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Assuming Names

Assuming Names

4.8 43
by Tanya Thompson

When it was over, there were a lot of questions.

The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world travelled countess?"

The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?"

The Mafia had


When it was over, there were a lot of questions.

The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world travelled countess?"

The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?"

The Mafia had been demanding the same thing for six months, "What is your real name?"

And the psychologists asked the question they always ask, "Why?"

It’s the why of it that will keep a girl in trouble.

Assuming Names is the true story of a young con artist. It’s the tale of a runaway that assumed the title of Countess and then went on to fool the FBI, DEA, and Interpol—as well as a number of other celebrities and institutions—with an elaborate tale of world intrigue.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Hello everyone. This is Tanya. You may find yourself reading my book and saying, “No, this did not happen.” You may be inclined to say it is too far-fetched and, quite frankly, impossible. I have provided evidence at my website that what I write is the truth. I mention it at the front of the book but it may be easy to overlook, so I am reiterating here.

At my website are copies of the newspaper and magazine articles mentioned in the book. The articles are from the Austin American Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, and Woman’s World Magazine. They are all nationally recognized media for news. Previous reviewers were concerned I may have gone to Photoshop to create them, and while my book does paint me as the sort that would do such a thing, the reality is that those media institutions would sue me into submission before the cache could be cleared.

In the end, you may not believe me, but you can surely believe what the papers wrote.

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Tanya Thompson
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Meet the Author

It’s often these little things that flummox me.

About the author…

Let's just say I’m a mischievous criminal with a penchant for charming my way into trouble and then out of arrest.

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Assuming Names 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it numerous times during the editing process and enjoyed it more and more each time I read it. As is often said, the truth is stranger than fiction. If I didn’t know this was a true story, I would have thought it was too far-fetched to be a fiction novel. I mean, you have a 15 year old girl outsmarting so many law enforcement agencies it isn’t even funny. Yet, I laughed. A lot. I shook my head. A lot. I gasped. A lot. I think my favorite part of the whole book is in the middle. Ms. Thompson answered my questions with one word: “Fifteen.” That sums up every question, disbelief, head-shaking moment in this book. And it sums those moments up perfectly. Assuming Names takes the reader on one wild ride. An unforgettable ride. A ride that will keep you glued to the book until you read the last page. Would I recommend it: Yes, I would. Will I read it again: I doubt it, but I am looking forward to reading Ms. Thompson’s future books. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes. Although I was compensated for the editing work, it in no way affected the outcome of my review. My review is my honest opinion of the book.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Assuming Names is an adventure from the first page. Tanya takes the reader a criminal’s adventure as she assumes the title of countess and then plays games that puts her under the scrutiny of the FBI, DEA, INS, a panel of 12 psychiatrists and psychologists, the ACLU, Ron Howard, the Mafia, and quite frankly I forget who else because the list is so long. She doesn't stop there either. She carries on until she’s at the US border with a stolen Mayan artifact and what might be the Mexican mob in pursuit. It’s a fabulously fun story that either had me laughing or holding my breath.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are two very distinct parts to the book. The first half describes a convoluted charade in Dallas when Tanya was no more than 15. The second half describes an incident in Cancun when she was 23. At times both are disturbing for the very real danger she puts herself in, but the second half is far more amusing. The entirety of the book is fast and fun to read. I will be looking for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I started reading this because I was told it was like Hunter S Thompson had an illegitimate child with a AWOL mental patient and they spawned a con artist. Tanya's last name is Thompson so I do wonder. 'It is a wild story full of twists that I didn't expect. She leads you to think she is about to do something obvious in the story line, but it’s nonfiction, so the turns are a surprise.  I personally loved it. I can see where some might be offended though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book probably could use a warning also. It is likely to offend the sensitive, the religious, the square, the sheltered and the orthodox. I am none of these so I found it to be a shiny gem in the pile of cold rocks known as biography.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Assuming Names is everything I want in a nonfiction book: strong and unapologetic narration, written like fiction with an emphasis on entertainment, unexpected plot twists, humor, suspense, and it left me with a desire to read more. I had more fun reading this book than I know how to say. It was a deliriously good time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wished the newspapers articles supporting the story were in the book and not the author's website. 
Arima More than 1 year ago
As a fan of “Locked Up Abroad” and “I Almost Got Away With It”, I typically find myself cheering or empathetic for the antagonists or anti-heroes. Even in fictional stories such as “Law and Order” or “CSI”, I am always hoping in the end the villains escape and live happily ever after. As you may have guessed, I am usually left disappointed with the majority of entertainment’s myopic view of the life. ‘Assuming Names’ is a refreshing read that is distinctive from the sea of the perfunctory crime-law dramas you are used to. The story is centered on a con-artist and her many trials and tribulations dealing with crime organizations, law enforcement agencies, and Hollywood elites. As I was reading this story, I had to keep reminding myself that it is real, this really happened. This true story puts fiction to shame. Tanya wrote this book for those of us who like to recognize and acknowledge that not everyone follows a straight path. ‘Assuming Names’ eludes more on the dark side of human nature. If you are looking for a suspenseful thriller that throws morality out the window, coupled with the proper doses of dark comedy, authenticity, and crime, then this book is for you. I would also recommend checking out the website. Not for the puritan of nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crazy. And you know what they say: don't plug your usb into crazy. But yeah, anyway, read the newspaper articles before staring this or it won't seem real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has assumed more than her fair share of names. She admits she cannot even remember half of them. She also admits she is not doing it for the money but for the thrill.  That motive makes the book thrilling. The story is quick, full of dialogue, and a type of adventure most sane people would balk to consider. Still, it is artfully told and I found myself liking the author despite her attempts to make herself unsympathetic. 
Fancygrl68 More than 1 year ago
AnnMarieStone More than 1 year ago
Let us start off by saying that I love this book. It was overall very well written and extremely entertaining. I basically read it in two sittings. Love it.  In the foreword, the author explains that the compliment of beautiful is not nearly as good as the compliment of brilliant. This elicited two reactions. First, I was reminded of A Disreputable History of Frankie-Landeau Banks by E. Lockhart, which I loved. Second, I immediately felt a connection to the main character, because I completely agree.  Meet fifteen year old Tanya, who has the same issue as many teenagers. Boredom. But, Tanya has some interesting coping abilities, which lead to quite a few adventures that most teenagers will only ever read about. Only, they don’t stop when she’s done being a teenager.  As far as writing technique goes, I was extremely pleased. While there were a few issues here and there, like scene changes and the like, most of it is likely due to the fact that these events happened quite some time ago, and weren’t major. Or, I would not be surprised, that they were intentional, meant to give you a better understanding of the way Tanya’s brain functioned.  My Recommendation: I absolutely loved this book. Adored it, even. I highly recommend anyone looking for an amusing and enjoyable read.  My rating:  I give this book four stars, due to some of the confusion. But a very high four star. 
Musefall More than 1 year ago
‘Assuming Names’ is one of those books that effortlessly propel you forward through an incredible story by means of masterful writing, all the while keeping a firm hold on your attention. Given that this is a true story, to say that it is a truly remarkable one would be a great understatement. Tanya tells of her life at fifteen, and her adventures as a highly intelligent thrill seeker/con artist. With high-speed chases, close encounters with criminals and the law, and scenarios that will set you on the edge of your seat, there is never a dull moment. There is also a fair share of irony to be had between it all that often blurs the lines between good morals and corruption in our society. This is a story that would make a great movie, as it's smart, filled with action, thrills, and just the right recipe of elements to appeal to just about anyone, whether you’re a saint at heart or the more mischievously-inclined. A very worthwhile and enjoyable read that will stay in my collection to read again and an author to watch!
Raymy1012 More than 1 year ago
Assuming Names is an intriguing true story of a 15 year old girl’s success at fooling several top criminal justice agencies, celebrities, mafia and every day people into believing she was something she wasn’t. Author Tanya Thompson details the events that surround the elaborate deception. ‘Constance’ was able to fool many people including trained psychologists, FBI, Interpol and more into believing she was a countess, among other things. It turns out ‘Constance’ was a 15 year old runaway from Tennessee with a father who loved her and wanted her to come back home. While her father believes ‘Constance’ ran away because she was bored it is clear that she has a wild imagination, a high IQ and a flair for adventure.  Thompson is able to bring this story to life. The people, places and conversations blend perfectly together to create an unforgettable and unique experience. ‘Constance’ is no ordinary girl. Her mischievous nature, intriguing personality and intelligence make her riveting. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is absolute fun on a rollercoaster, full speed ahead. It is kind of scary that she claims its all true, I certainly would not let her drive or get near my car. I can't wait for the next episode, the preview was exciting!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like the author, I'm a small town girl too. I understand how boredom can lead to such shenanigans. I'm not as fearless as Tanya obviously is, so I just moved to LA. It's probably my small town logic, but I thought the mafia character was terribly attractive. It’s a pity he was a rapist. I loved every bit of it but then I don't know any better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It slows down just a tad after the Dallas hoax, but then it picks up the same heedless speed for the Mexican adventure. Very entertaining. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not so long ago, there was a question on Reddit asking what would happen if two psychopaths got together. There was a great deal of speculation, some of it very funny, but very little definitive information was provided.The question stuck with me, because the opinions offered weren't satisfying and they didn't ring very true. Well, I think this book pretty much answers the question in full. This book, right here, is what happens when two psychopaths get together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is what it says it is: a con artist's masquerade. This girl assumes names like the rest of us buy shoes. It almost seems wrong to enjoy this book so much when she' s in such perilous trouble, but she writes about it with such nail biting suspense. Was it wrong of me to find Sergei a turn-on? It was probably was. :O !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sexy. I was turned on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny. Adventuresome. Unapologetic. It's a fantastic modern long con by a girl  who doesn't give a toss.. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amusing book. I laughed repeatedly. I was also kept awake to finish it. The ending was unsettling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regardless of the accuracy, it was fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms Thompson's style is mesmerizing. I could not put this book down even though I sometimes doubted what I was reading. All in all, it was a good read with some very scary scenes. Well worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're the sort to be easily offended by the dubious actions of another, you will want to set this one aside. For the rest of us, Tanya is going show us the long con is still alive. She started her career as a con artist at the young age of 15 and it does not appear she is slowing down. She is very provocative in this book, and I don't mean that in the American sense of the word.