Not negative reviews.

Not reviews with constructive comments.

Nasty reviews.

Reviews that misrepresent, defame, slander, and could almost be described as personal attacks.

Reviews that misrepresent and actually fabricate, what is in the book.

Reviews that are borne out of spite, envy, and come from a malicious mind.

There is a person (or persons) who is methodically leaving such a review for each of my books.  It is not the review itself which I find disturbing, it is the apparent impotence of Amazon to monitor and deal with people who write reviews that are specifically designed to denigrate and sabotage a book.

Why do I not find the reviews themselves disturbing?  Because they are so obviously assault reviews, they carry no credence.  They are transparent, and the author, whoever he or she is, cannot hide their malevolence.

Now for the good news.  A recent ruling out of Virginia has deigned that reviews left on YELP, cannot be anonymous.  This is a landmark decision, and one I believe (and hope) will have far-reaching consequences.  I have also recently learned that Amazon is not happy with these kinds of ‘hit’ reviews, and are seeking avenues not just to identify those responsible, but to halt the practice.

Those of us who are writers understand that we cannot please all the people all the time, and we don’t expect to.  Criticism can be helpful, and none of us is immune to a reader not enjoying something we have penned, but those who are abusing the Amazon review process, and using it as a forum to sabotage and slander, must be stopped.  Their malevolent behavior is not just unfair to the authors they target, but to the other, honest reviewers, the readers who rely on reviews to guide them, and ultimately to Amazon itself.