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Publisher's Summary

In this powerful true crime memoir, an award-winning identity theft expert tells the shocking story of the duplicity and betrayal that inspired her career and nearly destroyed her family.

Axton Betz-Hamilton grew up in small-town Indiana in the early '90s. When she was 11 years old, her parents both had their identities stolen. Their credit ratings were ruined, and they were constantly fighting over money. This was before the age of the Internet, when identity theft became more commonplace, so authorities and banks were clueless and reluctant to help Axton's parents.

Axton's family changed all of their personal information and moved to different addresses, but the identity thief followed them wherever they went. Convinced that the thief had to be someone they knew, Axton and her parents completely cut off the outside world, isolating themselves from friends and family. Axton learned not to let anyone into the house without explicit permission, and once went as far as chasing a plumber off their property with a knife.

As a result, Axton spent her formative years crippled by anxiety, quarantined behind the closed curtains in her childhood home. She began starving herself at a young age in an effort to blend in - her appearance could be nothing short of perfect or she would be scolded by her mother, who had become paranoid and consumed by how others perceived the family.

Years later, her parents' marriage still shaken from the theft, Axton discovered that she, too, had fallen prey to the identity thief, but by the time she realized, she was already thousands of dollars in debt and her credit was ruined.

The Less People Know About Us is Axton's attempt to untangle an intricate web of lies, and to understand why and how a loved one could have inflicted such pain. Axton will present a candid, shocking, and redemptive story and reveal her courageous effort to grapple with someone close that broke the unwritten rules of love, protection, and family.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Axton Betz-Hamilton (P)2019 Grand Central Publishing

What the critics say

"A brave, rueful memoir of fear and heartbreak in rural America. Axton Betz-Hamilton mines the most essential of life's questions: can we ever really know the people we love? The Less People Know About Us is an unflinching portrait of grit and determination in the wake of a fractured childhood and complicated grief." (Carolyn Murnick, author of The Hot One)

"The tension of a thriller...[and] jaw dropping revelations. Astonishing and disturbing, this emotionally resonant book is perfect for true crime fans." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"This memoir has all the suspense and twists of a thriller; even as readers begin to suspect the truth, it still shocks...highly recommended." (Booklist)

"Axton Betz-Hamilton's story is remarkable. One of the primary challenges for those of us advocating for more rights and resources for identity theft victims is their reluctance to share their experience. Betz-Hamilton writes with candor and grace about both her relationship with her mother/perpetrator, and the long term effect victimization has had on her life." (Eva Casey Velasquez, president/CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center)

"'Identity theft' sounds like something that happens far, far away and only to other people...certainly not within a seemingly picture-perfect family in the rural U.S. In a gut-wrenching portrayal of victimization starting at age 11, Axton Betz-Hamilton shows that's simply not true. The stunning revelations will keep you looking over your shoulder for a long time and even more troubling...at the ones you think you know the best!" (Nancy Grace, legal commentator, broadcast journalist, and New York Times best-selling author of The Eleventh Victim)
 

What listeners say about The Less People Know About Us

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Loved it. Quite an emotional roller coaster.

I very much enjoyed this book. It made me feel all the emotions. You really get to know the author. I have never read anything else like it.

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Good but predictable story

I'm giving a 4 star average because some parts of this book were fantastic. There were others though where my attention became disinterested as all I could here was blah, blah, blah to information that seemed irrelevant. The other issue was I had it figured out in the first 2 chapters. BUT, when you strip it down the story itself is incredible and shows the strength of humans in the midst of adversity.

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Loved it

The author is a fenomenal story teller. I couldn't put the book down and I was sad when it came to an end.

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Pretty good!

The first half of the book was a little boring. Something about it just wasn’t captivating but the last part had me hooked and admittedly, a bit shocked. I am still shaking my head in awe.

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  • Jason Wiking
  • 2020-02-19

Holy Shit

This book definitely makes me feel better about my own family. It is well written, and it is well performed.

12 people found this helpful

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  • marshland
  • 2020-02-22

Beautiful writing, poetic at times.

The author has an artful way of telling her incredible story. There is nothing in her background that would have foreshadowed this. Talent born from adversity I suppose. The narrator is cast pitch perfect for the character. You must be patient to find out what's up with the mother. It's worth the wait. Highly reccomend.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Harley's Finery
  • 2019-12-06

Fascinating

This book was just so interesting! Although it was fairly obvious who the culprit was, it doesnt change the fact that you just need to know more! I kept listening because the knowledge of who did the crime made me want to know MORE! Great book!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anna
  • 2019-11-26

Remarkable...and so here I am

You never know the full scale of abuse that is being heaped upon you by a narcissist until you're completely free of them. Emotional and psychological abuse are silent killers that are parasitic in nature. You can't see it so it goes on doing it's damage unnoticed until it's devoured it's host...unless somehow, something happens, to expose it to you and others who can help you begin to undo the immense damage and out you on the journey of true healing.

6 people found this helpful

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  • tammy
  • 2019-12-09

Predictable

The author has a fascinating story and the narrator did a superb job but.....It's so predictable I skipped to the end. She could have done better not to give so much away in the beginning.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Saint Tardamus
  • 2019-10-28

A little heavy on unimportant info

Great book, gripping story, and excellent narration. only issue is that there's too much focus on stuff that doesn't really move the story along. Being from Indiana, loved hearing about all of the Indiana related locations.

5 people found this helpful

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  • articulett
  • 2019-12-02

True Crime Psychological Thriller

I enjoyed this book immensely. Her mother took so much, but Axton (great name) used it as a springboard to learn so much and, as she notes, knowledge is something that no one can take away from us. Axton selflessly shares what she knows in an honest and eloquent book that is so satisfying for those eager to understand hidden truths. Truth is steadying. Helping others is healing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Frenchy
  • 2019-11-11

WOW

Much, much better book than I was expecting. This is a story that isn't just about financial ruin...... I highly recommend!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jas
  • 2019-10-25

Wow, just wow

This is an exceptional book. I felt like I was reading a thriller, and she even had me entranced after listening to 5 minutes. Five stars!

7 people found this helpful

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  • T
  • 2020-05-21

About 50% too long

I heard Axton's story on the podcast, Criminal. when I saw that she had written this book, I thought "Ooh! I'd love to know more details about this story!" Turns out, I was wrong. The additional details are truly boring. The final third of this book is great, the first 2 parts could have been condensed. My heart breaks for Betz-Hamilton for all that she went through and continues to go through. I hope she finds some answers now that this book & her story are out there.

2 people found this helpful