Read Deceptions by Rebecca Frayn Online


Julian & Annie have only just announced their forthcoming marriage, when Annie's 12-year-old son Dan fails to come home from school. Despite a police investigation, the days turn into weeks. Over the next three years, Annie refuses to give up hope. Then a call from Glasgow brings shocking news of Dan's fate.Several hundred cuts above the rest: not another mawksih walloJulian & Annie have only just announced their forthcoming marriage, when Annie's 12-year-old son Dan fails to come home from school. Despite a police investigation, the days turn into weeks. Over the next three years, Annie refuses to give up hope. Then a call from Glasgow brings shocking news of Dan's fate.Several hundred cuts above the rest: not another mawksih wallow, but a compulsive thriller with echoes of Ruth Rendell and Josephine Tey. ... Superb. --Kate Saunders (Times Saturday 29 May 2010)...

Title : Deceptions
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743268783
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Deceptions Reviews

  • eb
    2019-05-19 16:10

    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.

  • Adele Ward
    2019-05-24 16:13

    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 that inspired Deceptions in the back of the book. The character who fascinates the reader isn’t Dan, the 12-year-old who vanishes without a trace, or his widowed mother Annie, whose obsessive search is completely understandable. Our attention is all on Julian, the man who had moved in with Annie and had just asked her to marry him when Dan set off on his bike to school one morning and didn’t come home again.Frayn has taken a real risk with Julian, and so has the publisher. Not so long ago aspiring novelists were told main characters had to be likeable, and Julian certainly isn’t able to get our sympathy at any level. Annie wants to be totally politically correct, with her left-wing views, her relaxed attitude to parenting, and her determination to live in a poor area and send her children to the local failing comprehensive.Julian is an art specialist and valuer, pulling on his hygienic white gloves to study and evaluate fakes and masterpieces in the art world. The comprehensive school is disturbing to him, with the sound of lower class accents and children of diverse nationalities. There’s an undertone of racism and snobbery running through his first person narrative.We don’t feel we can believe what he says because he’s so unsympathetic to us. As his dislike of Dan becomes more apparent, together with his resentment of Annie’s continuing love for her son, we do wonder if he knows more about this disappearance than he’s telling us. Annie’s daughter is quite different, seen as delightful and intelligent by him, and he likes to take her for long walks. We don’t quite trust him alone with her either.The character of Julian is so well drawn that we can’t tell if he’s the good man he makes himself out to be, devoted to Annie and her daughter and just repressed and lacking in social skills, or if his dislike of Dan’s lack of intelligence and poor grammar is part of a dangerously abusive hidden side. Even Dan had started to be embarrassed by his mother’s Guardian on the table and had stopped bringing friends home, so it’s up to the reader to decide exactly what’s going on and who to like, if anyone.Before Dan’s disappearance, Annie and Julian liked to joke about their different personalities, enjoying the roles of ‘right-on parent’ and ‘old fogey’. After Dan goes, their personalities force them apart, as Annie sees her engagement to Julian as the reason he ran away – if he ran away. From his lonely new bachelor flat at a distance, Julian sees the shabby residential area as a kind of utopia he wants to return to.It’s a pity the book blurb informs us that Dan is going to turn up again as this could work well as a surprise. But is it really Dan? Can we trust Julian who has lost all respect in the art world by calling a genuine painting a fake and losing a client a small fortune? Would he not want Dan to return and convince himself any pretender to his place with Annie was an impostor? He certainly kept hoping she would forget Dan, and this insistence ruined their relationship. Or would Annie be the one to delude herself?There are all sorts of questions in this book that keep us reading on, not least the difficult problem of how we can fit a new relationship into an established one parent home.

  • Ian Kirkpatrick
    2019-06-15 09:13

    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 narration creates an interesting distance between the events and the reader, prompting you to question his motives and the truth beneath his blinkered perspective. There is also a fascinating echo to Annie’s self-deceptions as she tries to deal with the disappearance of her son. I was interested to learn that Frayn’s working title for the piece was “The Art of Self-Deception” which works effectively on a number of different levels.With a limited cast of four main characters and a few minor ones I was fascinated by the authentic depth that Frayn is able to give to Annie and Julian, particularly through her use of dialogue which is beautifully judged and weighted throughout.Frayn was inspired to write the book after reading an article by Nick Davies in The Guardian which described the true story that lies behind her tale. I understand that it took her nearly three years to write the piece, with numerous drafts and re-writes as she grappled to nail her story.Frayn has described the writing of the novel as fulfilling “a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a compulsion that wasn’t sated until the final proof copy went off (to) the printers”. I have to say that reading the novel elicited a similar compulsion, holding me in its thrall until I finished the book in the early hours of the morning. I would recommend that you do likewise.

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-05-21 15:57

    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 finding Dan. This takes a heavy toll on Annie and she starts to feel as though she may be at fault for Dan's disappearance.Three years after Dan has disappeared she receives a phone call saying that Dan has been fouund in Scotland but he has no memory of his past life. Annie is estatic over his return and lavishes him with anything and everything that he wants.Julian, who has been forced into the background, is not so sure that this young man is really Dan. The problem is that he looks so very much like the missing Dan and everyone takes his not knowing anything or anyone from his past as the result of amnesia.Annie and Julian find themselves drifting further and further away from each other when Julian keeps insisting that the young man living with Annie is not her son.I found the novel to be interesting but full of too many flaws in how the story plays out. Julian has an opportunity to expose Dan with a DNA sample but fails to follow through is one example of the many problems with the novel. The ending will also leave the reader up in the air.

  • Melanie Garrett
    2019-05-19 14:58

    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 enthusiasm to continue reading. Buoyed by the more positive reviews on Amazon, I persevered, and was very glad I did. For somewhere around the halfway mark, the plot kicked in. As events unraveled, I felt quite gripped. Everything was signposted from a mile away, but still gained enough momentum to propel things along. It's the sort of novel where things definitely do pay off in hindsight, but the POV character was so anal, and his internal language so stilted, it ultimately wasn't an enjoyable read, so much as one to admire. Had the first half been cut by half, and perhaps more been made of Rachel, this could have been a corker.

  • Rebecca James
    2019-05-31 13:55

    Totally gripping!

  • Gidgmon
    2019-06-09 10:15

    I knew the story this book was inspired by and had seen the riveting documentary. I can't imagine how something so curious could inspire such a flat boring story.There are so many questions that you ask yourself when you come across something true that seems so unbelievable. So many different avenues and area could have been explored, yet the author comes up with nothing. Why she chose to make this a first person viewpoint, especially with a character so insipid, is beyond me.

  • Katie
    2019-05-25 13:51

    Had potential but something about the way it was written left much to be desired. Somewhat predictable with unlikable characters

  • Lettie Cox
    2019-06-05 09:12

    I would give it 3 1/2 stars. I did enjoy it but it needs a sequel. I liked her writing style.

  • Kellie Mackrell
    2019-06-02 14:10

    I was intrigued by this book at the start but then I found it just got really boring. I struggled through to the end and it did not get any better. The chapters were numbered backwards counting down as you got to the end, this was probably the most interesting twist in this book.

  • Sandra
    2019-06-15 10:15

    Le livre s’ouvre sur une petite famille ordinaire de Londres, formée d’une mère (Annie) et de ses deux enfants (Dan, 12 ans et Rachel, plus jeune). Suite à la mort de son mari, Annie commence à fréquenter un autre homme, Julian. Un jour, les deux amoureux annoncent leur futur mariage aux enfants. Peu de temps après, Dan disparaît, laissant croire à une fugue. Mais plus les jours s’égrènent, plus la théorie de l’enlèvement semble possible.En lisant le résumé, je m’attendais à un livre qui bouge, une recherche effrénée dans tous les recoins de la ville, une mère tourmentée, qui ne lâchera pas l’affaire tant qu’elle n’aura pas retrouvé son enfant chéri, de l’espoir et des rebondissements. Mais j’ai trouvé l’histoire lente, très lente et le personnage de la mère que je m’imaginais tenace et courageux, s’est retrouvé en fait plongé dans une longue dépression, délaissant tout et se renfermant dans sa coquille. Elle n’abandonne jamais l’espoir de revoir son fils un jour, mais ne fait pas grand-chose pour le retrouver à part se morfondre et se culpabiliser, pensant que c’est son futur mariage avec Julian qui est la raison de la fugue de Dan.Au final, c’est plus un pseudo-témoignage de la tristesse d’une famille ayant perdu un enfant qu’un thriller, mais même en gardant ça en tête, je déplore toujours le manque d’action et la lenteur de l’histoire. En revanche, j’ai beaucoup apprécié le fait que le narrateur soit Julian. De par son rôle de beau-père, il se retrouve dans une position assez désagréable : il doit soutenir Annie, tout faire pour aider la police dans ses recherches, alors qu’il est peut-être la raison de la fugue de Dan et s’occuper de Rachel pendant qu’Annie est trop mal en point pour le faire. Il devient le ciment de cette nouvelle famille, alors que quelques mois auparavant, il était toujours un peu en retrait du noyau familial. J’ai aussi beaucoup aimé son détachement par rapport à Dan, on voit que dès le début, il ne voulait ni le rejeter, ni le faire fuir, il ne se remet pas trop en question et critique Annie qui n’arrive pas accepter ou lâcher prise. Personnellement, je ne sais pas comment Julian a pu rester trois ans auprès d’une Annie aussi désagréable, renfermée et qui ne fait rien pour aller mieux.Par contre, peu importe ce que l’on pense de l’intrigue, je pense que le dénouement est très intéressant, il fait réfléchir et m’a laissée sans voix ! Une petite note en dernière page nous apprend en plus que l’histoire est basée sur une histoire vraie et je ne savais pas que ce genre d’affaires existait et que ce n’est pas la première fois qu’un tel dénouement se produit…En résumé, j’ai adoré cette fin choquante et loin de la fiction ainsi que le choix du beau-père comme narrateur. Par contre, la lenteur de l’histoire ne m’a pas plu du tout et j’ai eu envie de secouer Annie de nombreuses fois, soit pour qu’elle aille mieux, soit pour qu’elle persiste à ne pas lâcher prise, mais en faisant quelque chose pour rechercher son enfant ! D’accord, je n’arrive pas imaginer les douleurs d’une mère qui perd un enfant, mais finir par délaisser complètement son autre enfant parce que le premier lui manque, je trouve cela vraiment horrible.

  • The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
    2019-05-21 14:48

    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 much as Justin loved Annie and Rachel he hadn’t quite managed to make the relationship with Dan work yet so there is a sort of remoteness and detatchment as we see Annie fall apart through his eyes rather than going through the angst of what the parent must be going through. While time goes on Annie still hasn’t given up hope of Dan being found whereas Julian wants to move on with their lives now and believes that Dan may be dead.During the course of the book, the reader is made privvy to circumstances that may actually imply that Dan ran away from home, rather than was abducted as Annie thinks. Annie, as would be completely natural I would assume, can’t believe that there would be any reasons that her son would want to leave home and defends his every action, even the fact that since starting the local secondary comp (at her decision – she wanted him to mix with different people and gain experience of other people and culutres) he has fallen in with a dubi0us crowd and his clothes, walk and accent had started to change in recent months. Half way through this book, Dan’s fate is actually revealed and the rest of the book follows the aftermath of that phone call that Annie recieves out of the blue. I can’t reveal the outcome here as it will spoil the book, but suffice to say that it may be one you’re not expecting. I read this book in a day; it was very “moorish”. The narrative was so slick in its simplicity that you never feel you are being given information you don’t need but, despite the almost remote feel of it, all the main characters are sufficiently fleshed out that they feel whole and three-dimensional and you want to continue with them to the end of the book and the resolution.

  • Angelica
    2019-06-03 07:53

    Eh. The writing left much to be desired, plus we never get to know or sympathize with any of the characters, even the narrator, Julian. He comes off as a pompous asshole, his girlfriend Annie an irrational, overprotective mother (despite being an educated woman), and her children Rachel and Dan mere window-dressing -- even though most of the book deals with Annie's inability to cope with Dan's disappearance. However, we learn close to nothing about him through the voice of Julian, plus, we never really get to hear Annie's side of the story (which is important, as after all, she is his mother). We also have very little substantial background info as to what made Dan disappear (a promising storyline about dissociative fugue, which I find fascinating, goes nowhere) or the real nature of any of their relationships (Dan/Annie, Dan/Julian, Julian/Rachel, etc.) though the author tells us small things about each of them. Even Annie's sister Emma isn't used properly (something about her and her partner just screams "token gay couple!" to me). At the end of the book, Julian lacks any real decisiveness as far as turning in the Dan impostor, and as such this builds up to the cliffhanger ending of the boy disappearing "again." Blah. I just feel like this was such an interesting premise, and unfortunately, very little was actually done with it. Too suggestive rather than indicative, too impersonal rather than emotional, and the characters simply need to elicit more sympathy.

  • Mandy Smith
    2019-06-08 07:47

    I bought this book from a pound shop!! Worth a lot more than that,bargain! Being a mum this is my worse nightmare,losing a child and not knowing what happened or if I would ever see them again so I felt sorry for Annie straight away. Julian actually annoyed me,he was so interfering,bossy and negative.I felt better towards him later on when he was just working on gut instinct and what was obvious. I felt sorry for 'new' Dan,he's obviously missed out on a proper childhood but he did start acting like a jerk,Annie also became annoying suffocating him but im sure I would be like that too if my lost child had returned,she seemed to pick up and drop Julian when she felt like it,I would have liked to have found out what happened to Dan but I know in real life that happens a lot.

  • Maggie White
    2019-05-25 14:13

    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 there. Again this effects their relationship even more. Good read but not the heartwrencher I was expecting as the subject matter could be very emotive.Falls short of being like We Need To Talk About Kevin.

  • Heidi
    2019-05-18 12:10

    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 could she NOT know??!! Good grief, his eye color had changed, he couldn't read, ride a bike, conveniently remembered and forgot things...but I can't throw stones. I may do the same just to have my son back again, too. Even if deep down you knew something was amiss.

  • Claire
    2019-06-14 13:47

    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 interesting character who I think we never really got into deeply enough. The language he used in telling the story was pompous, but sometimes, the style felt more like the author's than Julian's.

  • Jeanne
    2019-06-11 13:02

    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 actual events.

  • Kitty Chatfou
    2019-06-12 09:02

    "DECEPTIONS" BY REBECCA FRAYNWhen 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 ClubRead more: http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.probo...

  • Heather
    2019-06-15 13:53

    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 daughter and the boy who returned) were the least explored.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-21 13:59

    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.

  • Valerie
    2019-05-30 14:09

    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.

  • Sarah Kelly
    2019-05-17 14:58

    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!

  • Neena
    2019-06-01 09:11

    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.

  • Tracy-Lee
    2019-05-20 16:06

    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.

  • Valerie
    2019-06-04 11:02

    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!

  • Vitrine
    2019-05-28 15:07

    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.

  • Jo
    2019-06-05 09:11

    This book was really gripping and I found it hard to put down. I read the whole book within 24 hours. The based on a true story of a 12-year old boy who goes missing after school only to turn up three years later suffering from amnesia. I will say no more than that...

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-13 13:09

    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.

  • Patricia
    2019-06-01 15:01

    Not my usual read but I thought it was well written and I thought the author hit home on a deep emotional level by her portrayal of the characters perspectives of a horrible situation. I would read another novel by this author......