Saturday 15 July 2017

Book ~ "The Charming Predator" (2017) Lee MacKenzie

From Goodreads ~ She fell in love with him, they married and then she found out who he was: a conman who was determined to destroy her.

The story of Lee Mackenzie, who was a capable and confident young woman, studying broadcast journalism and honing her skills of observation and objectivity. She was also a little unworldly, the product of a small, rural Western Canadian community where doors were never locked and life was simple and direct. 

On a backpacking trip in the UK, she met the man who would become her husband. A man who everyone agreed was one of the most intelligent, charming people they had ever met. Easy to like, easy to believe. Easy to love. A man without mercy who shattered her emotionally, psychologically and financially.

Decades later, Kenner Jones is at large today, having committed crimes around the world under a series of fake names and personas. He has been described, by a seasoned US immigration officer, as "the best conman I have ever encountered." No one got closer to Kenner Jones than Lee Mackenzie. "In The Charming Predator", he is unmasked for the first time. 

In the early 1980s, young Donna Lee Mackenzie went on a backpacking trip and spent some time in Wales.  There she met Kenner Jones and she stayed at his and his mother's home for a week.  When she went home to Canada, he started writing to her ... from prison.  He said he was there because of a misunderstanding and she believed him.

As he served his time, Donna and Kenner continued to write to each other and despite various red flags and not being attracted to him, Donna felt they were falling in love.  When he got out of prison, she went for a visit.  Kenner proposed, Donna accepted and they started to plan their wedding and their lives together.

But it didn't take long for Donna to realize that she had married a less than truthful man.  She gave him many chances but eventually left him.  This is her story of meeting, marrying and distancing herself from Kenner.

I thought this was an interesting story and I liked the writing style.  I found it amazing that so many people were conned by this guy over the years.  I can't imagine being that trusting of someone (for example, the author had sent him money to invest in their future before they were married and believed all his outlandish lies) but it was a different time, I guess.  I think the author is about my age and I've never given anyone access to and control over my savings, etc.

It sounds like the author has learned a lot about herself over the years so this won't happen to her again.  Kenner's mother and uncle knew what he was like so it's too bad they hadn't warned the author about him before they were married so she could avoided all the heartache and hassles he put her through.  It took her years to pay off the debts in her name incurred by Kenner.

Kenner disappeared about 15 years ago.  It would be interesting to know where he is and who he is conning.  There can't be too many places he is allowed to be considering the amount of outstanding warrants he has.

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