Bad Reviews Never Die

Ah, me. In the middle of trying to finish my manuscript, I come across a blog reminding me of the most astonishing review I’ve ever received, about THE SURGEON, which went on to win the RITA award for best romantic suspense, and has been a huge bestseller around the world.

The editor who ran the review blogs that he still “has mixed feeings” about whether or not he should have published it. Here’s his sum-up of what the review, written by Tory Haiss, said:


“From the word go, Haiss pulled no punches: ‘Tess Gerritsen’s latest detective novel The Surgeon is abusive garbage. If Gerritsen weren’t a woman, she would be accused justifiably of misogyny, and the world would be a better place if she had stuck to her medical practice…’

“Haiss asserts that the characters are two-dimensional, that the narrative is formulaic, that the dialogue is incompetent, and that the violence is gratuitous and exploitative. Gerritsen is, according to Haiss, “the only author I have read in 40 years who makes me want to slap her.” “In the wake of the World Trade Center attacks, there has been some discussion about the entertainment industry reevaluating what is appropriate entertainment,” writes Haiss. “Let’s hope that the New York publishing industry takes part in that discussion. Meanwhile, Gerritsen lives in Camden. If you see her, tell her you’re not going to read this book, and tell her to donate her royalties to a rape crisis center.”


I’d love to ask other authors: have you ever received a published review in which the reviewer says she wants to slap you, and then makes sure that everyone knows the name of the small town in which you live, and encourages everyone to approach you on the street and verbally assault you?

After 20 plus years working in publishing, I have never come across a published newspaper review — of ANY novel — that approaches the level of personal vitriol as this one. That the reviewer has emotional problems was obvious to me from the start.

But the fact that the editor who actually approved the review for publication still can’t admit it was inappropriate — and now chooses to snipe at me years later in his blog — makes me think that his dislike of me is somehow personal. To my knowledge, I’ve never met the man, and don’t know anything about him.

Except that he seems oddly fixated on me. I wonder why.

1 reply
  1. akmasyazwani
    akmasyazwani says:

    hmm..strange.1st time i’ve read a review that really “encouraging”..heh..
    well,no doubt he,perhaps or maybe he is,one of those physcotic people outhere, who have somewhat ‘personal problem’ with others, with no particular reasons..hatred is over his
    btw,u still my fav author.keep on rockin.. =)

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