• Cruel Deception

  • The True Story of Multiple Murder and Two Devastated Families (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
  • By: Gregg Olsen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (177 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gregg Olsen tells the whole shocking story of this true crime in Cruel Deception.

In and out of hospitals since birth, angelic nine-month-old Morgan Reid finally succumbed to what appeared to be sudden infant death syndrome. Morgan's Texas-born mother, Tanya, a nurse and devoted wife, pulled up stakes with her grieving husband, Jim, and moved on. It was the best way to put the past behind them. Until their son, Michael, a boy who by all accounts was terrified of his mother, began showing signs of the same affliction that stole the life of his baby sister....

First, the suspicion: Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Then, Tanya was charged and convicted with felony child abuse of her son. She was later tried and ultimately convicted for first degree murder of Morgan. It would become a landmark trial that unfolded in a series of reversals and bizarre twists of fate as it gradually revealed another side of Tanya Reid—of her own troubling childhood and the dark secrets that drove a woman to the cruelest deception of all....

©2022 Gregg Olsen (P)2022 Gregg Olsen

What listeners say about Cruel Deception

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Greg’s Best Yet

Like this review…. Concise. Pierce kills it as usual and MBS enters legalese. Another Olsen/Pierce Triumph

3 people found this helpful

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Deadly Mystery

As suggested by Audible ratings guidelines, this is a "pretty good" telling of a grim story. Author Olsen covers the ground in meticulous detail, including large sections of riveting courtroom testimony in his account of the Tanya Reid case.

Olsen's use of literary devices such as metaphors and similes results in a swamp of purple prose. Descriptions such as, "It pierces the air like a penny nail through a pop can," are a poor fit in a genre that calls for clean, clinical language. (Turns out he was talking about the wind.) His description of a medical specialist as having "more degrees than a thermometer" sounds flippant and disrespectful, and is significantly out of order when referring to the doctor's educational and professional accomplishments.

Kevin Pierce turns in his usual dependable performance. One quibble: the correct pronunciation of "Munchausen" is Münkhausen, with the "ch" sounding like a "k".

2 people found this helpful

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Olsen and Pierce never disappoint

I would listen to Kevin Pierce read a takeout menu, and Gregg Olsen is rapidly becoming the best true-crime author imho. Can’t wait for another pairing of these guys. Bravo.

1 person found this helpful

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Finally an author with the skills of Jack Olsen!

About 10 years ago I read Son, by Jack Olson. Greg Olson wrote the introduction and prepares the reader for what he believed to be the best in true crime authors. . From that book I went on to read all of Jack Colson‘s books. I kept trying to find another author who could capture a real spirit a perpetrator a victim. This is the first author I found who is as talented as Jack Olson. It’s just a coincidence they have the same last name. I highly recommend this book and will look to Gregg Olsen for my next true crime read!

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Was okay…

Was not his best story. My mind kept wandering off. I felt like the same events kept getting repeated over and over again.

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worst book I've ever listened to

This is a clear case of an author resting on his laurels. Absolutely the worst hardest to listen to book I've ever encountered. It it is so repetitive and there is no true suspense. a truly boring book about a boring crime. unless u want to be truly frustrated, do not buy this book

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This book is about Munchausen's Sydrome by Proxy.

The subtitle is wrong. When I saw Kevin Pierce was the narrator of a Gregg Olsen book, that was enough for me. I never read summaries, but I did notice the subtitle - The True Story of Multiple Murder and Two Devestated Families... (Spoilers ahead!) As I listened, I considered who the "multiple murder" was referring to... I assumed she killed her son which was devastating, then he was taken away. Then, I figured she killed Jim, but she was arrested. So I went back to see if I read the cover wrong and noticed "Two Devastated Families"?? They barely discuss Jim's family. Do they mean the lawyer's family? I guess they just got the subtitle mixed up with another book 🤷‍♀️ I wouldn't have gotten this book if I had known it was about MSBP, because I'm a new mother and those stories are hard to hear. But it was not sensationalized and I'm glad I listened to it, so everything worked out!

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Excellent overall

Love this author, love Kevin Pierce. Really well done though very sad story. Melody Haynes sounds like my kinda prosecutor.

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Did She?

SPOILERS INCLUDED!!

The book is pretty good. Held my attention and kept me interested. That being said it built and built and built but never had that ah ha moment that conclusively proved that the woman was 100% guilty. I think there is a strong chance she was but I am not sure that the evidence shows without a shadow of a doubt that she killed her daughter.

I think the best evidence, which was more or less glossed over, was that her son did not have any further issues after he was removed.

I would have liked direct comments from the perp or the family or if the author had talked directly to Melody… it does not seem that he did.

I would recommend it. It’s interesting but not the be all end all of info (legal or medical) on the presentation of MsBP.

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  • Pamela H
  • 05-19-22

Too Long

This book could’ve been done in 1/4 of the time that it was. The lengthiness took away from the overall story, which was good.

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  • allatabbeycottage@btinternet.com
  • 05-12-22

Good book, great narrator.

I really enjoy Greg Olsen’s books but I have to say that Kevin Pierce is my all time favourite narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-22

Heartbreaking

I was already aware of MSBP before embarking on this book, but it’s devastating to hear a long form piece on how it occurs and the horrible effects (including death) it has on children.

The fact that Tanya could do this to her babies is unfathomable and I would like to think that it wouldn’t go undetected in this day and age.

As always, I excellent book by Gregg Olsen and equality great narration. I highly recommend

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  • Glenys Holmes
  • 07-27-22

Brilliant presentation Brilliant Story

Highly recommend if you are a true crime enthusiast
Beautifully written and you can’t fault the narrator
He is my no 1 narrator
Incredibly well researched and easy to listen to this fascinating story