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This is a WOW story and not in a good way This story, true events, took place in the city county that I ve lived in all my life I vaguely remember Pam Betz insurance agency and bookkeeper I m shocked to learn of the manipulation, lies and decept that took place over so many years But I truly hurt for the young child, girl, teenage, Axton, that can t have a life do over, that suffered emotionally as well as physically She would have been welcomed at my meager dinner table anytime Should I have the opportunity to meet this author I would tell her how proud of her, that I am, that she rose above of her circumstances, obtained an education, pursued the buried truth and had the fortitude to put her painful story out in print for all to see If it helps or inspires only one person, it is worth it. Would like to give this 3.5 stars but since that s not possible and I don t think it s a 4 star read, I rounded down The story is fascinating but I didn t love the writing That said 3 stars for the writing and 4 stars for the story. In This Powerful True Crime Memoir, An Award Winning Identity Theft Expert Tells The Shocking Story Of The Duplicity And Betrayal That Inspired Her Career And Nearly Destroyed Her FamilyAxton Betz Hamilton Grew Up In Small Town Indiana In The Early S When She Was Years Old, Her Parents Both Had Their Identities Stolen Their Credit Ratings Were Ruined, And They Were Constantly Fighting Over Money This Was Before The Age Of The Internet, When Identity Theft Became Commonplace, So Authorities And Banks Were Clueless And Reluctant To Help Axton S ParentsAxton S Family Changed All Of Their Personal Information And Moved To Different Addresses, But The Identity Thief Followed Them Wherever They Went Convinced That The Thief Had To Be Someone They Knew, Axton And Her Parents Completely Cut Off The Outside World, Isolating Themselves From Friends And Family Axton Learned Not To Let Anyone Into The House Without Explicit Permission, And Once Went As Far As Chasing A Plumber Off Their Property With A Knife As A Result, Axton Spent Her Formative Years Crippled By Anxiety, Quarantined Behind The Closed Curtains In Her Childhood Home She Began Starving Herself At A Young Age In An Effort To Blend In Her Appearance Could Be Nothing Short Of Perfect Or She Would Be Scolded By Her Mother, Who Had Become Paranoid And Consumed By How Others Perceived The FamilyYears Later, Her Parents Marriage Still Shaken From The Theft, Axton Discovered That She, Too, Had Fallen Prey To The Identity Thief, But By The Time She Realized, She Was Already Thousands Of Dollars In Debt And Her Credit Was Ruined The Less People Know About Us Is Axton S Attempt To Untangle An Intricate Web Of Lies, And To Understand Why And How A Loved One Could Have Inflicted Such Pain Axton Will Present A Candid, Shocking, And Redemptive Story And Reveal Her Courageous Effort To Grapple With Someone Close That Broke The Unwritten Rules Of Love, Protection, And Family This blew my mind An absolutely bizarre story that proves once again that real life can be outlandish than fiction This story of identity theft is so much crazier than I expected I actually can t believe the author was able to get to a point where she could write about it To say it enveloped her entire life is an understatement It made her who she is but also upended everything she knew A fast read, page turner, real life thriller I am not sure how to classify it Definitely a very personal account and I applaud her for sharing I am still shocked and speechless and I only read about it she lived it I heard about this book on Fresh Air and was super excited I thought it would be of a mystery, but it s easy early on to figure out who the perpetrator is For how fascinating the story is, it should be a engaging read, but something about the writing or pacing was just off. I hate to rate a memoir But this one was lacking for me in some way Too much information in some places, far too little in others I guess maybe my issue is that the focus is about Identity Theft, when in fact it should be about Mental Illness. This was a fascinating story BUT the author s writer s voice annoyed me to no end She somehow managed to be self pitying and know it all simultaneously Pretty amazing feat One of my favorite chapter endings I want to know the truth because the truth is important. I read this book after hearing Axton on Criminal I was intrigued What a story Axton Abetz Hamilton and her family were the victims of identify theft She found herself with a low credit score when she was at college Turns out, it was her mother Her mother deceived her and her father, leading a double life Her mother financially and emotionally abused them for Aston s whole life Axton went on to study identify theft, yet didn t know her mother was the culprit until after she died I was puzzled about this There were many red flags Axton made the point that her mother s actions and being a victim of identity theft is now the centre of her work I really hope this book has helped her, and perhaps connected her with others who have experienced similar It was a story stranger than fiction I listened to the audiobook and found it unputdownable It has parallels to Tara Westover s Educated too This book contains mentions of mental illness, disordered eating and financial and emotional abuse. What an awesome feeling to have entered so many Goodreads giveaways and to have finally won one I didn t even know I had won until this turned up in my mailbox Woo hoo Keep persisting, folks When you think you know someone and find out you have no clue who they are.Axton Betz Hamilton s family has been struggling financial for years Her mother, Pamela, controlled the house income while her father worked handed over the money Day in, day out bill collectors would call the refrigerator would be empty None of this made sense as both parents made decent money Moving forward, Betz Hamilton goes off to college and is all set to get her own place but ends up being denied because of credit debt that she had since she was 11 years old Wait What Oh, wait, it gets better At this point Betz Hamilton has had enough She files a police report and continues her search on the identity theft that is causing mayhem in her life Betz Hamilton mother is diagnosed with leukemia and doesn t have much time She and her father do all they can to make her comfortable gather all information so he can live That means getting all her passwords to pay the bills SHOCKING moment about to happen When Pam dies all her skeletons are revealed and once, I found out my jaw dropped I don t want to spoil anything, just read this book That pacing sucks, but its not enough to make you stop reading As the story unfolded all I could say was wtf , no way True crime junkies will enjoy this one Thank you, NetGalley Grand Central Publishing for gifting me this DARC in exchange for an honest review.