Manipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel #BookReview @HALeuschel

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(by Goodreads)

Five stories – Five Lives.
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?

Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

Genre(s): Books
> Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Abuse > Partner Abuse
Kindle eBooks
> Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Dysfunctional Relationships
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Psychological
Series: n.a.
Length: 273 pages
Release date: 2016-06-08



They arrived at the train station and he was all over her when they walked into the main hall.

‘Babe, I’m skint, I’ve got to get some cash out of the machine first, so I can treat you.’

‘Yes, don’t forget the train tickets and the seventy pounds. I can’t afford to pay for all of this, you know.’

‘Now, now are you pleading poverty? You told me that you worked!’ He looked at her expectantly.

‘Still, I … you said you’d treat me and the money was to help you buy shoes.’

My Opinion

This book introduces you to five cases of manipulation – i.e. five fates that could easily have been ours.

With Manipulated Lives, H. A. Leuschel has created five remarkable stories about how one human being manipulated – and therefore interfered with one other’s well-being. Helene Leuschel delicately introduces her characters, revealing each story with utmost care. The main characters are of sufficient depth – as well as believable. The stories all have a good flow. These stories and the persons therein certainly will not leave you unaffected.

5 stars:  Tess and Tattoos, Runaway Girl
4 stars:  The Spell, The Narcissist, My Perfect Child

This is a book for you if you like compelling stories, psychology, shorter reads, and food for thought.


In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:


About the author

Helene grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh.

She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Manipulated Lives?  Or – if you did not yet read Manipulated Lives – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂








6 thoughts on “Manipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel #BookReview @HALeuschel

  1. This sounds so interesting, Karen. Manipulation can have awful consequences. Are the stories all dark or is there some growth and redemption? Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

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