in that world, you wonder how they're doing. This book, this story, was alive in my mind. So much of this book made me doubt it was autobiographical and several times I returned to the bio and reread it, shaking my head in disbelief. Driving cars into the corners of buildings, specifically to destroy them! Faking identities, challenging drug lords, nearly going to Mexican prison...and that's such a small sampling of this story. The tone of the book gave me a knowing smile, people are indeed stupid, and even now will believe so much that you tell them...I know then, it was child's play. I appreciated it when she spoke directly to me, to us - the reader. It's as if she gives us credit for being a little smarter because we are reading her book. The empathy she speaks of..it can be handicapping. I can't say I always see myself in the character of a book, but in this I did. I saw the part of me that's a coward..and does what she's supposed to..I am glad that for a few page turning days, I got to live vicariously through her..in my own city.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Philip Tha- B. Toole

    What an amazing story-- I'm floored by the sheer audacity. My first, second, third.... twentieth thought was, 'this can't be real?' But, is it? After having gone through it, I don't even know! :D) Who didn't get attracted/ensnared in this young woman's fantasy life?? Other than myself, lol. Governments, police organizations, organized crime, civil rights orgs, Hollywood, I mean there is a trail of hooks that caught everyone. Smuggling, sex slavery, and the fascinating thing about this is that the What an amazing story-- I'm floored by the sheer audacity. My first, second, third.... twentieth thought was, 'this can't be real?' But, is it? After having gone through it, I don't even know! :D) Who didn't get attracted/ensnared in this young woman's fantasy life?? Other than myself, lol. Governments, police organizations, organized crime, civil rights orgs, Hollywood, I mean there is a trail of hooks that caught everyone. Smuggling, sex slavery, and the fascinating thing about this is that the story comes across as really quite amusing. I'd be inclined to think if someone were just describing it, that this was a very somber tale. I guess all I can say is that certain auras and atmospheres surround different people differently, and sometimes things can come together in such a way as to make of it, what such does with all good stories, into a kind of Legend. Now, there is some violence in here, but there would almost have to be with all of the 'actors' that cross Tanya Thompson's stage-- but for all that, it really is not all nasty gloom, though there is darkness. Yet, it's usually in those very shadows that the human spirit finds a light to shine, or creates one out of thin air for itself. Much as the 'Countess' did with her entire identity. I'm glad I got into this!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was a hard book for me to rate. It was wildly amusing and entertaining. Often I would shake my head and wonder what was she thinking, then I would remember the author's excuse, fifteen. I remember being that age, and making poor decisions. I too found silence to be a good way of dealing with things I couldn't answer. It does tend to make the ride more fun when other people are jumping to conclusions. Teens make weird decisions that fit logic only they can understand. That being said, the This was a hard book for me to rate. It was wildly amusing and entertaining. Often I would shake my head and wonder what was she thinking, then I would remember the author's excuse, fifteen. I remember being that age, and making poor decisions. I too found silence to be a good way of dealing with things I couldn't answer. It does tend to make the ride more fun when other people are jumping to conclusions. Teens make weird decisions that fit logic only they can understand. That being said, the girl in this book is no different. I have the kindle version, and I went to the website to see the photos. I see there is going to be two more books, and I am kinda curious to read those as well. I only have one real issue with the book, I don't believe it is true. It is listed as a true crime and it is autobiographical. Like I said I went to the website and read the newspaper stuff, but I still just don't believe it. I am sure parts of it are true, but like everyone else in the story, I just don't believe it. I also think every character in the story knows she is lying, they just don't know what to do with her. When I stopped trying to accept it as truth, I found I enjoyed the story more. The writing is captivating, and really makes you feel you are right there in her head. I enjoyed the book enough to want to read the second one. The dialog was fun, and I laughed more than once at the Constanza's wit. Just don't let disbelief ruin the ride... I received this book free for an honest review. All of the thoughts above are my true thoughts.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael DeAngelo

    These days, the antihero has become somewhat of a fan favorite in terms of a reader's choice of protagonist. Thompson excels at writing a character with shades of grey, rather than strict blacks and whites. Not so much corrupt as mischievous, the Countess is a persona that is interesting to see evolve, even as she unravels. There are countless times when you read this story, and all the times that "Constance" is duping one official after another that you wonder if Thompson is actually getting the These days, the antihero has become somewhat of a fan favorite in terms of a reader's choice of protagonist. Thompson excels at writing a character with shades of grey, rather than strict blacks and whites. Not so much corrupt as mischievous, the Countess is a persona that is interesting to see evolve, even as she unravels. There are countless times when you read this story, and all the times that "Constance" is duping one official after another that you wonder if Thompson is actually getting the better of you as well. Is this actually something that happened? The news article clippings on her site seem to suggest so. One thing's for sure: Tanya tells a story and she sticks to it. And besides, its all too crazy to be anything but true. Looking forward to reading the sequel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    AnnMarie Stone

    Assuming Names by Tanya Thompson Let us start off by saying that I love this book. It was overall very well written and extremely entertaining. I basically read it in two sittings. Love it. In the foreword, the author explains that the compliment of beautiful is not nearly as good as the compliment of brilliant. This elicited two reactions. First, I was reminded of A Disreputable History of Frankie-Landeau Banks by E. Lockhart, which I loved. Second, I immediately felt a connection to the main Assuming Names by Tanya Thompson Let us start off by saying that I love this book. It was overall very well written and extremely entertaining. I basically read it in two sittings. Love it. In the foreword, the author explains that the compliment of beautiful is not nearly as good as the compliment of brilliant. This elicited two reactions. First, I was reminded of A Disreputable History of Frankie-Landeau Banks by E. Lockhart, which I loved. Second, I immediately felt a connection to the main character, because I completely agree. Meet fifteen year old Tanya, who has the same issue as many teenagers. Boredom. But, Tanya has some interesting coping abilities, which lead to quite a few adventures that most teenagers will only ever read about. Only, they don’t stop when she’s done being a teenager. As far as writing technique goes, I was extremely pleased. While there were a few issues here and there, like scene changes and the like, most of it is likely due to the fact that these events happened quite some time ago, and weren’t major. Or, I would not be surprised, that they were intentional, meant to give you a better understanding of the way Tanya’s brain functioned. My Recommendation: I absolutely loved this book. Adored it, even. I highly recommend anyone looking for an amusing and enjoyable read. My rating: I give this book four stars, due to some of the confusion. But a very high four star. http://theinsidestone.blogspot.com/20...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryann Hall

    I really enjoyed the fact that this is a true story with plenty of evidence to support it such as newspaper articles. When you finish reading this book, the author gives you links to all the articles to prove that this book is a true story. This book is very entertaining and keeps you reading to learn more about what happened. This book is also well written and easy to understand and follow. I agree with another review I read about this book, it is like the movie Catch Me If You Can. This story I really enjoyed the fact that this is a true story with plenty of evidence to support it such as newspaper articles. When you finish reading this book, the author gives you links to all the articles to prove that this book is a true story. This book is very entertaining and keeps you reading to learn more about what happened. This book is also well written and easy to understand and follow. I agree with another review I read about this book, it is like the movie Catch Me If You Can. This story is just as enjoyable as that movie. I recommend this book to everyone out there that love true stories and mysteries.

  10. 4 out of 5

    George

    My first thought when I read that was “huh… they really do look awfully similar to a Tic-Tac.” In this book were a lot of little phrases that stuck in my mind. Not only were there phrases that stuck, but there were extravagantly long, breathless sentences that were designed to impress. I like it when a book makes you stop to reread a sentence simply to appreciate it. The book’s strength isn’t in its prose though. It’s in the mind-blowing audacity of its author. She took on everyone from the FBI My first thought when I read that was “huh… they really do look awfully similar to a Tic-Tac.” In this book were a lot of little phrases that stuck in my mind. Not only were there phrases that stuck, but there were extravagantly long, breathless sentences that were designed to impress. I like it when a book makes you stop to reread a sentence simply to appreciate it. The book’s strength isn’t in its prose though. It’s in the mind-blowing audacity of its author. She took on everyone from the FBI to the Mafia when she was only fifteen. When she gained a few years and should have been wise enough not to do it again, she did. Because she’s a con artist, a sociopath, and an incurable risk taker. This book is a criminal’s adventure and it’s interesting. You won’t be bored while reading it, that’s for sure. You may be dismayed, but you won’t be bored.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joawmeens

    If I wanted to be derisive about this book, I could call it "Female Catch Me If You Can", and be done with it. But it does deserve more than that, honestly. The basic premise of the book is that a young con artist is doing what she does best, and better than anyone could have ever expected. DEA, FBI, Interpol - she was able to keep every single one of them in the dark for a disturbingly long amount of time (disturbing in the sense that THEY should be better than that...). It follows her exploits If I wanted to be derisive about this book, I could call it "Female Catch Me If You Can", and be done with it. But it does deserve more than that, honestly. The basic premise of the book is that a young con artist is doing what she does best, and better than anyone could have ever expected. DEA, FBI, Interpol - she was able to keep every single one of them in the dark for a disturbingly long amount of time (disturbing in the sense that THEY should be better than that...). It follows her exploits across the globe. I very much enjoyed the ride the author takes us on. I read on the description that this is a "true story", but the further I went along, and the crazier everything was, I kept thinking, "Okay, is that like when the opening scene of Fargo says it's a true story, but it's really not?" Apparently this is the truth, however, which makes it both more entertaining, and more alarming to consider it actually happened. Overall, I enjoyed it very much, but there was something that was keeping me from loving it. Maybe it was the fact that the realism won out in my head, in a bad way, that I couldn't enjoy it 100?, I'm not sure. But it is definitely worth the read, along with the articles on the author's website. An entertaining read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Lorraine

    “Assuming Names” is a highly entertaining book that is filled to the brim with thrilling and unbelievable stories. At times I forgot I was reading non-fiction. I was quickly swept into the wild and fast pace story of the 15 year old con-artist. Part of the books appeal was the irony; although she set off to Dallas to transform herself into a rich and worldly countess she gets off to a rough start as her innocence to the world left her as being mistaken for a sex slave. Even with this failure, “Assuming Names” is a highly entertaining book that is filled to the brim with thrilling and unbelievable stories. At times I forgot I was reading non-fiction. I was quickly swept into the wild and fast pace story of the 15 year old con-artist. Part of the books appeal was the irony; although she set off to Dallas to transform herself into a rich and worldly countess she gets off to a rough start as her innocence to the world left her as being mistaken for a sex slave. Even with this failure, she still managed to fool several government organizations, and also the mafia, into believing her far-fetched and on-the-fly stories. And that’s just the beginning! The confusion in the wake of these inconceivable series of events was at times humorous and other times shocking. The things that this woman did and got away with are baffling. There are a few things I wish I knew more about but was still glad to have read this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marina Spirova

    This book was recently suggested to me by a friend. I thought a lot about reading it, since it is not exactly my type of literature, but once I started reading it I just couldn't stop and at the same time I didn't want it to finish. Have you ever felt something like this? To like the main character of a book so much, that you don't want the book to end, but at the same time, you can't wait to see what happens next? I had only two times before Tanya, her heroin became a kind of a friend to me, and This book was recently suggested to me by a friend. I thought a lot about reading it, since it is not exactly my type of literature, but once I started reading it I just couldn't stop and at the same time I didn't want it to finish. Have you ever felt something like this? To like the main character of a book so much, that you don't want the book to end, but at the same time, you can't wait to see what happens next? I had only two times before Tanya, her heroin became a kind of a friend to me, and now that the book is read, I will miss her a bit... To put it short, the book is amazing. I don't care if it is a true story or not, the charter, the story line .... it was very pleasant to read, amusing.... it made me think about my own life and what I am missing in it. I thank the author for this book, and will be waiting for the next one :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    NicCole

    There is life in each word; beginning from the first page that you keep forgetting this book is not fiction, but a true-life story. A dare devil individual named Tanya, not only doesn’t fear superstitions but can grab horror and danger by the horns, making this character one you would try to stay clear of. Throughout this book, you learn in the background while gaining access to the views of a mischievous con artist, liar, thief and an absolute fearless individual. Both the mood and setting was There is life in each word; beginning from the first page that you keep forgetting this book is not fiction, but a true-life story. A dare devil individual named Tanya, not only doesn’t fear superstitions but can grab horror and danger by the horns, making this character one you would try to stay clear of. Throughout this book, you learn in the background while gaining access to the views of a mischievous con artist, liar, thief and an absolute fearless individual. Both the mood and setting was written in details, bringing me back in time, making me feel like I was there, eye witnessing all the events described. An intriguing, captivating and utterly dangerous read, that brings forth everyone’s inner adventurer. This 15-year-old character that described her experience to those investigating her, made her out to be much older and earned her stripes of life through her encounters. I honestly can’t believe that this is all coming from a 15-year-old, amazing to learn that life experiences have no age ranges. There were moments where I found myself a bit amused with some of the settings, while other times fearful of the character. The 15-year-old cleverly made her way out of every believed sticky situation, quick on her feet when it came to making up explanations on all the who, what, where, why and how questions about her. She basically had the thorough investigation under her control and none could dare stop her. A complete thrill rush that never loses momentum, like a roller coaster of emotions, fear, humor, excitement, and so much more. I wasn’t able to set the book down; you’re engulfed in all the action and fear that all you look forward to even more, leaving you on the edge of your seat, never knowing what to expect on future pages. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book; it left me anticipating on the future works of Tanya Thompson. I highly recommend this book, so others can “see” what it is like being a con artist for their self. Tanya allowed us to ride shotgun throughout the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Warring

    Sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to get my copy of this book free on what sounds like the greatest book tour to ever roll through Europe. I didn’t get to meet the author in a bar, on a train, or in the company of the “shady shades,” so my review isn’t tainted by her charms or what sounded like ecstasy. Consumable ecstasy. After reading the book I am envious of those who got to experience Tanya first hand. I bet those half crazed and fully out of their mind reviewers have a few stories to Sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to get my copy of this book free on what sounds like the greatest book tour to ever roll through Europe. I didn’t get to meet the author in a bar, on a train, or in the company of the “shady shades,” so my review isn’t tainted by her charms or what sounded like ecstasy. Consumable ecstasy. After reading the book I am envious of those who got to experience Tanya first hand. I bet those half crazed and fully out of their mind reviewers have a few stories to tell that could not be told here. This book reveals a young woman who is bold enough at the age of 15 to stroll into Dallas and say she’s a countess. She’s 15 and she breezes through one interrogation after another, making quick work of the FBI, Interpol, DEA, and, while her time in the mental asylum didn’t sound nice, she fooled a full panel of health professionals. Next she was taking on the Mafia, I guess because the risks hadn’t been high enough already with the federal authorities. This girl just wrapped up every agency and gangster like a pro, but again: she was 15! There are dark turns in the story that will pain you to read, but I can think of no other author that will see the reader through it with greater mirth. The book is fun, exciting, thrilling, scary, dark, and irreverent - I think this is what the other reviews also said about Tanya when they met her. I am envious. If this book tour comes my way, I am so totally there.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Nerina

    If I had to use two words to describe this book, I definitely would use the word MIND BLOWING. This book tells a story about this young con artist. She went on a runaway and tried to fool lots of people, including FBI, Interpol... she was just doing her specialty. Assuming Names is like a roller-coaster read for me, I got to feel the emotions, the thrill, the dark comedy. Suits someone like me who has a quite dark sense of humor :) I just can't wait to read the next book, I know it's going to be If I had to use two words to describe this book, I definitely would use the word MIND BLOWING. This book tells a story about this young con artist. She went on a runaway and tried to fool lots of people, including FBI, Interpol... she was just doing her specialty. Assuming Names is like a roller-coaster read for me, I got to feel the emotions, the thrill, the dark comedy. Suits someone like me who has a quite dark sense of humor :) I just can't wait to read the next book, I know it's going to be awesome, maybe even more awesome than the first one. Highly recommended!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Niyati Em

    I've been thinking about what I can say about this book. It did underline the old adage that 'An Empty Mind is a Devil's Workshop' The book starts off on a very interesting note. When I got down to reading it, the first thing I did was to go to the author's website and check out the articles. It seemed too good to be true. I've always been a lover of conspiracy stories and theories but this book confounded me. On one hand, I felt Tanya was smart with the cons she kept playing and on the other I've been thinking about what I can say about this book. It did underline the old adage that 'An Empty Mind is a Devil's Workshop' The book starts off on a very interesting note. When I got down to reading it, the first thing I did was to go to the author's website and check out the articles. It seemed too good to be true. I've always been a lover of conspiracy stories and theories but this book confounded me. On one hand, I felt Tanya was smart with the cons she kept playing and on the other hand, I was sure she was an empty mind's curse. I found the journey fascinating at some points. It was interesting looking at an outside view of how to defraud a Government office or commit identity theft. This book made me wonder whether it was wise doing so when a gullible reader could try and misuse it for his own means. I did debate for the longest time on whether I felt connected to Tanya and her life. I was carried along in her journey to Dallas and I did wonder why she would go there and why she did what she did. I was a little thrown off by how the book ends. I did really expect it to be much more different. I felt the rush of a con while I was reading about it and often tried to extrapolate Tanya's feelings about how it would feel to be pretending to be someone else. It felt so different imagining yourself to be in someone else boots. This is a book that will take you on a ride. I'm not sure how you'll feel at the end of it. But that's the thrill right? It's all about the journey in the end!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Breese

    Con Artist indeed. Interesting that just about everyone who reviewed this book did so on March 14, 16, 18th or 21st. They all joined in June 2013. And they all wrote the SAME reviews on Amazon. My guess is that maybe two of these are actually real reviews..the others sound way too much alike. They all give 5 stars. Numerous people claim they went to the library and read the microfilms...really? That's funny because there are almost NO libraries that even have microfilms anymore. They were Con Artist indeed. Interesting that just about everyone who reviewed this book did so on March 14, 16, 18th or 21st. They all joined in June 2013. And they all wrote the SAME reviews on Amazon. My guess is that maybe two of these are actually real reviews..the others sound way too much alike. They all give 5 stars. Numerous people claim they went to the library and read the microfilms...really? That's funny because there are almost NO libraries that even have microfilms anymore. They were replaced by digital files years ago due to space and document preservation. Other reviewers urge you to go to the author's website and check the newspaper clippings-interesting phrase for so many people to use since the articles weren't actually clipped. Others used the same words, phrases and themes. The men kept talking about being in love with the author & some even make overt sexual references. These reviews are obviously sock puppets--created well enough in advance not to look too suspicious. Pathetic.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ann Kazutomi

    This is an incredible, on the edge of your seat story. I have to admit, I am usually not one that is interested in reading true crime, simply because it is usually so depressing, but I found that after I began reading this book, it was difficult to remember that it was a true story. I found it not only entertaining, but I could not put the book down. The fact that this is a true story, makes it that much more impressive. I feel that it took a lot of courage for the author to write about her own This is an incredible, on the edge of your seat story. I have to admit, I am usually not one that is interested in reading true crime, simply because it is usually so depressing, but I found that after I began reading this book, it was difficult to remember that it was a true story. I found it not only entertaining, but I could not put the book down. The fact that this is a true story, makes it that much more impressive. I feel that it took a lot of courage for the author to write about her own story, in yet, she not only tells the story, she allows the reader to truly get a feeling of not only what she went through, but what her actions did to others as well. This is a book that will thrill anyone interested in crime, adventure, or just a good mystery; no matter if they prefer fiction or non-fiction, they should definitely read this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lilas_

    Assuming Names is an interesting and rather peculiar book that had me shaking my head with disbelief at some places and made me laugh out loud at others. I really did enjoy reading it even if I wasn’t entirely convinced that everything I read actually happened. And to tell you the truth, I doesn’t matter that much to me. If it’s all true, then wow, congratulations to the author, you’ve earned my respect. If it’s not – I still very much liked the story of Tanya, the Countess of Conland. I think Assuming Names is an interesting and rather peculiar book that had me shaking my head with disbelief at some places and made me laugh out loud at others. I really did enjoy reading it even if I wasn’t entirely convinced that everything I read actually happened. And to tell you the truth, I doesn’t matter that much to me. If it’s all true, then wow, congratulations to the author, you’ve earned my respect. If it’s not – I still very much liked the story of Tanya, the Countess of Conland. I think it would be interesting to see what her adventures will be in the next book. I would recommend it to anyone who has interest in true crime stories and wants to spend some very entertaining hours reading it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Carey

    This book is like nothing I've ever read before! The author has taken what is a true story and created this masterpiece out of it. I can see a lot of people out here who seem to question the legibility of this 'true story' but that's the beauty of it. Not everything goes as expected, and not everything that happens seems possible, does it? This is the story of a 15-year-old runaway who turns out to be this brilliant con artist, posing as a world-traveled Countess. What seems impossible about this This book is like nothing I've ever read before! The author has taken what is a true story and created this masterpiece out of it. I can see a lot of people out here who seem to question the legibility of this 'true story' but that's the beauty of it. Not everything goes as expected, and not everything that happens seems possible, does it? This is the story of a 15-year-old runaway who turns out to be this brilliant con artist, posing as a world-traveled Countess. What seems impossible about this story is that this teenager managed to fool the FBI, DEA and the Interpol. But she did. This story has plenty of sudden twists and turns that will keep you hooked onto it until the very last page. The suspense in this story will keep you hanging on to the edge of your seat. I'm speaking from experience here! I like that the author provides plenty of proof that this is indeed a real story by attaching legible newspaper and magazine articles that can be cross-checked as well. I love the author's creativity and idea of writing this story. I think her writing style is great! I would recommend this book to any fan of the Crime/Suspense genre. This is one book you do NOT want to miss.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay710

    Mind blown. This book is crazy. At first I wasn't sure if the author was "the Countess" or maybe she was writing on behalf of the real woman. But by the end, I was sure that the author is "Tanya" or whatever her real name is. It's almost hard to believe all of the things that she went through and all of the things that she did. But you have to believe them because there is evidence supporting it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joy Michelle

    With this book I had to do exactly as the author instructed. The moment I started thinking, no way this could be true, I went and read the proof that it was. I was probably only a dozen pages into the book at that point. I was reading the part about her at the local sheriff’s department and I did not believe a 15 year old girl could so effortlessly lie and charm her way out of arrest. Still uncertain if this was not an intricate joke, I went and read the other reviews to make certain I hadn’t With this book I had to do exactly as the author instructed. The moment I started thinking, no way this could be true, I went and read the proof that it was. I was probably only a dozen pages into the book at that point. I was reading the part about her at the local sheriff’s department and I did not believe a 15 year old girl could so effortlessly lie and charm her way out of arrest. Still uncertain if this was not an intricate joke, I went and read the other reviews to make certain I hadn’t missed something obvious. It is from there I quote “Mind equals blown.” I was nothing like Tanya when I was 15. I don’t think many people were. Not only was Tanya a little genius of a con artist, she was practically fearless. The story is something no work of fiction would dare, but like fiction it grips you with excitement, makes you feel a multitude of emotions, and then surprises you with unexpected twists. Tanya is an old school con artist, one who relies on charm and wit, but she’s also fond of white collar financial crimes, stolen cars and car chases. The only thing that sets this book apart from a Hollywood blockbuster is the lack of explosions. Needless to say, I was never bored.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Missy Rapp

    Loved this book, love Tanya. Couldn't put it down. I am curious if she ever served jail time for any of the crimes mentioned in the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Prather

    Reading through Assuming Names, I am certain that I will not be alone in scratching my head and wondering if art imitates life or is it life imitating art? Whichever the case may be, I guarantee that readers will find themselves ensnared in the web of a masterful artist. They will have to decide for themselves if the story is indeed fact or a clever play on the con contained in the tale. Pleasantly, the author surprised me with a well-written, carefully composed narrative that is so rare to find Reading through Assuming Names, I am certain that I will not be alone in scratching my head and wondering if art imitates life or is it life imitating art? Whichever the case may be, I guarantee that readers will find themselves ensnared in the web of a masterful artist. They will have to decide for themselves if the story is indeed fact or a clever play on the con contained in the tale. Pleasantly, the author surprised me with a well-written, carefully composed narrative that is so rare to find in today's world of "easy" publication options. Too often such works are littered with not only grammatical and spelling errors, but also entire chunks of plot inconsistencies not to mention weak, uninteresting characters. Thompson has got her story straight and knows all the details. Once she have given those to the reader, it is easy then to let go and fully enjoy the story without any annoying mistakes. Thompson represents that rare combination of talent for story-telling and dedication to craft. When those talents come together in an author, it is impossible to ignore the result. Put Tanya Thompson on your must-read list and be on the lookout for more works by this intriguing and talented artist.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nnenna Igbokwe

    This Book was so utterly amazing and underrated. I personally can't understand why it isn't being advertised on a national scale; it's better than any of these book being shoved down our throats. I love this book and it is being carefully placed in my topped five.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A vivid visualization of the protagonists and antagonists characters of the story. An experience which made me felt as if ‘I was there.’ Besides the interesting true-to-life story, all I can say about this eBook is it's ‘an eye opener.’ I don't really like to read 'true crime stories’ but at the moment I opened this eBook on my electronic reader and started reading, it driven my thoughts to go on and browse to read it bit-by-bit of every pages. In fact, I read it again twice before I've written A vivid visualization of the protagonists and antagonists characters of the story. An experience which made me felt as if ‘I was there.’ Besides the interesting true-to-life story, all I can say about this eBook is it's ‘an eye opener.’ I don't really like to read 'true crime stories’ but at the moment I opened this eBook on my electronic reader and started reading, it driven my thoughts to go on and browse to read it bit-by-bit of every pages. In fact, I read it again twice before I've written my thoughts about it. From now on, I will read ‘true crime.’

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brynn

    This girl is crazy. I'm not giving it 5 stars because her schemes are not as mind-bendingly intelligent as those in "Catch Me if You Can," and that was what I was expecting, but it was still a very interesting book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This entire book is bizarre. I would give less than one star if possible. This was a strange book. I wish I had realized it was not a true story before I purchased it. It made for a strange read because I was trying to put it in the context of a true story. Parts of the book are exciting and intriguing, but at no point did I seriously believe these things happened as the author states. Only when I got to the end did I realize the whole book was a hoax on the reader. Yes, I am sure that there are This entire book is bizarre. I would give less than one star if possible. This was a strange book. I wish I had realized it was not a true story before I purchased it. It made for a strange read because I was trying to put it in the context of a true story. Parts of the book are exciting and intriguing, but at no point did I seriously believe these things happened as the author states. Only when I got to the end did I realize the whole book was a hoax on the reader. Yes, I am sure that there are major facts that can be proven with a newspaper article. That doesn't mean the entire storyline happened exactly as the author says it did. Interestingly, the author contacted me after reading my negative review and tried to convince me to change my review. All that did was further convince me that she is a narcissistic, really bad liar.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eric Cosentino

    Overall a good read. Thinking back after I read it, they're times in the book when I question if she is manipulating the reader as well. One I can recall is when she is met the 2 Eastern Europeans and Sergu at the airport and was showing them guns. She claims she knew nothing of sports and was genuinely trying to make conversation, but for someone with such a high IQ she would obviously know that showing guns is not a top sport in america. She could have easily shown them a football or baseball Overall a good read. Thinking back after I read it, they're times in the book when I question if she is manipulating the reader as well. One I can recall is when she is met the 2 Eastern Europeans and Sergu at the airport and was showing them guns. She claims she knew nothing of sports and was genuinely trying to make conversation, but for someone with such a high IQ she would obviously know that showing guns is not a top sport in america. She could have easily shown them a football or baseball magazine. She WAS messing with them. Also, she says that she got homesick when she was in Dallas, convienetly after Sergu put the gun to her head. I'm thinking she was scared for her life at that point, even though she acts like she wasn't. IDK maybe I am over thinking it but to me that's what it seemed like. Great read overall.

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