Published by Quercus, £16.99
Anna Sorokin made headlines when she was arrested for posing as a German heiress who cut a swathe through New York, running up huge unpaid hotel and restaurant bills, and conning people out of money. She was convicted in May and sentenced to between four and 12 years in jail for fraud. This book tells the story of one of her victims, who was conned out of more than $60,000.
The author is a former Vanity Fair photo editor who met Sorokin in a chance encounter. The two quickly became friends and Sorokin took Williams on jaunts to a series of restaurants, hotels and spas. When a problem with Sorokin's credit card threatened to derail a holiday they were on, Williams was persuaded to hand over her credit card on the understanding that she would immediately be repaid. Instead, she not only found herself liable for the entire bill, but also failed to receive any funds, despite a constant stream of excuses, lies and promises.
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Williams is a solid writer who does a good job of explaining how she, and other intelligent people, could be taken in by such a crook. The most interesting parts of the book are those that deal with the aftermath of the holiday, and Williams' gradual realisation that Sorokin was a systematic fraud, rather than merely an unreliable, spoilt rich kid. The book is a powerful reminder that you should think twice before trusting even friends with large sums of your money.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
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