Customer Reviews: Double Wife | Double Life
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on June 13, 2012
Trust is such a fickle thing. It's amazing to have your trust rewarded and absolutely crushing when your trust is betrayed. For Paul Goldman, the author and subject of "Duplicity - A True Story of Crime and Deceit," the trust he places in his second wife Audrey is ripped away in the most painstaking way possible. I almost couldn't believe that I was reading a true story when Paul revealed in painstaking detail how Aubrey - a prostitute - swindled him out of $7,000 and lived a life full of sex, lies and thousands of dollars in cash deposits. Discovering this kind of reality is nothing short of living a nightmare that refuses to end, and despite the incredible anguish an ordeal like this most have caused, Paul tells his story with a steely resolve.

Paul asks in the book synopsis "How would you feel if you woke up one morning to learn that your wife...was not only in love with another man, but this man was her PIMP..." I can't say for sure how'd I react but I don't think I'd have the determination to take down Aubrey's whole operation like Paul did. The aspect of "Duplicity" I enjoyed the most was Paul's in-depth recount of the extreme lengths he went to in his quest to crush Aubrey. Hiring a private investigator, enlisting the help of a psychic, meeting with the FBI and IRS, talking with newspaper reporters - this is a story of the human will more than anything else. It's the story of a man fighting back after a liar and a sociopath tried to take everything from him. I applaud Paul for sharing his story and I urge you to check out this book. It's a steal at 99 cents; you'll pay more for a cup of coffee!
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on August 15, 2015
This book left me feeling disappointed. I can't review it without spoilers; however, the entire plot of book (further than the plot, actually) is reflected in the summary given. I had some misgivings about this book when I purchased it, but as someone who has law enforcement experience and knowledge of sex trafficking, it piqued my interest.

I'll begin with my disappointment with the title change, as the original title was "Duplicity" and was changed to "Double Wife, Double Life" by the author so that, in his words, "when people google the name of the movie, it will be uniquely [the author's] movie." The phrasing put me off a bit, for reasons that I will expand on later in this review.

The matter of fact is, I feel this book was promoted by the author as something it was not. While I agree that sex trafficking is a serious problem and that awareness of it is a first step into stopping this atrocity, the book was, frankly, not about that at all. It's not a story of a man single-handedly taking down a prostitution ring. It is a fleshed out, and often rambling and confusing extension merely of what is written in the summary. Perhaps I would have been more taken in by this book if I had not read the summary, but I opened the book already knowing that the protagonist, Paul Goldman, marries his second wife, Audrey, only to find she is a con woman and a prostitute. And then he divorces her, digging into her personal correspondence to uncover the secrets she kept during their marriage. And that's it. Once the divorce is finalized, that is the end of the book. The pages between consist of long descriptions of buying houses, uninteresting and flat dialogue between characters, and absolutely no one who is fleshed out into any believably. Mr. Goldman mentions repeatedly how in love he was with Audrey, but she is shown to have absolutely no loving characteristics, warmth, or depth beyond the fact that she is pretty. The first few chapters are dedicated to his first marriage, which is completely unrelated to the rest of the book besides introducing the existence of his son. His first wife, Talia, is just as minimally fleshed out as the rest of the characters; and once again, I was left wondering why he would jump into not one, but two marriages with two uninteresting and bitter women who are shown to have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

The prose itself is not bad, but it is not particularly riveting, either. What could have been a sweeping mystery of betrayal and deception becomes pages and pages of Mr. Goldman sitting in his house waiting for the phone to ring as he laments his poor life choices. The judge at the divorce trail puts it well; the protagonist is gullible and naive, and comes off as almost whiny through a large part of the book. Once he takes control of the situation, he becomes more interesting, but then it becomes a series of scenes with Paul handing off his information to law enforcement and, weirdly, calling and psychic for no reason I really understood. Paul, of course, being a normal civilian going through a divorce absolutely did the right thing by turning the information over to law enforcement, but then he spends a lot of time waiting for updates he never receives. Which means the reader also waits and waits, for basically nothing.

Another aspect of the book that did not sit well with me was the inherent sexism that bleeds through the book and Mr. Goldman seems entirely unaware of. It becomes apparent after his first marriage that he isn't looking for a partner so much as a stay at home trophy wife, and it is continually frustrating that he doesn't seem to have any idea of how his commentary on his marriages comes off. He paints his first wife - a medical student, new to the country, studying 15 hours a day to get herself through medical school while juggling a husband and small child - as simply another scum-sucking con artist who used him and ditched him. Because of the circumstances, it casts a doubt on Mr. Goldman's credibility when it comes to presenting his wives in an objective light. To top it off, his burning hatred of sex workers, pornography, and anything related to the sex industry is archaic. He easily condemns anyone who visits pornography shops as perverts and is constantly shown as being disgusted by sexual scenarios; however, this is the same man who essentially purchased a Russian bride and complains through the first half of the book that his wives don't have enough sex with him. As amoral and disgusting as Audrey's actions were as an individual, Mr. Goldman spends just as much time in the book generalizing by condemning all sex workers in general. He spends more time being disgusted by Audrey's pornography past than he does being horrified by the incriminating evidence that might point to sex trafficking by the prostitution ring.

In all honesty, I could go on and on about my problems with this book. There are many contradictory passages and confusing timelines. Interesting events, such as Audrey attacking Paul in the grocery store, are given a wave of a hand while dull explanations about purchasing houses are dwelled on for chapters. I admire Mr. Goldman's ability to put himself in a very delicate and somewhat embarrassing position for a greater good; however, I wonder what kind of greater good he is reaching for. While "Double Wife, Double Life" is a memoir, it is followed by a fictionalized serial of the very real Paul Goldman traveling through countries to bring down the pornography ring Audrey was a part of. I can't help but view such a fictionalized serial as more of an ego boost for Mr. Goldman than it is an attempt to promote knowledge and understanding of sex trafficking, as he claims it is. This is a very real problem, and there is a very big difference between the legalized and regulated pornography trade in this country and the sex trafficking of men, women and children. At the moment, there are agencies such as the FBI and ICE who have units working against cyber crimes and sex trafficking, and documentaries such as "Tricked" present a very real and unwavering look at the seedier depths of sex work. I don't feel that Double Wife, Double Life lives up to something that truly supports these endeavors. It is a disturbing and tragic tale, don't get me wrong, but even his accusations of Audrey's prostitution are not given any credence in the court proceedings, as they are built on theory and assumption rather than evidence. She is, without a doubt, a liar, and a cheater, and a con woman. Considering the number of victims she left in her wake, perhaps concentrating on her con woman past and her sociopathic characterization rather than her sex work would have made the book itself feel a little more genuine.
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on January 21, 2013
Well, I persevered to half way through this book and then I could not endure it any longer. If I was this man, I would have been too humiliated to tell the world how I was taken advantage of. This man would have been better suited to counseling sessions to find out why he was so needy. Then perhaps he would have avoided being duped by his two wives. First wife, Russian dating service - second wife, Jewish dating service. What could possibly go wrong? Also, he was duped by his business partner as well. Go figure! This book was badly written and I really don't care about what the outcome was. Thank goodness I only paid for the kindle version, so am not out a lot of money. Don't waste your money buying this book. Doing this review is my retribution for being duped out of my money. Perhaps any income raised could be put towards therapy.
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on June 13, 2012
WOW what a read, every page is packed with cliff hanging deceit and intriguing twists and turns. It's so crazy to think that this really happened (Google it, it did). This book is a great read, it follows a man through the turmoil and angst he experiences due to his wives fraud. Each chapter exposes lies upon lies, and does so in a very entertaining and easy to read manner. Not only did Audrey defraud the author, but a handful of other men as well as the welfare system, tricks the FBI the media and the local law enforcement. A well spun of lies comes unraveled through the pages of this book and you will not want to put it down. A great read and a must buy for those interested in crime, thrillers or real life criminals.
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on June 14, 2012
What an incredible true life tale of lies and deceit, crime and scandal- absolutely wicked! I was blown away by the cold, calculating nature of Audrey- the woman was a pure con artist with no morals or even a hint of compassion for anyone other than herself. I think the author was fortunate to uncover her for the thief and liar she was before she was able to abscond with everything he owned. Let this book serve as a warning- before getting married, always do a criminal background check and always get a pre-nup! An amazing, compelling book. Five stars.
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on March 17, 2013
This book is horrendous, it is so horrendous that my friend and I felt the need to read extracts out to each other as it was so ridiculous and made us laugh. I don't think that was the aim of the author. This guy basically tried buying a wife and got mugged off then fell for a con artist. His desperation to find a women that can stand him shines through and it is kind of obvious that he would only attract a certain type of women, not a decent one. Couldn't empathise at all with him, we just disliked him, his pompousness, visions of grandeur about himself. Plus the writing in the book was just awful with gritty detail about mundane rubbish...his son colouring in a smiling carrot!! Don't get me wrong these were awful women, but he is like David Brent from the office times 20. Now he is writing novels as an extension from his biography...come on!
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on September 14, 2012
Wow. I was totally unprepared for the story that unfolded as this novel moved forward. I have friends with crazy, mean and nasty exes, but this one takes the cake. Would recommend, but be prepared for the unexpected!
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on November 1, 2012
Paul Goldman knows how to construct a riveting story. He says this is 100% true and I guess it would be hard to make this wild stuff up unless you had lived through it. I read it somberly placing myself in his shoes and wondering if there is or was ever a little bit of Goldman inside me. I still don't know what to think. Audrey was what she always had been; a sociopathic liar and master con-artist. She just happens to be tops in her criminal field. But I keep thinking -- what is his excuse? When all is said and done it was he who forced the relationship. Who marries somebody they know so little about with so many vague reassurances about strange things going on. He could have certainly backed away at a dozen different stop signs. I also don't think he would have plunged 100,000 dollars into legal fees and investigator fees just to divorce her. He was still obsessed with this woman. My only complaints with the book are the omission of the Royce Rocco deposition material which is only referred to once and the heavy reliance on the psychic readings. A decent lawyer could have torn him apart on that. At least he got to write this book and get some of his money back.
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VINE VOICEon August 14, 2012
If you've ever wanted to meet a real-life Ziggy, allow me to introduce Paul Goldman. You do remember Ziggy, don't you? He's the round-headed cartoon character who seems to have no friends, hobbies or romantic partner and finds himself repeatedly the victim of humiliating misfortunes, like when he walks into the doctor's office and hears the receptionist say, "Someone to see you, doctor. It looks like an inferiority complex." But Goldman has Ziggy beat with DUPLICITY, a true crime memoir in which Goldman tells the story of how his desperate search for love leads him first to a Russian mail-order bride who--don't be shocked--turns out to be more interested in a green card than in Paul. Then he learns his business partner has absconded with a mistress and all the company's funds.

But these adventures just rank as foreplay for the primary train wreck of the book, his four-month marriage after an online courtship to Audrey Munson, a woman who not only turns out to be an emotionless gold digger but the alleged madam of an international prostitution ring. The book is basically the story of Goldman's Florida divorce case. But it takes a true crime turn as Goldman investigates Audrey's background to uncover an intricate web of criminal activity that leaves him reacting with everything from a complaint to Interpol to consultations with a psychic.

In the interest of full disclosure, Goldman and I are somewhat kindred spirits even though we have never met. I became interested in DUPLICITY when it started showing up among the list of books purchased by those who also had bought my own 2008 true crime memoir, [...] in which I share the story of my reckless 1979 affair with a femme fatale who eventually tried to murder me. Although I understand Goldman's pain, his situation contrasts with mine because I'm the sort of sick dog who actually seeks out bad girls and accepts whatever punishment they deliver. After reading Goldman's story, for example, my initial reaction was to try to find Audrey so I could have some drinks with her. Goldman is a more normal human, however, who appears honestly duped by Audrey during a legitimate quest for true love.

Nevertheless, I still can offer a unique perspective on Goldman's book, which I found absolutely hilarious for probably all the wrong reasons. Because the book ends without a resolution to the criminal activities that Goldman believes he uncovered, it could only be told as a self-published true crime memoir about his investigation and its impact on his divorce case. With Goldman's allegations technically unproved, DUPLICITY emerges more as an entertaining memoir of an extraordinary experience that rang more than a few bells for me.

Although Goldman tends to overwrite that experience at times and definitely needs to find a local chapter of hyphenators anonymous, the narrative is focused and hard to put down. He deadpans his way through confessions of events with such naiveté that it enhances the humor. Hopefully, he was doing that intentionally. And he recounts conversations with his psychic Terri as a clever literary device to provide explanations of his investigative decisions and a description of his personal growth from all this emotional trauma.

Anyone who wants more of Goldman's continuing investigation can purchase a series of shorts about his travels to London, Paris and Moscow. As for me, I'm satisfied to get off Goldman's Ziggy train at this first stop, now that he's evolved from a fool for love into a man with a mission.
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on May 18, 2014
Reading the description, I expected this book to be a lot better. While some of the story is interesting, the book is poorly written, with spelling and grammar errors. Additionally the complete stupidly of the writer is staggering. The fact that he allowed himself to be bamboozled so easily is incredible. But unless you're looking for a book about stupid people doing stupid things, look elsewhere.
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