Playing Dead

A Memoir of Terror and Survival

Non-Fiction - Memoir
244 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2020
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Author Biography

It is not often that a victim of a violent crime lives to tell the tale. Monique became an "accidental author" when a group of friends convinced her that she needed to share the story of her near-fatal experience in which she was forced to "play dead."

Monique grew up in San Diego, California, the only child raised primarily by her Mom, Barbara, an industrial engineer. Her father, Earl Faison, was a four-time all-star defensive end for the San Diego Chargers. Connecticut has been her home for the last 22 years. Monique is now remarried, the mother to four grown children, and a new grandmother. She is also a devoted dog owner, environmental enthusiast, avid beachgoer, and lover of cherry blossoms. Monique serves on the Connecticut Fatality Review Task Force and is committed to helping others recognize dangerous traits in a romantic partner, that she did not.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival by Monique Faison Ross and Gary M. Krebs is a memoir that chronicles the author’s abusive relationship with her childhood sweetheart, an abuse that escalated from verbal and physical hurt to an attempt at murder. Monique married Chris after she discovered she was pregnant with his child. But it didn’t turn out to be a happily-ever-after experience for her as Chris started abusing her verbally and physically. And when she couldn’t take it any longer, she escaped with her children. Chris didn’t let her be. He started stalking her and no warnings from the police could stop him. Then one morning, he kidnapped her in front of their children and drove off with her on a dangerous ride involving a car crash and rape. He beat her on the head with a shovel and left her alone in the woods, believing her dead.

Playing Dead is poignant and compelling, arousing the anger of the reader and their sense of compassion for the victim. It is bold and told with unwavering honesty. It is easy to applaud the courage and intelligence of Monique Faison Ross, especially at the moment when she feigns death to escape the cruelty of her husband. She is wise and she makes decisions to protect herself, something that is rare in people who suffer from a cycle of abuse. The writing is beautiful and the chapters are well-crafted, each chapter ending with a curious note that pushes the reader to turn to the next page. Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival is a gripping real-life story that gives readers chills and has them rooting for the author. A powerful indictment of domestic and spousal violence!


Playing Dead is about verbal and physical abuse which many of us go through. Monique is lovable and a strong women who wanted better for her children and endured a lot of suffering to achieve it. Since writing Playing Dead she has touched a lot of lives. I wish her continue blessing and love