Betrayed - Book Review

We all have a day where we just want to sit down and relax with a great book and a cup of hot tea. Now it is quite rare when I am able to read an over three hundred page book in one day, but when a book grips hold of me with both hands, I just can't put the book down.

Only once has this ever happened to me and that was with the book 50 Shades of Grey, which everyone has heard of, and don't lie, I know most of you have read it. Don't be embarrassed, it is an amazing book and you know it.

Anyway, I was instantly hooked this morning on the book 'Betrayed' but I judged the book by it's cover beforehand which I shouldn't have done; I have had the book a fair few weeks now but didn't bother reading it because of it's cover. Everyone knows you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I just can't help it - the book has to be eye-catching for me to read it. Sometimes it's a bad decision because even though some books have a great eye-catching cover, the book itself isn't as good as anticipated. 

Knowing that I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, I saw Betrayed just sitting there, lonely, staring at me with huge puppy eyes with a tear strolling down it's spine, and covered in dust waiting to be read. Of course the puppy eyes made me give in, so I grabbed it and opened the contents to reveal what I never thought expected. 

I was instantly hooked.

Seeing the cover, I knew that it would be a sad read but I didn't expect what I was about to encounter. This book is a true story, and the most disturbing but powerful story I have ever read. Every single person in this book is an actual person who, day by day, lives with this life and what they have had to put up with in the past. 

(Lyndsey Harris is a pseudonym. Names have been changed of course to protect the privacy of Lyndsey's daughter.)

If I was a Mother and read this, I would be even more disturbed than being a non-parent right now. There are so many horrible incidents that are exposed page after page and there is no stopping it. It really does make you feel so much shock and horror of which this family went through. You feel sorry for them but also the heartbreak they encountered.

It all began when Lyndsey Harris, then  eleven, moved to a new town where she would spend the next twenty-five years of  her life. Her Mother suffers from a mental illness but further on into the book, so does Lyndsey. 

Lyndsey, then twenty-two, meets her soon-to-be best friend, Tanya, then twenty-five, of fourteen years - or so she thought. Both of these women became close friends and confided in each other, they would tell each other all of their past, present, and future plans and happenings, but what I didn't think for a second was if I would believe what Tanya was saying.

Knowing both of these women were so close, it made me think how good it would be to have a friend like that, so similar and so understanding. Both helping each other out with the similar problems and both relying on each other to be a shoulder to cry on. It seemed like such a beautiful friendship, up until everything started to deteriorate. 

When David, Tanya's son, started playing up, Tanya was going crazy and couldn't control him. It was just one of those things and fazes a child goes through once in a while, you know, when they start playing up for attention. Tanya, although she loved being a parent, was over protective and had too much pride, but she would complain and get jealous that a fellow parent's daughter was growing more clever than her son. She knew that girls grow and learn a lot quicker than boys but she was just too over protective and, let's say, proud. After less than a year, David went back to his normal self and was happy with no troubles and was learning at a steady pace, but Tanya was still the same.

Going through thick and thin together, Lyndsey and Tanya eventually both had a baby boy, then a little girl around the same time. As Lyndsey had wrote: 'Now Tanya and I each had a boy and a girl. Once again it seemed our lives were running in tandem making the bond between us even stronger. We now shared the problems of juggling the needs of busy toddlers with the equally urgent needs of new babies, not to mention the needs of husbands and the rest of the world!' Both of them devoted over their children and would do anything for them, and having both women live near each other helped a lot. 

Lyndsey would go over and help Tanya at all hours of the day and night whenever she needed it, and Tanya would do the same for Lyndsey; they would spend hours on end in each other's company and having their children play together. They really were really great friends and would condone in each other whenever they needed to talk or have a good gossip.

Time went by and all the children went to the same school and spent special occasions together as a large family, the children went to play at each other's houses, and they loved each other dearly. 

Things started to change when Sarah Harris, Lyndsey's daughter, then six years old, started to act strangely out of the blue. She started to steal from her Mother, her friends and from school but also scribble on her Mother's cheques and belonging. After time went by, Sarah started using scissors to slice through clothes, curtains and bed sheets in the house - even her own.

Lyndsey had no idea why Sarah was doing this but when she kept asking her daughter if she had done it, she would say 'yes' but she didn't know why she had done it. It was so strange, weird and no one understood what had triggered this behaviour. Lyndsey thought that Sarah was somehow like the Exorcist like she was controlled by a demon, but she knew she was being silly and watched too many horror films. The word spread quickly around the school and the teacher and parents then knew Sarah as the 'problem child.'

Tanya and Lyndsey would find the evidence every time Sarah had done something as if she was 'planning to get caught' but why would anyone want to commit a crime and then not hide the evidence. It didn't make sense. From then on both these women kept going into Sarah's room every time she was at school to see what else they could find.

Strangely, Lyndsey could never find anything, but Tanya could. It was quite confusing to Lyndsey and she thought she was just in denial and her mind purposely skipped the evidence whilst she was searching the room. 

It didn't add up.

Sarah was known to be cunning and an evil genius as no one caught her in the act and didn't know how she had done certain things without being caught - not even once. Apparently, she was also slipping her Mother's antidepressants into children's bags and drinks to 'poison' them when the slicing of the belongings weren't giving her enough attention. She was also leaving the evidence so she would 'get found out.'

When Sarah was seven or eight, teachers started to become worried for other children and eventually suspended then expelled Sarah 'until further notice' then eventually hired carers to keep an eye on Sarah every single minute of the day, but they hired three different people to care for her because they thought if she had one carer, that she would learn their weaknesses and manipulate them. 

Lyndsey was at wits end, but when she thought things calmed down and got better, something more drastic would happen. Lyndsey was called up by Tanya saying that she had found a Stanley knife under her car seat and a slash on one of the car seats. Sarah admitted to all the crimes with the Stanley knives including putting them in her friend's coat pockets and Tanya''s daughter's possessions.

Things got so much worse that Lyndsey seeked professional help from everywhere and everyone, she even went to a therapist. Nothing added up, why would an eight year old commit such crimes?

Their family was straining and falling apart, there were so much more things happening - there was so much drama and tears. Things were falling apart drastically!

Letters were then being sent out to Tanya fro Sarah saying things like 'Mummy hurts me,' 'I hate daddy daddy sex me'; but only Tanya would receive them. All I thought at that moment was why was only Tanya getting letters? Sarah wasn't going out to the local post office or even paying for a stamp, but the letters were in Sarah's handwriting. Lyndsey was so confused and worried at the same time, she asked herself how everything was happening when Sarah was being watched 24/7.

Eventually there was a great investigated on all the threats that Sarah had wrote in the letters and it turns out it wasn't Sarah who was committing all these crimes. There is a great twist; you will have to read the book to find out who it was, and why.



Betrayed really made me feel so much emotion. I read it in under eight hours straight because it was so heart-wrenching, disturbing, shocking, but also uplifting and put life into a whole new perspective. It taught me that there are so many problems people are facing out in the world that we are unaware of; you think you have problems in your life, but you really have no idea. 

There is an evil twist to this woman's life that was unpredictable and horrific. I had to remind myself that this is in fact a true story, and it makes it worse. It is like a nightmare come true and I can't ever picture this being my life - I am proud in a way of how strong Lyndsey and her family stayed in the worse situation of their lives.

Please read this book, it seriously gives you a whole new view and picture on life around you. I felt so much emotion and I just could not stop reading until the end.

I have missed out a lot of the book in this review so I didn't reveal everything and ruin it for everyone else. Lots of horrific things are being told in this book, especially about Lyndsey's and Tanya's childhood. There are so many twists and turns that you just can not stop reading until you find out what it really happening to this poor family.

Betrayed is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I advise you to have a gander. 




'A really shocking story... deeply disturbing' JUDY FINNIGAN, Richard & Judy

'Beautifully told...a good read'  RICHARD MADELEY, Richard & Judy

'Extraordinary...an uplifting testament to how a family can survive a nightmare that comes so close to breaking them' Daily Express

'Unbearably sad but ultimately uplifting' Mirror

'A gripping real-life story' heat

'Even if your emotions don't normally run high, this is a book to tear your heart apart, to move you to anger, despair and disgust...' Northern Echo

' It is a story so extraordinary that you occasionally have to remind yourself that it actually happened... The best thing about this book is that ultimately it is an uplifting testament to the way a family can survive a nightmare that came close to breaking them' International Express


~xoxo~


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