BOOK REVIEW: Perfect Prey

Lovefraud first heard from Liz Cole, author of Perfect Prey—Surviving a Cyber Shark’s Romantic Fraud, back in 2007, shortly after she realized that the guy she met on the Internet was a sociopath.

The guy called himself John Hill, although that wasn’t his real name. Liz wrote:

In my case, John presented himself as:
an Irish born gentleman,
well groomed,
graduate degreed,
retired from the Royal Marines where he performed his tour of duty in the Falkland Islands,
a dutiful and tireless single parent to one daughter, aged 25 completing Medical School in Dublin,
an accomplished chef and restaurateur,
an accomplished sailor,
old-school about etiquette,
strong work ethic and,
a family background rich in details complete with family tartan (Montgomery Clan), brogues, Prince Albert jacket etc.

Hill’s presentation, Liz learned, was highly exaggerated. In fact, as often happens with sociopaths, it was a mountain of lies.

Liz, however, was vulnerable. Her husband had recently decided that he wanted a new life, abandoning her and their two daughters. So when Hill rolled into her life, promising love and riches, well, Liz listened.

It was a typical sociopathic whirlwind romance. But things never quite added up, and Hill never quite came through with his promises. Then, while Liz and her whole family waited for him to show up for Easter dinner, he disappeared.

Liz went on the warpath to find out who he really was and what he was doing. It turned out that John Hill had a long history of fraud. Liz got the police to go after him. Better yet, she busted him with a sting on Canadian television.

In Perfect Prey, Liz tells her story. Much of the book is written as a real time journal as the events unfolded, complete with sassy commentary. The book offers a good look at how one of life’s blows can make us susceptible to another, how sociopaths pull off the larger-than-life act, and how it is sometimes possible for victims to turn the tables.

Perfect Prey—Surviving a Cyber Shark’s Romantic Fraud, is available from the Chapters, Canada’s online bookstore.

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47 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: Perfect Prey"

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Congratulations on the validation you received from your therapist. Mine looked at the s’s websites and told me the same thing at our next session. It is a wonderful and glorious moment, when we get this kind of validation.

I too, like so many here, had a very abusive background. Sexual/emotional/physical abuse. Like Matt, I was well-groomed for future abusers.

When I was given the language and concepts around abusers and predators it was a leap of consciousness for me. I could finally identify people from my family and my present.

But most helpful of all is the information has enabled me to identify just what the impact on my life/person has been. I can, in some way, depersonalize my problems, look at them as having a cause, and being an ‘effect’, and not some horrible deficit of my personhood. I guess I can now ‘own’ them, instead of being ashamed and blind to my own healing needs. Just the awareness alone has brought about changes that required very little ‘work’.

Another good read is ‘Will I Ever Be Good Enough?’, about daughters of narcissistic mothers. I found it super helpful.

Journey on!

Hey Slimone, thanks. : ) Your T only had to look at the S’s websites? Wow. If mine looked at his websites she’d definitely call him a Narcissist. Puke-making.

Slimone, you bring up an important point for me that I’m struggling with. I’m trying to depersonalize and not feel defective, but I know that the S/P had other women he took way more seriously than me. I know he saw me as easier to abuse because I was more worthless to him, because of age and unattractiveness, which turns my stomach. He confirmed to me how disgusting I really was and that’s taking the longest time to shift. Still making him the measure of my worthiness and coming up short. Ugh. Rationally, I know we can’t be attractive to everyone but he let me know I was nowhere near his benchmark. I’m carrying that and it’s heavy.

Thanks a lot for the book recommendation. My mom was the doormat and Dad the S/N, but I guess it would still help.

Thanks Slimone and I’m glad to hear you’re making progress. I’ve read a lot of your posts and can relate to a lot you’ve said.


dear becoming,

look at how you might heal this feeling of unworthiness and unattractiveness. think of it as not being in relationship to him. him as not the injurer, just see how you might be able to interact with the injury in some meaningful way. to touch it. to witness it.

‘He confirmed to me how disgusting I really was’
they are quick studies, so they figure out where they can hurt us most, and then they do it.

He is a spath – him taking you less seriously IS A BLESSING.

thank you for your post. it is helpful to me, too.

one step

Dear becoming, -They “mirror” their worst faults on to us,-via “projection’, therefore, if he said YOU were disgusting, what he REALLY mean is that HE is disgusting. They are unable to face their faults, so they dump them on their “loved” ones. In reality, they are incapable of loving anyone, least of all themselves. So, hey presto, all you have to do, is think of every single mean, cruel and hurtful thing he ever said to you,and mentallyy send it back to him.!
When the Lord Buddha wa sitting meditating in the deer park in Vihala, India , a crazy person came to him and started to hurl insults at the Buddha. He waited till the crazy man was finished, then he said, “Tell me, if someone gave you a present, but you did not like the present, and you gave it back to him to whom, then, would the gift belong?” The mad man said,”To the one who gave it to me.”
“Just so, said the Lord Buddha. “Your insults come from your sick mind,I do not want them, I return them to you, they are yours!”. This is exactly what you must do in your mind every time you start to believe these crazy lies from your ex spath.!
With Love, and {{HUGS!!}} Gem.XXX

ooooh, good one geminigirl!

I like that Buddha quote. It’s exactly right on the projection.

Thanks, sky!! Years ago, [around 1965 to be exact,} I was living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I got really into Buddhism, I even took a course run by a tutor monk in Buddhist Philosophy and doctrine. I used to go to the temple most weekends to do Puja,-meditation. The monks were so kind to me and used to pray for my alcoholic husband. I had a 3 year old toddler,{Deb} and a new baby,{Claire,} and I was only 26.I had no idea my ex husband was an alcoholic at the time.
I even illustrated a book for the chief monk, the Rev. Tan sri Dato Dhammananda Thera. _What a title! Love, GemXX


not sure where to post this. since r babe and i are commenting on ‘prey’, and how it is used by spaths, and this conversation has prompted me to write something about how everyone is prey to the spath i tangled with

I just wrote a letter to the spath, that i will not send and will not post for her to see. it was the first time i have addressed her directly since all of this happened – and i shook while writing it and shook after writing it.

4 short paragraphs. seems i don’t have a lot to say – just lots of CAPS and a couple of swear words.

…okay, a few CAPPED swear words


and on i step….

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