By | May 11, 2012 5 Comments

Red Flags of Love Fraud: Not just another book on sociopaths

 By Sarah Strudwick

Editor’s note: Sarah Strudwick is author of “Dark Souls,” and has created numerous cartoons describing the behavior of sociopaths.

When I first got a copy of Donna Andersen’s Red Flags of Love Fraud, my immediate reaction was, “Oh yet another book on sociopaths.” Having been a victim myself, and a fellow author who has read almost every book on the subject, I was half expecting to find a book that was regurgitating old ideas with nothing new to say.

Well how wrong I was, because this is not one of those books. Apart from one other book I have read recently on Character Disturbance, this has to be the best book I have read so far on sociopaths. Donna Andersen combines her expertise based on real life experience, and real heartbreaking true life stories from those people who submitted to her survey via The book is both eloquent and intelligently written and dispels some of the myths that people have about sociopaths just being Ted Bundy-like characters. It also explains some of the discrepancies between the sociopath(ic) types such as psychopaths, antisocials, and so on.

Donna points out that most sociopaths are everyday folks whose sole aim is manipulation, power and control. Along with providing key tools such as how to spot “red flags” for potential abusers, Donna goes onto explain what types of people are likely to be targets, mostly anyone, and those more “wounded” types who are much more likely to fall prey to the sociopaths’ charms. Donna explains clearly the types of manipulation tactics they use, and why it is often so hard for victims to escape because of the pathological bond. More importantly, she explains why many friends and family may be unaware that abuse is even happening in the first place. Since the book is interspersed with real life stories, data and research, it should hopefully add additional muscle to voices of those victims who have been speaking up for too long without being heard.

In additional to being aimed at those readers who may potentially be targets of sociopaths wanting some kind of help, I would recommend that this book goes on the reading lists of professionals. It might also behoove those friends and colleagues of people who think something is “not quite right” to read it and pass it along in order to educate and raise awareness of this important social problem that is the sociopath.

As a coach who helps people coming out of abusive relationships, this will go on my recommended list of must-reads for those who come and see me in the future.

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Ox Drover

Absolutely agree Sarah. Each of us could “write a book” on the traumas we have experienced–but Donna has done a magnificant job of putting together the RED FLAGS to watch for, both for the “survivor” and the “pre-survivor” and the potential victims.

I recommend that each of us buy one for ourselves and our permanent library and one to give to a friend. I think most of us know someone who could use one.


I have yet to been able to purchase either of Donna’s works, but I’ll say this: many “experts” speak to the issues of malignant narcissism and sociopathy to great degree. They pontificate and orate and give numbers, studies, and statistics. Donna is a layperson and has provided her experiences AS a layperson TO the layperson. Her posts, articles, and responses are easily understood and she is speaking from personal experience – not from studies.

I cannot describe how grateful I am that this website was built and it has been a TRUE godsend for me….

Thanks so much! I so want to get the word out, so that people can avoid these relationships, rather than suffering and then picking up the pieces.


Donna, I had the spare to order your book today 🙂


I absolutely agree. I’ve read most of the books on sociopathic relationships and healing, and this was definitely the best.

The way it’s set up–with the red flags enumerated in the first chapters and then expanded upon in the later ones–makes it easy for someone who may may be questioning whether s/he is with or knows a spath to get their answers without having to skip around from chapter to chapter.

The first book I read after realizing the exS was just that was “Women who Love Psychopaths”. It was an eye-opener, and I still refer back to it often. But I DID have to jump around a lot to find the specific info I was looking for, so Donna’s book is far superior in that way.

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