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By | May 21, 2012 49 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Seducer

The Seducer, by Claudia Moscovici, is a novel about a psychopath. But it’s not a Hollywood-style psychopath who stalks unsuspecting strangers to commit ritual murder. This story is much closer to reality—the reality that many of us were horrified to discover.

The author, Moscovici, knows of what she writes, because she lived through her own nightmare with a psychopath. Because of her experience, she created the Psychopathy Awareness blog, to help people learn about these human predators.

Her thorough understanding of this disordered personality is apparent in the book. The Seducer tells a compelling story of how the psychopaths who live among us pursue their agendas, and how their unknowing targets react.

Michael is young, handsome, clever and has only one real objective in life—sex. Women exist only for his personal gratification, and he is always in pursuit of gratification. Yes, he has a fiancé, Karen, whom he keeps around as a backup plan while in search of other adventures. Then he meets Ana, who is married, although the spark left her marriage long ago. Suddenly Michael has a new goal—making Ana his. He turns on the charm, and Ana responds.

Because this is a novel, Moscovici has the luxury of taking us wherever she wants, and she takes us into the heads of the predator and his targets. The cold, calculated way in which Michael decides his next move is disconcerting, but probably accurate for a certain segment of psychopaths. The reactions of Karen and Ana will certainly ring true for readers who found themselves caught in psychopathic webs.

The story itself is compelling—I always wanted to know what would happen next. Moscovici gradually builds the tension until the surprise twist at the end, which left me feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach. But I also knew the ending could have happened in real life.

From a storytelling perspective, The Seducer is a good read. For those of us who have endured disordered romantic partners, it is validating. And if someone doesn’t really know what a psychopath is, this book can serve as a good education

The Seducer, by Claudia Moscovici, is available on Amazon.com.


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Near

She created that blog?! I have known about that blog for a long time now, and I think it was even mentioned on this site before.

Still, I think that blog is very informative. I still like to read it. I was not aware of this book, though. Sounds like it may be fun, but I’m not too sure it’s my type of book.

Although, I do like the sound of some sections from the sociopath’s point of view. I always like when the story takes the perspective of the Less-than-good character.

I bet some people here may be able to relate to it, which may allow them to enjoy it more… Wait, no, that came out wrong. Not enjoy, but.. um, maybe intrigue them more. 😛 It might make some people uncomfortable, though.

I can’t relate at all. I was never in a relationship with a predator. Well, not a romantic relationship.

darwinsmom

It was Claudia’s blog I furst stumbled upon that nailed it for me that I had just been ditched by a psychopath a year ago… something Hare’s list and Wikipedia unfortunately could not do. It’s not that these lists aren’t accurate, but it’s hard to regard someone as unempathic when you’re still mentally in the gaslighting web without precoius victim examples. I totally divulged every bit of info she had on her blog about it, which I soooooooooooooo totally recognized and thought “Yes! Yes! Oh My! He did that too, exactly as described!” and it’s through that blog I found lovefraud.

I read the parts of the book that you could read as preview, but in the end I couldn’t read too much of it. Triggered me back then! It was all too fresh then and I was wrapping my brain around the realization what I had escaped to want to read a fictional tail of emotional turmoil and attraction back then.

It Takes 2

I really like Claudias Blog. Its been very helpful!

It Takes 2

I’ve been reading Lovefraud since I googled the characteristics of what I thought best described a man that I used to know and was very close too. I had no idea what a Sociopath was, never had to know until Him. That was 1.5 years ago.

I’m so extremely grateful for Lovefraud and Claudias blog for pulling me out of the dark. If not for these sites I might never have understood what was going on with Him and pulled myself away.

snowwhite

I read the seducer…..it depicted my story so accurately….except for the ending ….thankfully! I was stunned as I read it….couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Claudia KNOWS exactly how they operate. It’s chilling. I read it when I was about 1 month NC and it really helped me be thankful i escaped the path. I still have now Nd then bouts of cognitive dissonance as I learned through Jennifer st Sandra Browns institute. Phone therapy sessions with her at the institute for relational Harm…are amazing. Finally I found a counselor who know exactly what I’m experiencing. If you can afford the $65 hour sessions, it’s sooo worth it!

Snow p

It Takes 2

Its my story too I’m afraid. I would like to read the book.
I’ve been NC for almost a year but even so I’m amazed how only 2.5 years of knowing the creep continues to haunt me. I suppose it is mostly to do w the Love Bombing phase and then rehashing the bad behavior and trying to figure out how/when/why he acted so differently later on. Not knowing what they are is what makes us crazy until we google and discover the answer. Who knew?! So I excuse myself for not knowing what I was dealing with at the time. But to know and then remain in Contact is just stupid and so I know I’ll never respond to him again.

snowwhite

It takes 2

I didn’t have a clue either. It’s great that you haven’t had contact In a year. Did he try and contact you? Just wondering how you handled it?

I think it’s hard for “normal” people to fathom how someone is so disordered that they have no empathy and who’s only purpose is to use others solely to fulfill their needs. The path I was involved with was an empty vessel….was never satisfied…..no matter how many hoops I jumped through for him…. It was never enough. I saw signs in the beginning but was blinded by the love bombing…..I think anyone would be. Unfortunately we were targeted. I really believe that most people who are targeted would succumb to it. Unless you’ve experienced it you will never know. Thats what makes it so frustrating.

Happy you stayed strong!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i swear, i am never going to trust another person named michael. that name is SO connected with spathy for me.

It Takes 2

One, Funny you say that…same here. Lol!

It Takes 2

Snow,
Luckily, after almost 6 months of NC and him not trying to contact me either…when he did contact me via email…it was Easy for me to not respond. I thought, ‘he wants to hear from me so he can dump Me next time. As I’m Sure he got angry when I went NC last July. I know he was dumbfounded. But I never told him I researched his behaviors and found he met 9 of 10 Characteristics of a Sociopath.
So he must just think I’m bitter. That’s ok with me though. He’s completely out of my life and that’s all that matters to me.

MoonDancer

onesteprs – that was my xxx’s name – does somebody need to hit me with a gray rock?

It Takes 2

Look up the name Michael and guess what? – “who is like God”

MoonDancer

wasnt that satan’s name? Michael? my x has a bd coming up, he was born 6-6-66..
I am really slow getting the picture sometimes..
ya know what I mean, they just have a way of sneaking in and before ya know it your hooked and slimed..
I mean who is real anyway? peace out

It Takes 2

Woa, what a birthday. He was doomed from the start, poor guy.

Near

Hens: 6666 is not a bad number! 😛

Look on the bright side: 6666 turned upside down is 9999, which is the maximum amount of damage a character can do to an enemy in many Final Fantasy games. ^_^

Oh, you might not get that reference. 🙁

I got nothing then, man. :/

It Takes 2

Lol!
Heres to looking on the bright side then. 🙂

Nite!

Back_from_the_edge

I am scared to even post on this blog now, after everything I have been through and seen….all this talk about 6’s and Michael’s and such…we just had a full moon along with a solar eclipse yesterday and now you are giving me the woolies. lol

zeesh: shades of psychopath “B” movies just flood my head…lol

Dupity Doo Duh
Dippity Day…

It Takes 2

Was your Spath a Michael too?

Near

Back from the edge: Woolies? I thought they were called willies.

Now I can only imagine you wrapped up in wool sweaters. ITCHY sweaters. Poor thing. 🙁

Back_from_the_edge

hahahaha Near, thanks for the smile…
nooooooooooo! no woolies for me, please…it is still 92f here!
is that what they are??? —> willies? I thought that was the wet finger in the ear trick. hehehehe

Back_from_the_edge

It Takes 2: his name wasn’t Michael but he was certainly the devils spawn, My Dear…

I am starting to think I just may be spath free now…
shhhhhh: I can’t say that too loud, “IT” might hear me…

Near

Back from the edge: Yeah, the saying is that something gives you the willies, not to be confused with wet willies(wet finger in ear), or any other willies. ^_^

Oh, and I’m the comic relief of Lovefraud. *waves* 🙂

Back_from_the_edge

(((Near))) You are sending me to bed with a smile and I am grateful and beholding to you.

Yikes: I think I just better stay away from them all together, whatever they are. hehehehe Too confusing for me.

😛 Waving back!!!!

Near

Back from the edge: Yeah, I’m off for sleepy times as well. It has been fun for me as well, so now I have a smile. ^_^

*huggles*

cathyannjones

I am so grateful for this site and the recommended books. I just ordered ‘Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath” because it says it really helps with healing. My ex (who committed suicide in March) put me through the wringer in the 33 years I was married to him. He used to call me and say he was driving someplace to commit suicide when he was actually headed to a hotel to do drugs and party and who know what else. It left me a wreck all night until he came home the next day and I was so grateful that he was alive I didn’t ask many questions. This was just one of the many cruel things he did to me. I’m surprised that I am sane at all. His suicide has left your youngest daughter a wreck and do you think he would even care if he were still here? She is having panic attacks and I have her scheduled to see my doctor. I think he only really committed suicide because he was hooked on crack and had been drinking. My doctor explained that crack makes people really depressed and they often commit suicide. And yet I keep thinking “maybe he wasn’t a sociopath, maybe he was just an addict” but I have known other people who were addicts who don’t play the cruel games he played. My youngest daughter has a lot of guilt because she wasn’t in touch with him much and didn’t want him around the grandchildren because of the drug use, yet he never tried to contact our daughters unless he couldn’t reach me, and he only wanted to reach me (we were divorced) to try to scam me out of money. Well, thanks for letting me vent and any help on the guilt and getting my daughters through this is greatly appreciated.

Louise

cathyann:

I’m so sorry…what a horrible thing to go through…what a horrible 33 years to go through! I will pray for peace for your daughters.

You brought up a very good point that I have thought about many times after reading so many stories on LF. A great majority of the stories on here seem to involve drugs…the spath is on drugs or an addict. Did anyone else ever think that their erratic behavior was due to the drugs and not necessarily a personality disorder?? I wonder…curious.

Truthspeak

Cathyannjones, I am so sorry for your experiences and the horrific damage that your daughters must be suffering. Of course, she’s experiencing panic attacks – PSTD for survivors of suicides is textbook-expected. A good, strong counseling therapist that “gets it” about PSTD and domestic abuse would help her (and, one of your own) tremendously.

I literally hate the carnage that suicide leaves behind. I know entirely too many people who spend the rest of their lives wondering what they could have done to prevent such a dire and disastrous action. I’ve wondered that, myself, on many occasions.

Brightest healing blessings, Cathyann….to you and your daughters.

cathyannjones

I don’t know about the relationship between psychopaths and drugs except that I think psychopaths are always looking for something more and more exciting. I believe a lot of psychopaths are probably addicts because the rules don’t apply to them and anything that makes them feel good is all that matters. There are actually addicts (I go to al-anon meetings) who are just lost and struggling and want to get better. I have dated men since my divorce, a couple of who had drinking problems and yet they did not play head games and lie the way the psychopath did. They didn’t they to make you doubt your sanity and think it was all fun and games and that winning was the ultimate goal. One recent guy was sort of selfish and wanted everything his way and tried to insist on unprotected sex even though he had never been tested. When I told him it wasn’t going to work, he didn’t say anything mean or cruel and just accepted my decision. We even decided that we could remain friends. That’s the difference. This is just my opinion on the matter.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

it takes 2 – i know of many spaths named michael.

Louise

cathyann:

I know what you are saying. I have seen both…men who drink or do drugs yet don’t hurt people and sober men who hurt people all the time. I just wonder if there is a subset who are addicts and not spaths…their behavior is due to the ups and downs of the drugs highs and lows and not because they are spaths. Does anyone else have opinions on this?

witsend

Louise,

This is a really good point that you brought up about addicts vs personality disordered.

And telling the difference between the behaviors and if the behavior is due to the addiction or a personality disorder.

Many/most addicts, particularly those whos addiction has escalated to the point where the addiction dominates their lives….They lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, & “use” most everyone they come in contact with to their advantage. On the “surface” (anyways) they certainly don’t show compassion or empathy to their family members or loved ones.

If you knew the person BEFORE they became an addict you might know that all this “addictive behavior” is totally out of character for the person you knew.
Addiction CAN and DOES make good people do things that they would never do if they were not addicted to a substance.
Addiction CHANGES who people are.

However many personality disordered are also addicted.

If you knew a spath BEFORE the addiction….. chances are that you wouldn’t see a DRASTIC change in their behavior.
They would still lie, cheat, steal, use most everyone they came in contact with, etc….Maybe take it up a notch and be more violent than before….

Addiction with a spath, about the only thing I can think of is that it would be harder to “see” the mask actually slip?

I would like to hear what others might have to say about this?

Louise

witsend:

Yeah, exactly and that is what I am saying. Even the hardcore addict who is lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating and using everyone just to get their fix…does that mean they are a spath? I don’t think so…not always. They are being driven by their addiction and will do anything to get the drug. It doesn’t mean they have a PD. Thanks for engaging with me on this…very interesting topic.

witsend

Louise,
Yes the hardcore addict isn’t always a spath. HOWEVER and this is the important part…Although their behavior is driven by the addiction, that is the REASON for the behavior, it isn’t an EXCUSE for the behavior.
Reason/excuse. Fine line. It is still toxic behavior.

Until an addict accepts responsibility & OWNS his/her addiction, and accepts their powerlessness over the addiction by going to treatment….The behavior will usually progress and get worse.

witsend

Loise,
Addiction is a progressive disease.

Louise

witsend:

I totally agree…the addiction does not excuse the behavior…not at all.

It does get worse…

slimone

Every spath I have known has one or more ‘addictions’: sex, work, drugs, violence, porn, hording, food, exercise. Every one of them had a mania about something or other. So, it is really difficult to dissect.

Agreed, though, if you knew them ‘before’ the addiction, and there wasn’t change after, in rotten behavior- then likely the addiction is secondary to their personality disorder.

Living in the darkness of hell does make one self-medicate. They are running from their self-imposed darkness as fast as they can.

Slim

witsend

Slimone,
I believe that you have a very valid point. Most spaths will have an addiction that is secondary to the personality disorder.
Even if their addiction seems “lost” in the evilness…It is probably there somewhere if you look hard enough.

Back_from_the_edge

louise, you said:

“Louise says: cathyann: I know what you are saying. I have seen both”men who drink or do drugs yet don’t hurt people and sober men who hurt people all the time. I just wonder if there is a subset who are addicts and not spaths”their behavior is due to the ups and downs of the drugs highs and lows and not because they are spaths. Does anyone else have opinions on this?”
—————————————————————–

I agree with you. Just because someone is, for example, a drug addict, does not make them a spath with a mental disorder. There IS a subset of addicts who are not spaths. Absolutely. Their behavior IS due to the drugs and not a ‘natural’ behavior problem as in mental disorder.

I know addicts who are wonderful people and then I have seen addicts who are the vilest things that can walk the planet. And, in reverse, I don’t believe that all spaths are drug addicts, although, MOST of the ones “I” know are. They bury themselves in their addiction to escape the responsibility for their actions. That is why they do it. And, of course, it only MAGNIFIES their already UGLY persona.

I am at a crossroad, in my experience, at the moment…
It’s empowering and ‘enlightening’…

Thank you all for being here for me.

Dupey ~ xxoo

Louise

Yeah, well my spath’s addictions are alcohol and work and possibly sex.

Sociopathic

I actually was based on this book.

MoonDancer

I had my suspicions about it take’s 2

Louise

hens:

You are right!!!!! You are so smart 🙂

It Takes 2

Hi,
I’m posting again (as opposed to just reading) 🙂
Hope you all are doing well today

Frontporchtalker1

It’s hard for me to twease-out “addicts” from “personality disorders” (such as sociopaths), bc it gets so complicated. To me anyway, addicts numb their feelings with a substance, person or thing. Why they do this is the big question. Sociopaths have a personality disorder, to put it mildly. Are they born this way or is it due to an abusive childhood? Who knows.
I do know that 94% of all addicts say that they were emotionally abused. That emotional abuse may also extend to sociopaths. Interesting debate y’all are having.

Louise

It is a very interesting debate and I wish there were some concrete answers, but when talking about these type of very complicated things…addiction and personality disorders, I don’t think there are any real answers.

apples of the eye

I just finished the book “The Seducer” and I could hardly put it down. This reminded me so much of my story from beginning to “almost” the end. Three weeks “no contact” so far and I have blocked my ex-lovers emails, phone calls etc. and hope I never hear from him again. Thankfully I have one of those wonderful husbands who understands that I was a victim of a spath – and we are working hard, with the help of a counselor, to recover our marriage. It’s tough, but I am convinced we will work thru this.

My ex-lover “spath”, whom I nearly destroyed my life for – is again jobless and broke. The “back-up” girlfriend, whom he constantly put down to me like “Michael” did to “Karen” in the book, is once again supporting him. She knows about his lies, his cheating – but just like “Karen” in the book – she is giving him another chance and believes counseling will help. Right back in for more abuse, sadly.

One thing that really stuck out in the book to me was how Michael called Ana “Woman” when he spoke down to her and the mask fell – this is exactly what my ex did. Very demeaning talk – and it triggered big red flags that I CHOSE to ignore.

I loved the “counselors talk” at the end of the book. This was very helpful. We must look upon ourselves as to WHY we allowed the spath into our lives in the first place. WHY we fell for their over-the-top flattery and love bombing in the beginning and the eventual manipulation.

Once you get over the pain, climb out of that pit, and reach the pinnacle of the mountain where self-actualization lies – beyond self-esteem, believe me, the view from the top of the mountain is GREAT. I will never again NEED validation from a man to feel smart, beautiful and loved.

Louise

apples of the eye:

You also have a husband as a cushion…you should never HAVE to need validation again from another man…only your husband.

apples of the eye

Louise, I was very fortunate to have that cushion and I will be forever grateful for my husbands forgiveness and unconditional love. I regret and feel tremendous remorse for what I participated in.

When you are vulnerable and under a “spaths spell” – its hard to explain – but you loose control. AND THAT is what they want – complete control over you. Then, once you agree to leave your husband and file for divorce (I fortunately delayed filing) its like “game over” for the spath. Their mask begins to come off.

Louise

apples of the eye:

I completely understand the spath’s spell. I think I was totally hypnotized. Yeah, they are only in it for the game…it’s not real to them. It’s the chase. Sad. Blessings to you.

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