Should it bother me that NONE of the passages the reviewer put in quotes are actually in the novel? After all, it is not illegal to put things in quotes and attribute them to an author or a work where they don’t actually exist. It’s just weak and in poor form. Lying is protected speech. Generations of Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the Bill of Rights continues to protect that freedom.
Thirty years ago, this review would have gone to a newspaper or magazine, and the editor would have checked its veracity. The editor would have noted that the quotes in the review were not even in the novel and would have thrown it in the trash. Today, it stands on Amazon with the terms “racism and bigotry” bolded in the header.
When this reviewer uses the term “racist” he takes power away from the word and does a disservice to those who fought against racism and for freedom. Unfortunately, people like this reviewer are defusing the power of the word in an afront to all those who gave him the freedom to make decisions based on free will. In years past, being called a “racist” would have been the most hurtful thing I can imagine. Sadly, today, because of people like this reviewer, more and more, the word now means, “someone I disagree with,” a change that is unfortunate and heartbreaking.
There are a lot of positive aspects to social media. It allows us to engage with one another and allows me to thank everyone who took a risk on an unknown author and recommended the books to friends. The novels are a success because of the grassroots efforts of readers, hunters, archers, shooters, librarians, independent bookstores, overlanders, veterans, and friends who decided to try out THE TERMINAL LIST and liked it enough to enthusiastically recommend it to others. For that, I am humbled and sincerely grateful. The negative side of social media and open reviews is that anyone, regardless of motive, can use these platforms in an attempt to tear down and destroy.
The characters, good and bad and those in the gray area, are not in my novels because of their skin color. They are in the novels because they are interesting characters. This will continue to be the case.
One Amazon reviewer took exception to the Mexican drug cartel being, well, Mexican. That is true, the Mexican drug cartel from THE TERMINAL LIST is in fact a Mexican drug cartel. The Iranian terrorist in TRUE BELIEVER is Iranian. The Russian Bratva (Russian mafia) hit team from SAVAGE SON is made up of Russians. I won’t ruin anything by divulging the background of the antagonists in THE DEVIL’S HAND. In future novels it is possible I go back and explore the IRA. If I do, odds are that they will be Irish. The Chinese Triads will probably be Chinese. The Japanese Yakuza will probably be Japanese.