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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In No One Knew by Renee Olivier, when a divorced mother of two, Renee, met Joe online, little did she know she was inviting a manipulating sociopath into her life. At first, their relationship was a fairytale. Joe seemed the charismatic, charming, and devoted man any woman could ever wish for. But soon that fairytale turned into a nightmare, as slowly he used every insecurity and fear she had against her. As he mercilessly and methodically wore her down, Renee struggled to remain rational, often blaming herself for Joe's erratic and abusive behavior. The mental and emotional torture escalated once they were married until Renee's sense of right and wrong became completely blurred. Little did Renee know, she was now entangled in the web of a sociopath. With 1 in 25 people believed to have sociopathic traits, this personal story of survival is a warning to those who have never encountered a sociopath and validation to those who have.
No One Knew by Renee Olivier is an honest and brutal account of becoming the victim of a sociopath. For many people, they will think this personality disorder is only found in serial killers but they would be wrong. I think this book is going to help many people become alert to the warning signs but also help victims to heal. Some of the situations are hard to read because the emotions came through so strongly; I literally had chills reading some of the manipulations tactics Joe used. I also thought that Renee came across as a very capable and strong woman but learned to pick her battles carefully. This is definitely not the story of a victim. Renee's intelligence and strength allowed her to take back control of the situation. I thought the section on love bombing and gas lighting was vital and was explained in terms that everyone could understand. This is a powerfully emotional read and will help anyone recognize the red flags, whether it is a family member, work colleague, or partner. With a really helpful resources section at the end, this book highlights a vastly unexplored subject extremely well.