The Perfect Fraud

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

The Perfect Fraud by debut author Ellen LaCorte is one of those novels that you can't say too much without giving away all the twists and turns.  But here is what we know:  Rena is the mother of a very sick little girl.  So sick, in fact, that no one, even the best doctors in the country, can figure out what is wrong with her.  Rena, who blogs about her daughter Stephanie's illness to an online community, is just about fed up with the medical profession's incompetency when it comes to treating her daughter.  So what does she do?  Moves across the country to see yet another specialist.  Hopefully this one has the answers she so desperately needs.  Claire is a fraud.  A psychic with no prescient abilities, yet she reads her clients' cards and tells them what they want to hear.  Between her father's illness, her difficulty getting close to her live-in boyfriend, and her fraudulent career, Claire is having trouble gaining control of her life and finding meaning.  When Rena and Claire meet on an airplane, they may just be the answer the other is looking for.  Can Claire help Rena find out what's wrong with Stephanie, and can Rena help Claire find her true purpose?  

The Perfect Fraud reads like an onion, slowly peeling away the layers of the secret lives of two women before reaching its terrifying conclusion.  Biting and tense, this domestic suspense novel will disturb as much as it delights.  If the novel has a fault, it comes in that I figured out the twist fairly early on; however, I didn't feel cheated out of the book's twists and turns because LaCorte slowly but surely shares clues, not giving away the ending until the very end.  You are left wondering until the very last pages if you are right about your suspicions.  I also thought that LaCorte spent a little too much time building background on the characters at the beginning of the book - she lost my interest at times - however, once the plot picks up, I couldn't stop turning the pages!  The Perfect Fraud is sure to be enjoyed by readers of women's suspense fiction, as well as those who love dramatic Lifetime movies.
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A great mystery book, very well written, by a new author to me. I enjoyed it and would definitely look forward to more by her. The story was easy to follow along and the characters are described very well and easy to follow. I recommend this to everyone if your looking for a good book to read!
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The Perfect Fraud is told through two timelines. First, is fake psychic Claire, who appears to be the “fraud” referred to in the title. Second is Rena, a single mom who is struggling to care for her sick 4 year old daughter. Both characters have their share of problems, but as the story goes on, it becomes clear who is the real fraud. 

I enjoyed this book and really liked Claire. Rena started to grate on me before the truth came out entirely, but she was a three-dimensional character and even if I didn’t like her, I could see what her motivations were (for the most part). The twist was a bit predictable, especially with some of the recent TV shows that have aired, but it was intriguing nonetheless. I look forward to seeing what the author does next! 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review!*
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Claire and her boyfriend Cal live in Sedona, Arizona. Her mother is a revered psychic and healer, in a family with mystical abilities. 
And although Claire works as a psychic, she is a fraud.
Rena is the single mother of four year old Stephanie, who suffers from terrible stomach problems. She is in and out of the hospital, but they are unable to find the origin of her illness.
When Claire is on a flight home from a family emergency, she crosses paths with Rena and Stephanie, who are on their way to see a specialist.
Sitting next to them on the airplane, Claire experiences strange physical and mental manifestations that leave her shaken.
We alternate between Claire and Rena's point of views, until the parallel stories converge to the heart racing finale.
This slow burn thriller was well written. Disturbing and harrowing, it was tough to follow Stephanie as she suffered  from horrible medical issues.
I did guess where the end was leading to, but it didn't make it any less creepy or compelling.
And I thought this had the perfect, chilling ending!
Thank you to Harper and NetGalley for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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“The Perfect Fraud” is a domestic fiction novel rather than a thriller, but it still kept me captivated and quite anxious while reading it.  I did figure out what is going on early in the book, but I wanted to keep reading and I was fully engaged in the story.  This book was equally disturbing and emotional for me. The story is told from two parallel POVs and I think the author did a great job at switching from one POV to another. There was no awkward and confusing gaps between both characters’ stories. 

Rina is a distraught mother who is trying to get to the bottom of what is wrong with her 4-year-old daughter, Stephanie.  At first, Rina’s need to find answers and her fight for her daughter’s well-being left me feeling sorry for her, and I wanted to reach inside the pages and give her a big hug, but oh how quickly my feelings changed. Let’s just say that at the end of the book, I simply hated Rina’s character. 

Claire comes from a long line of psychics and even though she thinks she is a fraud more than an actual psychic, she quickly becomes my favorite character. She is the opposite of Rina, and she became a great catalyst for my negative feelings towards Rina. Claire quickly goes from being a fraud to becoming the real deal, and she is a major player in exposing Rina’s deceptive ways.

A well-written, emotional, disturbing and captivating story, which I would recommend to anyone that is looking for a quick and engaging read.

Thank you NetGalley, Harper Collins, and the author, Ellen LaCorte, for giving me an opportunity to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Well, hello there, Captain Obvious! 

If you've never read a mystery/suspense novel before, don't fear...you'll still be able to figure this one out during the first chapter. This book aggravated me on so many levels. Rena, the mother of the seriously ill child, is made to look like a complete redneck imbecile--unable to spell, loose morals, and a user. Yet, she's not wrong about her take on nutrition--most people can't digest gluten properly. Gluten is not a necessary part of our diet. GMOs are horrible. Processed food is poisoning our bodies. Organic is best. 

Do we really even need to question these statements? I feel like they're common sense. Maybe not? 

So, is Ellen LaCorte using her novel to castigate parents who are diligent about what their children eat? I'm genuinely not sure, but find the fact I'm left guessing incredibly distasteful.

This novel never dives too deeply...while it does suck you in, at no time does it get past the cardboard cut-out characters and the blatantly transparent plot line. This story is more than a little disappointing.

1.5 stars rounded to 2

**Despite my less than favorable review, I'd still like to thank NetGalley, Harper, and Ellen LaCorte for giving me the opportunity to express my honest opinions.

Publication date: June 18, 2019
Review published on Goodreads: June 16, 2019
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Claire and Rena meet on an airplane.  They're both hiding something.  It's obvious what Claire's not admitting- it's that she doesn't actually have psychic powers.  Rena's daughter Stephanie has been in and out of hospitals with stomach pain for years.  Told in both perspectives, this one might seem obvious but LaCorte has done a good job of building tension.  You'll shake your head, especially at Rena and while you might guess...well, it's still a page turner and you'll feel for poor Stephanie.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Perfect for travel or the beach.
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A quick read, somewhat predictable but definitely entertaining. Alternating chapters tell the stories of two women — Claire, emotionally closed off, and struggling to accept her psychic gifts and Rena a narcissistic manipulative woman whose focus in life is taking her 4 year old daughter to doctors for life threatening stomach issues. The problem is, doctors can never find a cause for Stephanie’s health problems. . A chance meeting of the two women on a plane to Arizona sets the dramatic story in motion. Both women were well drawn, especially Rena, the monster mother you love to hate.
I am not certain the reader was expected to figure out Stephanie’s diagnosis right away, as I did,  or remain clueless til the end along with the medical establishment. Either way, it was fun to see how the diagnosis would be revealed and see where Claire and Rena would end.up. The final chapter was a delicious end to the story which might surprise you, however skilled you are at medical mysteries.
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The Perfect Fraud is sure to be this year’s Gone Girl. I have to say I knew what was going on from almost the very beginning so for me there were no real  surprises. But I know it will be a hit with patrons who liked Gone Girl or The Woman in the Window.
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In the beginning, this book gave me a bit of a Lianne Moriarty vibe with two very different women navigating their own very different problems while forming a friendship. And then it became one of the sickest books I have ever read in my life. If you liked shows like "The Act" and love to finish the book by screaming at the skies then this is the book for you.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper for this ARC.
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A unique take on domestic fiction comes in the form of potential psychics and hysterical mothers. We meet Claire, working as a psychic but knowing she is a total fraud (gotta make a living somehow)...but all that seemingly changes when she meets Rena and her daughter Stephanie on an airplane and gets a feeling she’s never experienced before. 

While this book is being marketed as a thriller and there are some unknown elements with high tension, it’s definitely more domestic fiction. Going in with this knowledge will definitely help set expectations and hopefully increase enjoyment! 

I found the psychic plot line to add a unique element to a traditional story and I’m not one for supernatural/occult tales ever - so keep that in mind if you were hesitating on this one due to this - as it actually adds fun to a heavy topic. All in all, I really enjoyed The Perfect Fraud and plan to read more from LaCorte in the future.
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Read this book! I wish goodreads let us do half stars, because I would really like to give this 4.5. So I began reading this book without any description- which was actually perfect. I feel like the description here gives a little too much away. Being an educator, I suspected I knew what was going on with Rena early on. I don’t want to say more so as not to give anything away. But Lacorte does a great job of creating Rena’s character. Oh I hated her! She made me so mad. I actually gasped out loud at times from her actions. 
Claire is a likable character going through some big life changes. In the beginning, she is drifting through life along with her boyfriend Cal. She’s not that likable- doesn’t let Cal in, is a fraud at work. But she really grows as a person in the book, and hence she becomes a very likable and relatable character. 
Some of this book and your enjoyment of the climax hinges on whether you believe in psychics. But not too much, since the wagons were circling on Rena in other ways too. 
There are some interesting life questions related to the plot. What do we owe strangers? If you knew something terrible about another’s life- would you tell them? Would you get involved to stop the problem? 
Just read this book! It’s a fast, good read. I wish I could then chat with you about it!
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Overall, the author did a good job of getting the reader invested in the story. It’s a fast read and an ok plot but was very predictable. That being said I still wanted to finish the story, so that means it was a good read. If you like ‘Lifetime’ network movies then you will like this book. 

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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The Perfect Fraud had me going the entire time, even though I basically figured out the ending from the first 60 pages. I think that is the marking of a good book, when you "know" the ending but you still have a need to see exactly how it played out- cudos Ellen LaCorte. 

In The Perfect Fraud we meet Claire who is from a generation of physic. Claire's mom is sought after for her physic abilities, so much Claire decides to into the same line of work, the only problem is.... Claire doesn't have "the gift". Claire spends her days telling people what they want to hear in the hopes that they don't figure out she is a fraud. 

There is a Rena, a young divorcee who is saddled with caring for her four-year-old daughter, Stephanie. Stephanie suffers from incurable stomach problems, she's seen numerous specialists who cannot seem to figure out what is wrong with her, meanwhile Stephanie keeps getting sicker and sicker. Rena finds some amount of solace online through her blog where she keeps mothers like her posted on Stephanie's plight. 

On a plane ride Claire meets Rena who is relocating to Arizona in the hopes that Stephanie will meet a specialist who will cure her. These two ladies are carry secrets that could potentially destroy them both....

LaCorte did a great job of setting up this plot. I think she did a great job building up each character to the point where you become invested. As I said before, I basically figured out what was happening but was so compelled to finish. I see some persons think the plot is too "lifetimey" it might be, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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This book grabs you from the first page and leaves you breathless at the end!  A must read for those fans of Thrillers. I would read anything this Author wrote. Do yourself a favor and read this unputdownable story!
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The Perfrct Fraud is a debut novel classified as a thriller although the reader knows early on  what is going on. 
We are first introduced to Claire, who lives in Sedona, AZ with her boyfriend Cal. Claire is a psychic, like her mother but as she confides in Csl- she is faking her readings. 
The other character we meet is Rena, a divorced mother with a 4 year old Stephanie who suffers from a stomach ailment that seems inexplicable despite Rena seeking out endless doctors and a dedication to her diet which she chronicles in a blog. 
Claire is called home on a family emergency and on the return trip crosses paths with Rena who is going to AZ to see a specialist for Stephanie. 
Can this chance encounter lead to the answers for Stephanie? 
I can’t guve more detail without spoilers. It has a slow build up and there are ebb and flows where you keep reading. The ending was sudden and a bit of a cliffhanger- is this the beginning of series? Or a two or three part story? 
The author did a good job at creating  attachments to her characters and loathing for others. 
It could be a difficult subject for some readers. 
Thank you to @netgalley and @harpercollins for the advance copy in exchange for my opinion.
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3.5
Yikes, that was sad and creepy.

The writing is good on this one. The passages narrated by Claire made me chuckle at times, she’s very real. Rena is a nightmare, just so horrible. 

The whole psychic thing always interest me. I think you are a person that’s open to that sort of thing or think it’s complete crap. I’m open to it and enjoyed that aspect. 

I can’t write much more without giving things away but the conclusion (Rena’s) GAH!!!

This was a quick and entertaining read. I would read more by this author. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and HarperCollins Publishers for a copy in exchange for a review.
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For some reason I just got bored. I didn’t find it engaging and couldn’t connect to the characters. Did not finish it.
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WOW! What a book! The Perfect Fraud was the perfect thriller! Once I started this book I literally could not put it down, I devoured it in a day and half. These characters 😡😡 let me just say oh did I hate someone. But I totally loved how Ellen wrote this person to be hated! 
The Perfect Fraud is a must read! It will grab your attention and you will be done it crazy quick but thinking about it long after you are done!
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Description
In this propulsive debut thriller, two women with deep secrets are thrown together by an unexpected meeting that plunges both their lives into chaos. But it’s a sick little girl whose fate hangs in the balance.

Motherhood is tough. But then, so is daughterhood. When we first meet Claire, she’s living in Sedona, Arizona with her boyfriend Cal and ducking calls from her mother.  Her mom is a world-class psychic on the East Coast and Claire doesn’t want her to discover the truth. Claire works in the family business and calls herself a psychic, but she doesn’t really have “the gift” and hasn’t for a long time. She’s a fraud.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Rena, a young mother, has family issues of her own. She’s divorced and her four-year-old daughter, Stephanie, suffers from mysterious, seemingly incurable stomach problems. No matter how many specialists Rena drags her to, no matter how many mommy-blog posts she makes about her child’s health issues, trying to get help and support from her online community, Stephanie only gets sicker.

When Claire and Rena meet by chance on an airplane, their carefully constructed lives begin to explode.  Can these two women help each other and can they help Stephanie before it’s too late? 

Wow, this was an excellent book. I had Rena figured out fast. A very sad, chilling, and like a train wreck I had to finish. Just a great book.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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