An Open Letter to my Amazon Stalker

Monday, May 17, 2010, 10:46 PM

Dear Amazon Stalker,

I've been watching you work for a while, but until today I felt inclined to let you labour in peace. No author likes getting one-star reviews for their books, but we all realise it's part of the job description, so we don't let it bother us.

Unless, that is, someone like you starts posting negative reviews for the same book over and over again using different screen names. You've so far posted a total of seven one- and two-star reviews between the UK and US versions of Amazon. Even so, it wasn't worth my time to pay it any mind. But then Amazon went and updated the UK and US versions of my debut novel, titled THE TWELVE and THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST respectively, making them different editions of the one book, rather than entirely separate entities. In doing so, they collated all the reviews, meaning that the UK version now lists no less than five of your reviews in a row (click here to view them). Now that your stalking is laid bare for all to see, I thought I might as well address it.

Thing is, you didn't make it hard to tell all those screen names were really the one person. If anyone clicks on the profile page for each of them -- Cormac Mac, Noir Fan, and Crime Lover (there's also Crime Queen, though gender issues aside, he/she didn't review my novel yet, but I'm sure it's coming) -- they'll see that you have been reviewing a strikingly similar range of books. Amongst other obvious trends, they'll also see that you've taken an equal dislike to my fellow crime authors Tom Piccirilli and Laura Wilson, again posting multiple reviews of books you don't seem to have read, as well as the venerable broadcaster Terry Wogan.

It's obvious what you've got against my novel, and I've a good idea why you've taken umbrage with Mr Piccirilli and Ms Wilson, but that does leave me with one question, and I am posting this in the hope that I might discover the answer. My question is simply this: What on God's green earth did Terry Wogan ever do to you?

Best wishes,


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