Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud

Elizabeth Greenwood. Simon & Schuster, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3933-5
Faced with a six-figure student loan debt, Greenwood was discussing her options with a friend when he blurted out, “You could fake your own death.” What began as a joke turned into something of an obsession as Greenwood embarked on a curious quest to find out just how feasible it is to disappear in the information age. Greenwood takes readers on a strange journey as she navigates the mysteries of disappearance, enlisting the expertise of people such as Frank Ahearn, author of How to Disappear, and Snooky and Dong, two Filipino fixers who help those with the financial wherewithal to fake their own death. Asides on some notorious cases, such as 9/11 fraudsters; John Darwin, known as the “Canoe Man” in the U.K. who famously faked his disappearance to collect insurance money; and the strange cult of those who fervently believe that Michael Jackson is alive, add color to her entertaining investigation. Agent: Dan Kirschen, International Creative Management. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2016
Release date: 08/09/2016
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-4767-3934-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-1777-0
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