Sleeping with a Psychopath – Carolyn Woods

An epic true story of love and deception told by the woman whose life was destroyed by a seductive conman, Mark Acklom. The British Dirty John.

After a job change and divorce, Carolyn Woods was living happily in a quiet Cotswolds village when an attractive stranger abruptly arrived in her life. Introducing himself as Mark Conway and much to her surprise Carolyn quickly became captivated by this mysterious man. A rich Swiss banker (who later confided he was a spy), he offered Carolyn companionship and introduced her to an exciting, glamorous world. In fact, some things were so astonishing she questioned her new lover. Was all as it seemed?

The truth devastated Carolyn’s entire world. For a start, this man’s real name was Mark Acklom and he was rich but for one reason only… A real-life crime thriller, Sleeping with a Psychopath is a blow-by-blow account that shines a light on the power of manipulation and the human will to survive

Carolyn Woods was making a new life for herself in the Cotswolds when she had the misfortune to meet one of Britain’s most notorious conmen. The man she fell in love with, and made plans to marry, she knew as Mark Conway. But in fact he was convicted fraudster Mark Acklom, and over the course of their eighteen-month relationship he would take from her £850,000 of her savings; her dignity and sense of self; and nearly her sanity.

Acklom is now behind bars for his crimes against her, having been brought to justice after a long investigation initiated and sustained in large part by Carolyn herself. Now she is free to tell her extraordinary story. Her riveting memoir is published by HarperCollins.

My Review:

I admit it… I am obsessed by psychopaths. I love reading books with narcissistic, psychopathic characters and the more ruthless the better, however this is in the fictional books I read. Reading about psychopaths in a true crime, non-fiction account is absolutely TERRIFYING.

Sleeping with a Psychopath by Carolyn Woods is the true story of her life when she met the charismatic, wealthy and handsome Mark Conway and within a matter of weeks Carolyn, a divorcee living in a quiet village, happy with her single life and her friends, finds herself falling head over heels with a stranger and slowly being alienated from everyone and becoming completely dependant both emotionally and financially on Mark.

Now I think I am a reasonably intelligent person, a good judge of character and a shrewd person when it comes to business and from listening to Carolyn’s book, so did she. So how did this loving, outgoing, independent women get hoodwinked into giving him her life savings and becoming a shadow of her former self?

It’s so easy to say “I wouldn’t do that” or “couldn’t she see what was happening” but I was able to understand why Carolyn did allow herself to be dragged down this murky path. Simply put, she fell head over heels in love with a professional conman. A man who had spent most of his life honing his craft, learning how to read people and press the right buttons to get exactly what he wanted and to make his victims fall for his lies.

I listened to this sad and scary tale over the space of a couple of days and my heart goes out to Carolyn and all of the other victims of Mark Acklom and hope that they find the love and happiness they truly deserve.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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