True crime is about the search for truth and justice, right? Wrong, it’s very often also about people trying to feel justified. I’ve always found that weird. In true crime many of us are preoccupied with figuring out the lies, manipulations and deceits of criminals. Is it okay to behave this way when reviewing an analysis of these criminal cases?
In this first review from My Daddy is a Hero the reviewer CM is clearly impressed, but not so impressed that she can’t resist casting stones in the same review at another subpar author – me.
Apparently I have zero qualifications and have written 30 books on the Chris Watts case. Wrong on both counts. To date I’ve written 10 books on the Chris Watts case. In terms of qualifications, I studied law and psychology at university, I have a degree in Economics, and a postgraduate diploma in Brand Management.
I’ve also sat in on a number of high-profile criminal cases for several weeks at a time, I’ve met with victims’ families, and in one instance I was asked to meet with a victim’s family because they wanted answers they weren’t able to get from the media. I’m also often requested privately to investigate particular cases, most of which regrettably I have to turn down.
I’ve made a career as a professional photojournalist writing for dozens of mainstream magazines and other print media, including international publications, and I’ve written more than 90 books, 90% of which are very positively reviewed and often bestsellers.
Writing one book on a criminal case does convey expertise on that partciular case, like it or not. Writing a book, self-published or not, means one has a specialized expertise in a particular area. Writing 10 books on the Watts case conveys one with a level of general knowledge, background and insight that is way above the average, or even the insights of most acknowledged experts. Writing 90 books across multiple criminal cases does actually convey something way beyond mere expertise.
I also have a publishing contract with a US publisher so not all of my books are self-published. My work is often cited by reputable sources, I’ve been quoted and published in international media as well as by documentarians. All too often my research is not cited as a source by amateur creators but simply appropriated.
How about you – the reviewer? What are your qualifications?
In CM’s review, she refers to a blog [likely this one] but takes exception to rudeness on it. This seems to be the main gripe against the research in the books reviewed.
It is simply not accurate or true to state that my books, or work, have “zero basis in fact” when all my work is hyperlinked to sources, and facts. My work is highly factual and filled with references, statistics and matters of an evidentiary nature. So to claim there is “zero basis in fact” isn’t fair.
Most people with any common sense when they read one book they don’t enjoy, they stop there. It takes a special kind of reviewer to keep reading books they hate – and reviewing them. Would you describe the above reviews as rudeness?
The next time you read a TCRS book, bear in mind your reviews matter because they need to stand against this sort of thing, and CM isn’t the only troll reviewer out there. CT Brown left 21 troll reviews at last count, and Zarla left 10.
Visit the Nick van der Leek Author Page here.