A Dance With the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath

A Dance With the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath

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by Barbara Bentley
     
 

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Her marriage to retired Navy admiral John Perry seemed almost too good to be true. Because it was?

At the start of her relationship with the intelligent and worldly John Perry, Barbara Bentley couldn?t believe her luck?so when things didn?t add up, she struggled to ignore her doubts. She kept trying to put the pieces together?unaware that some of them were

Overview

Her marriage to retired Navy admiral John Perry seemed almost too good to be true. Because it was?

At the start of her relationship with the intelligent and worldly John Perry, Barbara Bentley couldn?t believe her luck?so when things didn?t add up, she struggled to ignore her doubts. She kept trying to put the pieces together?unaware that some of them were simply missing. Even as he drained her credit, dodged her questions, manipulated her and misled her, she stayed with him, suppressing her growing suspicions. Ultimately he would try to kill her, proving himself not a protector and provider, but a predator.

This is Barbara?s courageous, compelling story, in her own words?of the slow, choking darkness that fell after the honeymoon was over, what it took to finally drive her to escape and start her life anew, and her tireless efforts to protect other women and help them learn from her example.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Amid the proliferation of true-crime books about child murderers and serial killers, it's difficult to make a story with no corpse seem compelling. But in her memoir of marriage to a charismatic liar who ultimately tries to kill her, Bentley, a victim's advocate, succeeds. She holds nothing back as she describes how her friends and family strove to prevent her relationship with sociopath John Perry, who claimed to be an admiral who spoke seven languages and served as best man in Frank Sinatra's wedding. He wooed her, married her, and seduced her out of thousands of dollars before their final violent encounter. Although the last section, about Bentley's successful attempt to change California divorce law to protect victims like herself, goes on a little too long, this well-written account belongs in all public libraries with true-crime sections.
—Daisy Porter

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425221181
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/04/2008
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
305,086
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara Bentley is a victim's advocate in California, where she was directly responsible for the passage of Assembly Bill 16, which changed California divorce law. A member of STAND! Against Domestic Violence, she addresses women's and victim's rights organizations.

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A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
KateKennedy95 More than 1 year ago
A Truly Intriguing and Inspirational Story!!!!!!!!!!!   Barbara Bentley’s story is not only captivating from the start, but inspiring, and cautionary as well.  As she takes you through her life of being married to a psychopath, it is fascinating to see how he kept her under his spell and got away with so much for so long. He claimed to be an admiral who spoke multiple languages and had many intriguing stories to tell. It seemed too good to be true, and turned out it was when he eventually attempted to kill her.  What I really liked about it was the fact that I knew what was going to happen the whole time, yet she still had me on the edge of my seat after each chapter up to the attack. Also, I liked how she described her thought process throughout the book and explained what was going in her head when John would pull such strange stunts. The first half was very fast moving and quite suspenseful. The last few chapters, however, got a little bit slow while talking about her struggle in changing the California divorce law. It also changed courses in that it became and inspiring story of how she pulled herself out of the deep hole she was in through strength and persistence.  Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! It’s a primary source of exactly what it is like to fall into the deceitful trap of a psychopath. After reading this, I definitely feel more prepared and educated on the warning signs of a psychopath and know what types of behavior I should steer clear of. One reoccurring theme that will stick with me for sure is to always trust your gut instinct. Had Barbara done that she may have gotten out much quicker and easier.  The only criticisms I have are that the ending dragged on a bit and there were many cliches used throughout the book. However, these things were not bothersome by any means, just noticeable. The story tied up nicely with no loose ends and with justice being served. 
KateKennedy More than 1 year ago
Barbara Bentley’s story is not only captivating from the start, but inspiring, and cautionary as well.  As she takes you through her life of being married to a psychopath, it is fascinating to see how he kept her under his spell and got away with so much for so long. He claimed to be an admiral who spoke multiple languages and had many intriguing stories to tell. It seemed too good to be true, and turned out it was when he eventually attempted to kill her.  What I really liked about it was the fact that I knew what was going to happen the whole time, yet she still had me on the edge of my seat after each chapter up to the attack. Also, I liked how she described her thought process throughout the book and explained what was going in her head when John would pull such strange stunts. The first half was very fast moving and got quite suspenseful. The last few chapters, however, got a little bit slow while talking about her struggle in changing the California divorce law. It also changed courses in that it became and inspiring story of how she pulled herself out of the deep hole she was in through strength and persistence.  Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! It’s a primary source of exactly what it is like to fall into the deceitful trap of a psychopath. After reading this, I definitely feel more prepared and educated on the warning signs of a psychopath and know what types of behavior I should steer clear of. One reoccurring theme that will stick with me for sure is to always trust your gut instinct. Had Barbara done that she may have gotten out much quicker and easier.  The only criticisms I have are that the ending dragged on a bit and there were many cliches used throughout the book. However, these things were not bothersome by any means, just noticeable. The story tied up nicely with no loose ends and with justice being served. 
Anonymous 8 months ago
A shocking look into the life of a woman who found herself in deep with a dangerous man. Her struggles and healing journey left me at a loss for words. She is an incredibly brave woman. Highly recommended.
3953 More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading Barbara Bentley's true story, because she is able to portray real life details to her horrific life with a sociopath. Bentley's ability to communicate realism in her story leads the reader to further intrigue. Praise to Bentley for putting her life and choices out there so that others can benefit from her unfortunate experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's unbelievable what Barbara Bentley has gone through. But she stayed strong and made an important change in California law. She's a true inspiration! She shows that one person can make a difference! :)
CathyO More than 1 year ago
Barbara's book "had a hold" on me from the very first page!! I really enjoyed this book - it was a slight snooze as Barbara chronicled her campaign to change the divorce laws in California but her life with John was mesmerizing. I'm baffled as to how he "bamboozled" her for so long - but that's just the way it was. I think she was so thirsty for love that she overlooked soooooooooo many things that others might have thrown him out of the house for at the end of a pitchfork!! But then from the sounds of things, John would have retaliated in some crazy way. My reaction at the end of book when I found out what eventually happened to John was probably as big of a thrill as the day they finally gave OJ his sentencing in his last trial - Justice has finally been served. I'm so happy for Barbara that she no longer has to "look over her shoulder"!