The Best Bad Reviews

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Before I review any series, I like to see what other readers are thinking about in relation to the individual books within the series, so I read their reviews. Well not all books within a series are well liked and occasionally I come across some really good negative reviews that I can’t keep from laughing out loud or at least smile about, so I thought I would share a few of them with you too.  As the poet John Lydgate would say, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.


Anthony Ho review on Amazon of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter is Dead

This is Dull Disappointing Dexter that Doesn’t Deliver Delight.


Dianne from Amazon on Kathy Reichs’ Speaking in Bones.

Spoiler alert: If the main character gets one more concussion, I’m sure that a traumatic brain injury is in her future.


Erin from Goodreads gave Jeffery Deaver’s The Bone Collector a one star rating.

Boring. This is supposed to be a murder mystery novel and as such should clip along at a pretty good pace. I got 150 pages in and gave up.

This was a Reader’s Choice at my library. I have hated every single Reader’s Choice, this might be a clue that I need to stop reading them!

award


Mike Klemundt from Goodreads gave Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter a one star rating.  If one is going to criticize college graduates for poor writing skills, then it is best to use ‘absolutely’ good spelling and not ‘stray’ on your grammar.

Jeff Lindsay has absolulety no writing talent, whatsoever. In fact, stay stray from any of his novel, he is another snub college graduate with little to no experience in his field.


Meghan from Goodreads gave Tess Gerritsen’s novel The Surgeon a two star rating.

I almost forgot! I intensely dislike books with blank pages in between each chapter. Aside from the fact that is a serious waste of paper, the only real purpose I see is to truly separate the chapters. To force the reader to digest one chapter before plowing headfirst into the next. I find this slightly insulting. As ifI am unable to control my reading habits and need you to step in and stop me. Or as if my eyes might stray from reading the backside of one page and greedily begin reading the next page and spoil whatever mini-cliffhanger the chapter ended with. So, from the paper wasting standpoint, eBooks make the blank page presentation slightly less offensive. But frankly, they are a pain in the back side. Unlike a real book where two pages are presented to the reader at once and they will read the left side, then move to the right, an eBook only presents one page at a time. So, If page 1 ends with a cliffhanger, it isn’t until I press the button that I see the next page. But, with the blank-page-between-each-chapter-books instead of taking me to the next chapter, there is an entirely blank screen, which never fails to make my brain think “what’s going on? Did my battery die?” and then have to click next page again. My point is, blank pages are dumb…quit it.

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To make your life a living hell!

In 2013 SKD from Amazon left this two star review of Patricia Cornwell’s novel Postmortem which was written in 1990.   Don’t you hate it when writers can’t predict the future.

There is a lot of detail regarding computer and DNA technology, which is now outdated. Unfortunately I couldn’t get past that.


ComputerUser on Amazon reviewed Daniel Suarez’s novel Daemon and gave it a one star rating.  I guess ComputerUser didn’t know that Suarez and Amazon are in cahoots to make everyone’s lives miserable.

Like the book a LOT but gave this ONE star because I cannot loan to a friend , like 99.9% of the other kindle books I have BOUGHT and OWN !How funning Daniel Suarez writes two novels about personal freedom for over 1000 pages, but then limits my personal freedom to loan a property I own to someone for 14 days via kindle loan. The IRONY and HYPOCRISY of this is AMAZING !


Leah Tchack from Amazon review of Karin Slaughter’s The Blindsighted.

This book is so bad I can hardly believe it. Nothing in it is credible, and the gore and sex are overdone. All the characters are mad at one another and yelling all the time. And the “brilliant” physician/heroine keeps Kool-Aid in her refrigerator. I kid you not.

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Kent’s review on Goodreads of Douglas E Richards’ Wired.  Maybe there is a little secret about Niels Bohr that we don’t know about.

the smart pills reminded me of LSD. when the author tries to explain quantum theory in 4 pages of epilogue it’s a lot like LSD.

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My dear Albert, I think there is something in those cookies of yours, because it appears that your hair is starting to show wave-like properties.

Wikimedia Commons


Rory from Goodreads had a problem with Ramez Naam’s writing style in his novel Crux.

What is it with his metaphors? Many just lack words that he expects the reader to fill in.

“Layers of rage and grief peeled off him like an onion.”

Yeah, all those onions I constantly need to peel off of myself. And how often do body parts surge, or muscles groan (have you ever heard a muscle groan)?


An Odd 1 from Goodreads gave James Rollins’ 6th extinction a poor rating.  Those darn evil cute cuddly dogs.

I like the medium print easier read, not modern trend to hip hop around viewpoints, date time stamps. I got young lads mixed up who are dear to their girls’ hearts Josh and Jason. One gets amputation, other gets ??. I’m confused. Always the cute cuddly (large) dog is supposed to be dear to us. I dislike tearjerker manipulation.

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Rover The Manipulator- Wikimedia Common (Photo8.com)

Fred from Goodreads gave Douglas E. Richards’ Wired a two star rating.  Don’t you just hate it when a book forces you to read it until the end.

The author spoon-feeds you the entire story, and then “tries” to throw in a plot twist, then completely nerfballs the happiest of happy endings.

Utter dreck.

Two stars because it did keep me reading, goddammit.


Jon S from Amazon gave Douglas Richards’ novel Wired a one star rating.  Did you actually read the book?

Watch out, if you want to read this across your various Kindle-enabled devices (or share w/ family members’ Kindles) this book is limited to two at a time. May not bother most folks, but if you jump around and read your books across Kindle, phone, PC, Web etc. you will run into this limit.

I can’t find it listed anywhere in the product information, this should be spelled out clearly for the consumer if it’s not the standard 6 concurrent devices.

Sure, it’s only $1, but the fact that this title drove me to call Customer Care and figure out why it wouldn’t load earns it a 1-star review.


Lila from Amazon left this review of Douglas E. Richards’ novel Wired.

When I started reading “Wired”, I thought, “this is going to be good.” After just a few pages, one of the main characters used the “F” word. After only 3 more pages, it happened again. That’s a no-no to me! Too bad, because I think the story would have been a good one! I returned the book to the Prime lending library after reading only a few pages. I’m glad I didn’t waste any money buying it! I wish you could let the author, Douglas E. Richards, know he is losing readers by using bad language. It is totally unnecessary to a story line. Because of using the “F” word in this novel, I will not be reading any more of his books and certainly cannot recommend this book to any one!

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Mr. Richards – you know what this means! source: Wikipedia

Paper or Kindle “I live to read!” on Amazon reviewed Tess Gerritsen’s novel Die Again and gave it a so-so rating. Personally I think the “missing bus stop” novel deserves a 5 star rating.

This isn’t the best book in the series, but it was gripping enough to make me miss my bus stop because I was so wrapped up in it.

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Dagnabbit! Another thriller does it again.

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Fellow Book Blogger Laissez Faire sent me this Amazon review of Jane Auel’s The Land of Painted Caves.

Your book is some 700 pages long. I mean, OK, it makes it easier to fantasise about using it to bludgeon the characters to death for criminal idiocy once we reach Part 3, but your book only has maybe 100 pages worth of actual plot, so I’m kind of left wondering if you actually had an editor for this thing, and if so, whether they’re now spending their unemployment check on hard liquor to help drown the shame.


Juliet-Camille review on Goodreads of Erin Hart’s Haunted Ground puts a new spin on the term ‘bored to death‘.

I would have liked this much better if it focused more on the dead body, and less on the living characters.


Mary Berger from Goodreads gave her review of Patricia Cornwell’s Flesh and Blood.  Now don’t hold back Mary!

When I say I couldn’t put this book down, I mean I couldn’t put it down fast enough.


When most people write a review on a book, they discuss how well they liked the plot, the characters, etc, but an Amazon Customer gave Patricia Cornwell’s novel Dust a poor rating because he/she had a bigger problem or should I say ‘smaller’ problem with the novel.

This book was published in November 2013. The copy I received was not one of the original size, it was a smaller version. I was surprised because no where in the description was it written that this book was 8 1/2 x 6 instead of 9 1/2 x 6 1/2. The book itself is in very good condition just not the standard size.


Jennie from Goodreads told us her feelings on Aaron Elkins love scene from Fellowship of Fear.  Yes, Jennie, luckily for us Gideon got married, so the series does improve.

Blech. A good, wise friend warned me that this book wasn’t necessarily a good one, but the series gets better. She was definitely right about the first part. I might test her on the second part when I get over the moment when I decided to throw this one across the room:

Come on, tell Papa,” Gideon said, his naked skin jumping where her long hair lay over it.
“Well…just…take me, I’m yours.” She raised her eyes to his. “If you want me.

Aaaaand, hurl.


Sophie Huston from Goodreads gave her impression of Jefferson Bass’ novel The Inquisitor’s Key.  Go Fonzie!

Hmm. I think the authors have jumped the shark a wee bit with this one …

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia

Stormy’s husband from Goodreads left this review of Scott Sigler’s novel Infected.  What an obedient husband, so how did you come up with a 3-star rating?

My wife asked me to put this on her goodreads. So here it is.


Catfantastic on Goodreads reviewed Scott Sigler’s novel Pandemic.  Things must be pretty bad if you are rooting for the bad guy.

I didn’t like any of these characters. I didn’t enjoy spending time in their heads. I didn’t care about what they were doing or which calibre they were doing it with. By the end of the trilogy, I caught myself thinking that if this was all there was to Sigler’s version of humanity, maybe the aliens deserved to win.


Charlie from Goodreads gave a one star rating on Daniel Suarez’s novel Daemon.  Ladies you have been warned!

You need the following requisites to enjoy this book:

-Computer literate
-Internet/Network literate
-Computer gaming literate
-Love First Person Shooters
-Think the movie “Hackers” w/Angelina Jolie was good movie
-Bought MW3 or Battlefield 3
-A penis


Kurt from Goodreads gave a poor review on Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  There are two ways you can think about this.

I hereby declare this “Excellent Commode Literature.

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Images from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons

Brenda Mihalik on Amazon gave Kathy Reichs’ novel Bones Never Lie a one star rating even though she never read the book.

Another great book that I won’t be able to read. The price is way past what I can afford on my husband’s retirement. Maybe I’ll see it in a library somewhere.


Elaine Helms on Goodreads gave Kathy Reichs’ Bones Never Lie a three star rating though he would have preferred to give a two star rating and her reasoning is:

I am giving you an extra star, Temperance, because you somehow managed to avoid being knocked unconscious yet again.

Image from WIkipedia
Image from WIkipedia

Here is a review of JT Ellison’s A Deeper Darkness from Lisa on Goodreads.  It seems that Lisa has ‘indecision disorder’ when it comes to this book.

I stayed with this book through 3 library loans and finally finished it. I really tried to like it, but it was fairly confusing and actually quite unbelievable. I would like to read another book by this author to see if I like it.


A review by Eric from Goodreads on Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs’ Cemetery Dance. Need I say more.

This book made me regret ever having learned how to read.


Alane Ferguson’s Christopher Killer is part of the Forensic Mystery series but Meagen from Goodreads was surprised that there were autopsies involved.

This book was kind of interesting, but it also sort of grossed me out. The main character wants to be a forensic pathologist, so she talks her dad into letting her be his assistant by helping him check out crime scenes, and attending an autopsy (sick!). I wasn’t super interested in finishing it, but I can’t stop a book in the middle, so I had to, haha.


You can tell that Sharon from Goodreads is obviously a Star Trek fan after reading her review of Tim Down’s Chop Shop.

It seems if you are a childhood friend of Nick’s, watch out. You’re like the Star Trek crew member in the red shirt.


Here is a review by Clayton from Goodreads on Alane Ferguson’s Christopher Killer.  Captain Crunch you better watch out!

the Christopher killer is about a cereal killer and this detective has to find out who it is. what the detective doesnt know is that the cereal killer is trying to get to her.


‘If you like Tess…’ from Amazon gave Tess Gerritsen’s The Mephisto Club a 1 ratingIt seems that her review is a bit of an oxymoron.

this is a great book – story gives a different slant on the TV portrayal of the characters – but a great read


Beth from Goodreads gave Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a 1 star rating.  Mom knows best.

My mom got this for me, I guess because the word “tattoo” is in the title, so she assumed I’d like it.


Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince from Goodreads rated Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a 1 star for being too boring.  After reading her review, I wondered how could she tell?

It was late and I needed to find a book to read.

Tomorrow I was due for a long, boring car ride and needed something to pass the time. I perused the books on my shelf. There were countless of paperbacks: trashy bodice rippers and old-time historical romances, mixed in with a plethora of newer Harlequin Presents and Science Fiction anthologies. There was “UC Davis’s Book of Dogs: A Complete Medical Reference for Dogs and Puppies” or “The Seven Language Dictionary” (with French, German, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian words translated into English). There lay a copy of Anne Tyler’s “Breathing Lessons,” for which she had won a Pulitzer Prize. Next to it was “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor,” by the renowned thespian Bruce Campbell. Of course I might yet again read “The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre.” No? Perhaps then Paulina Simons’ “The Bronze Horseman,” a thick 800+ page epic in World War II Russia with even a Q & A reading section at the end.

Hmm? No. None of them would do. I would require audio for this lengthy trip and knew that thanks to the mighty technical wizards at Apple, I would be in good hands.

I sat on my faux-leather Staples chair at my scuffed, pressed-board desk and turned on my ancient HP desktop with a flickering 15″ Dell flat-monitor. I perused the web with my cordless Microsoft mouse and wireless keypad. While the mouse took AA batteries, inconveniently the keyboard took AAA which I did not always keep in stock.

I connected my three-year-old metallic green 16 GB iPod to my iTunes account to look for something I could listen to on a long monotonous road trip. My iPod had a capacity for up to 4,000 songs and up to 24 hours of audio playback on a single charge. It had a 1.54-inch (diagonal) color TFT display with 240-by-240-pixel resolution (220 pixels per inch). Support for AAC, Protected AAC (iTunes Store), MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV audio formats. It had only come with a one-year limited warranty. I had not taken advantage of the extended warranty and was worried something might go astray.

I had wanted to use my husband’s newer iPod, the Apple iPod nano 16GB Green (7th Generation) with a 2.5-inch Multi-Touch color display with 240-by-432 pixel resolution. This was only 5.4-mm thin making it the thinnest iPod ever and had easy-to-use controls to quickly adjust volume, or play, pause, and change songs. Accessible to Bluetooth 4.0 and weighing in at only 1.1 ounces and 3.8 x 3 x 1.9 inches model, it was compatible with MD478LL/A Windows XP (SP3);Windows Vista; Windows 7;Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later.

Unfortunately since I could not find the specialized adapter for that particular iPod, I was forced to use the older model. I logged into my iTunes account and downloaded Steig Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” onto my older, yet still efficient, iPod.

The iPod had been developed in 2000 but not placed on the market until 2001. I was born in 1977 so I would have been 23 or 24 back then. Now, the time was late summer of 2014, and since I was born in autumn of 1977 I would be 37 in two months.

I grew up in Port Jefferson Station, NY but was born in the neighboring village of Port Jefferson as Port Jefferson Station had no hospitals, while Port Jefferson had two: Mather Hospital and St. Charles. I was born in St. Charles Hospital, as Mather Hospital did not tend to natal needs (neither pre- nor post-), and is now renowned for both its cardiac and bariatric surgery centers (fortunate, no?)

Incidentally, an American Rock Star named Elvis Aaron Presley donated some funds to St. Charles Hospital’s many years back, as attributed to him on a 1×4-inch plaque located on the wall near the back elevator. (I would insert a joke here, but Larsson’s writing doesn’t allow for much humor. He was very serious. Before I ever saw a picture of him, I knew he’d be a dough-faced man-boy, with steel rimmed glasses.)

Port Jefferson was called Drowned Meadow back in the days of the American Revolution. It lies on the Long Island Sound, and on a clear day you can see Connecticut several miles across the water. The Port Jefferson, NY/Bridgeport, CT Ferry line has hundreds of travelers each day, thousands more during the busy summer season. My parents once took the ferry from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport soon after they married. They were married in 1976. As I was born in 1977, that would have made me negative 18 months old at the time. I don’t remember much of it.

Anyway—

NO! I can’t do it! I did not like this book enough to get that snarky about it. It bored me. And then angered me, and then bored me, and then angered me because it was boring me. I’m not that talented a reviewer to skewer a book I hate by launching into an insightful parody.

I will however launch into an inciteful tirade!

I found BR Meyer’s “A Reader’s Manifesto an Attack on the Growing Pretentiousness in the American Literary Prose” to be a useful gauge in analyzing the Girl w/ the Dragon Tattoo. No, TGwtDT was not published in the US, but it did become a blockbuster-literary-phenom here, so I feel using that book is appropriate. What differentiates books like “The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” from other lengthy blockbusters like, say Gone Girl is that the former takes itself much too earnestly to be appreciated. TGwtDT is a bestseller, yes, but it deals with a serious topic that NO OTHER BOOK has touched: violence against women!

I read a review of TGwtDT that derided readers who complained the book was too slow, and chided readers for not knowing how to skim over the unimportant parts! That’s how REAL readers read, don’t you know! Look, I’m no speed-reader, but I’m a believer in that words have meanings. They exist for a reason. If I skim a lot, it’s a sign that the author has lost my interest.

This belief seems to be confusing for some. Like the literary critics in Meyer’s manifesto write: “‘If anyone has earned the right to bore us for our own good, it’s [NAME REDACTED],” writes Salon Martha Russo. “Since [HE] is smarter than we are,” intones John Leonard in the New York Review of Books, “trust [HIM].”

Such is the early 21st century mindset about LITTER-A-CHORE.

Since I do not own the physical version of TGwtDT, and don’t intend to everagain listen to the audio, I cannot quote verbatim from his book. So I will borrow from Myer’s manifesto when he criticizes Cormac McCarthy’s tiresome writing from one of McCarthy’s later works:

“He ate the last of the eggs and wiped the plate with the tortilla and ate the tortilla and drank the last of the coffee and wiped his mouth and looked up and thanked her.”

Replace eggs and tortilla with sandwiches and bread and add in even more copious amounts of coffee, and there you have about 10%-15% of Larsson’s book. It’s tedious.

As TGwtDT deals with rape and murder, it’s not unusual that there would be explicit scenes depicting this. (view spoiler) These scenes are written in a slightly horrific, yet detached manner. It’s not these scenes that I question; it’s the revenge scene that follows. (view spoiler) This scene is supposed to be critical to the novel as it shows the true nature of Lisbeth and the depths she is capable of. (view spoiler)

Many years ago I read Jane De Lynn’s Some Do where a similar scene is portrayed. (view spoiler) Some Do was written by an American woman in the 1970s and TGwtDT was written by a Swedish man in the 2000s and there was just a vast difference in the way the parallel scenes were depicted. One was written with a raw anger beneath it, filled with a sentiment of “We’re not taking this anymore! We will fight back and hurt you worse if you hurt us!”

Larsson, it seems, wrote his book as an aggrieved male figure for all the violence committed against woman by men as a dark-revenge fantasy. (view spoiler) As a person, I can’t judge Larsson, but as a reader judging an author, I certainly can. His character of Lisbeth is not a true woman: she is an amalgam of all that is cool and “ballsy” about women in media: a cartoon/manga/movie/porn version of what a “kick-ass woman” is. Ironic that in a book originally titled “Men Who Hate Women” Larsson used a female protagonist who is a caricaturized version of post-modern ideal femininity to conquer all the bad evil men. (Or perhaps Larsson WAS so smart he knew exactly what he was doing? Maybe. Even so, I didn’t care.)

Eh, if you’re going to market a mass-murder/rapist book as feminist theory, at least make it a teeny bit based in realism. And interesting.

And I apologize to Dan Brown for all the mean things I said about him. I won’t take them back, because they’re true! But in the literary sense, I should have kept it all in perspective. There’s being a hack who knows he’s a hack, and then there’s being a hack that’s pawned off as some literary genius. And then there’s the fact that he died relatively young, so like Kurt Cobain, no one can EVER complain about Larsson’s talent. Ok, that last part WAS cruel. But I won’t take that back, either.

Awful, awful and boring. ½ star


Here is a review on Patricia Cornwell’s novel Port Mortuary from ‘Shelly’ found on Amazon.  Seems that she has some problems with Ms. Cornwell’s writing style:

Far from the educating & interesting pages she used to write, Patricia Cornwell seems to actually dislike her readers, so much that she is trying to bore us to death. If you’ve not read her last 2-3 books, here is an example of her writing. “Scarpetta had to choose which socks to wear. She had two colors to choose from, black or white. She likes white, but only with long pants. The black ones look better with shorts. But wait, she’s not wearing shorts. So she really could wear either pair. But which to choose? Black or white? She chose the black socks. And in choosing the black socks, she remembered one time she was wearing black socks. It was long ago and a very important memory that radically changed her life. But she’s never, never in 20-some years EVER thought of it before. It was life-altering, but not important enough for her to ever think of it before. She picks up the left sock and rolls it up in her fingers. She sits on the bed and lifts her right foot. Wait, this sock is for her left foot! She raises her left foot and puts her toes into the sock. She pulls the sock up to her ankle and smooths it out over her foot, then puts her foot back on the floor. She rolls the right sock in her fingers and lifts her right foot up onto her other knee. She puts her toes into the sock and pulls it up over her foot. It goes on twisted. She straightens it out and puts her foot back on the floor.”

And in the case of this book, Cornwell would waste 11 pages describing the weave, age, texture of the sock and contemplating whether the sock actually wants to be worn.


Mike from Goodreads was a bit disappointed in Jeffery Deaver’s The Stone Monkey:

I thought this said stoned. Now I’m less interested in reading it.


A review of Iris Johansen’s novel Quinn from LB found on Amazon:

She must have had. Somebody else. To have written. This book. Most of the book. Was written with choppy. Short sentences. Like this. Where the heck was. The editor?


A review of Iris Johansen’s novel Countdown from Alicia Keenon “Rabid Reader” on Amazon:

I haven’t read such a bad book in a while. The plot was far fetched, too fragmented, and unlikely. The characters – especially Jane – unsympathetic. The interaction between the characters is psychologically a stretch.

But what really bothered me was the repetitive writing style. “She stiffened”, “he stiffened”, “Trevor stiffened”, “McDuff stiffened”, there was a lot of stiffening going on – in lieu of interesting action, obviously.

Everyone is angry and constantly saying “dammit”. Jane’s gaze flies a lot. Her gaze flies to his face, flies to the action, flies here and there. And she whirls. “She whirled on him” – frequently. McDuff whirled a few times, too.

Between the stiffening, the whirling, the gazes flying and the dammits, the style was insipid to the point of torture. Needless to say, I do not recommend this book.


Iris Johansen seems to bring out the best in people, here is a review from Carla at Goodreads on Taking Eve:

So horrible I couldn’t get past the first 20 pages. We start off with a man going on a road trip with his son’s charred skull (to which he talks), shift to a premonition of something bad looming (i.e., foreshadowing for the oblivious reader) which is then ignored so as not to cut the story off before it begins, lead right into a woman who sees her dead daughter’s ghost, and now we’re ready for the action of the story which is apparently a web of conspiracy and revenge.

Nope… First we have to make a pit stop to visit another woman who can’t bear to lose her dog so she gets the help of a sociopath who has the ability to psychically control the flow of blood in another person’s body, but most importantly, has a private jet and can smuggle her and her dog to a secret island laboratory where they’ve figured out how to make dogs immortal. I’m surprised I managed to keep reading to the part where the psychic dog whisperer informs everyone that the dog told her he’d been injected with a slow acting poison and only has four hours to live unless all of his blood is replaced. I’m gobsmacked I read far enough to discover that the full body transfusion worked.


Here is Nancy’s opinion from Goodreads on Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter’s Final Cut:

If, indeed, this is the end for Dexter, then it seems to me that Jeff Lindsay extended a middle finger to his readers.


This is from Leiah “So, I read this book today… on Amazon about Karin Slaughter’s novel Blindsighted and all I can say is WOW, she must have had a few cups of coffee before she wrote this review.

If you are upset by violence against women, this is definitely a book that will turn your stomach. What happens to the victims in the book is horrific on a terrible scale. However, it is not unrealistic – this stuff happens, but it is very rough having it spelled out so graphically. And Slaughter’s attempt to make the rapes somehow the victims faults because they are drugged up and made to feel like they are ‘enjoying’ being ripped apart by a vicious rapist is sickening.

Sonytoao, in his/her review, really hit on all the points that I had intended to make with my review. I really wish I could scrub out my brain with iodine solution to remove the slimy feeling this book left me with. The “investigation” was a farce. The Southern good-old-boy “blame the n**ger” mentality, the disgusting pushing of the idea that the victims enjoyed their rapes, because the rapist was “making love to them” (never mind lots and lots of blood and tearing and ripping of various body parts). The “cops” were stupid beyond all description.

The main character, a doctor, is cheated on by her spineless whiner of a spouse (a policeman) who explains himself by saying that he didn’t feel like he was ‘needed enough’ by Sara, his wife – so, of course, he pulls another woman into their bed at a time that he knew good and well that she would come home and catch them. Oh, because he “wanted to hurt her.” Because, you know, then she would fight to “get him back” right? Riiight…… she kicks his cheating backside out instead. Then, of course, the whole book we have to listen to her moaning in her head about how she wants him back, and he comes sniffing around her like a junkyard dog trying to get her back. . . and, of course, like an idiot, she does. This is a woman who apparently is an exceptional physician, supposedly intelligent, who can’t see that she is too good for a guy who is so needy and insecure that instead of sitting down and talking about things, he screws around to “hurt her and get her back”? I gotta tell you, I rolled my eyes so hard I think I pulled a muscle. Oh, and the only female officer in the department? I wanted to slap her all through the book. i know, she had a had time of it, no spoiler here, but come on – I don’t know if she was supposed to be a cliche or just an irritant. And to top it off, all the guilt of the killings was laid at our good doctor’s feet, because of something that happened 12 years ago, that was never her fault in the first place. Nice.

Only good thing that came from it is a fairly good view of how easily rapists get off and are set free to go rape other women and destroy their lives. Ah, the good old justice system . . .

Overall, I can’t see where all the good reviews came from, unless they were friends of the author. I had to laugh at one of the reviews that said “There are no cardboard characters or serial killer cliches in this book.” Huh? Did we read the same book? The cheating spouse, the smart but romantically stupid female lead, the grating secondary female lead, the inbred Southern hillbilly police, the totally inept investigations . . . nope. All sounds pretty cardboard cliche to me!

All in all, it’s one of those books I wish I hadn’t of gotten into. Now I have to go wash out my mind with Betadine. The building premise for the serial killer had potential, but overall the whole thing reeked.


Or how about Noelle’s thoughts from Goodreads on Kathy Reich’s Flash and Bones:

It was 1:50 p.m. My sweat-soaked tee was pasted to my back. My hair was yanked into a ratty knot. Sand lined my scalp and undies. Nevertheless, I was humming. Al Yankovic, “White & Nerdy.” What can I say? I’d watched a YouTube video and the tune lodged in my head.

wow, off to a really terrible start, aren’t we, kathy reichs?

conclusion: why do i keep reading these ridiculous, ultra formulaic books

so boring

so bad


This a review of Keith McCarthy’s The Final Analysis by Kathy on Goodreads.  It is not a bad review, in fact the opposite, but it did make me laugh.

Oh Keith! Where have you been all my life!? I adore your writing, I adore ALL your characters, I adore everything about your books. They are smart, funny and have the twistiest plots I’ve ever heard of.

Marry me and I will give up all my affairs, including but not limited to Capt Von Trapp, Raylan Givens, Frank Langella, Jamie Frasier, Walt Longmire and that Sam guy) Okay, if it too soon for that, just let me watch your eyes glitter as you compose your stories. I even want to read the out-takes. I’ll bet you can make a grocery list dazzle.

If you come across any interesting bad reviews on thrillers let me know and I can add it to the list.  I am making a page and plan on adding as I find more memorable reviews.

3 thoughts on “The Best Bad Reviews

  1. One of the reasons I don’t pay much attention to book reviews when I have already familiarized myself with the author is because you will always find a hater among them and it just spoils one’s appetite. Therefore, I try to be neutral about my reviews, although I prefer to say summary because I’m just really passing on some info of what I think about the book I read. It is true not every book in a series is going to be sterling. The reason I continue with the series is because I’ve invested time in the character and so my curiosity about the character gets the better of me. Also, the story lines are interesting even if sometimes the writing can be off-putting. I like the pace of thrillers in general. Thanks for the visit to like Crimson Shore.

    1. What I especially dislike is when bad reviews get mean especially with an author that I like. Authors put a lot of hard work in their novels that don’t deserve that kind of review. If I have to say something negative I try to at least give constructive criticism.

      1. I agree! Writing is also subjective so that’s something to consider. Some reviewers might tend to forget that they themselves are writers and so should also be aware of their own foibles and so have some empathy with the writers they are reviewing.

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