What puts you off reading a book or series of books? Please do not name authors or books.
What puts you off reading a book or series of books?
Please do not name authors or books.
What puts you off reading a book or series of books?
Please do not name authors or books.
Where the action starts and gives away the whole book and the rest just drags on xx
Characters that are unbelievable and stories that tale forever to go anywhere
A couple of things off the top of my head… very small printing, (I do persevere if the book is good but find it irritating), and when the story is strong but the writing of it is poor. I’d rather read a really well written book with good character crafting where maybe the storyline could be better, than one where a good story has been crucified by being poorly written.
I struggle with small print
Bad writing, too much repetition, poor characters…
Same old, same old. Especially rule-breaking, heavy-drinking, swearing, rude to their officers coppers. Fine back in the 70s. Much less fine nowadays.
Not acceptable nowadays in reality too!
@Susan On a friend’s recommendation I’ve been watching Homeland on DVD. Oh. My. Days. It seems to consist entirely of Carrie saying F*** you to senior officers in as many different ways as she can 🙂 My police consultant pulls me up often if one officer is a bit disrespectful to another in public 🙂
@Lesley I watched the first few episodes and didn’t like it. As with the police force things have certainly changed over the years.
@Susan It was all the things I don’t like. Rebellious loner female lead with attitude and a past, VERY strange portrayal of bi-polar disorder (which my brother had) some wildly improbable storylines. I’m told the Israeli original was much better. I might try that.
@Lesley I hadn’t realised the original was Israeli, originals are usually the best!
@Susan Have you seen the French one, Spiral? That’s good, although the female lead also swears a lot 🙂 But pretty much everyone in France says ‘putain’ all the time so it’s not so bad.
@Lesley Not seen that one either! I have a fear of missing out now. Lol
@Susan I watch a lot of crime fiction on DVD through the winter nights 🙂 Get a lot of good ideas for ‘how not to write it’ 😉
@Lesley. I watched an early episode of Taggart last night. My how things have changed.
@Susan Oh yes! But that was an absolute classic of its time, wasn’t it? Mark McManus was the absolute master of the deadpan expression.
Engrenage is superb. The Bridge and The Killing are even better
@Jo Putain, but I love Engrenage. Love Gilou! He was so so good in Un Village Francais. I must get The Bridge on DVD for this winter, I’ve not seen it yet.
@Lesley You are in for a treat. The Anglo-French version called The Tunnel was very good too
@Jo Ah, as I am Anglo-French I might start with that one 🙂
Don’t hate me, but price. I buy and read probably in the region of 15 books a month, so even if I really fancy trying out a new author, if I feel I won’t pay more than £2.50 for a Kindle download. There are so many great reads out there priced competetively that I don’t need to spend more to enjoy. Even worse when you have got into a series, and all of a sudden the next book in the series is expensive.
I think books have to be priced at a point that is fair to the reader but also to the writer.
I love a good bargain. The cheap books on kindle have lead to some great discoveries of authors I’d previously not heard of and I’ll then buy some of their other works. I’m reading a good one now that was 99p and I’ll definitely check out the author’s other titles!
I’m a book reviewer (on hiatus) and I have been given books that cost $.99 and turned out to be explosive. One is available at Target in America. It has sold over 20 million copies!
You don’t frequent libraries?
@A.K. Regardless if it was available at library
A lot of the cheap books are self published authors trying to get off the ground. Buying their books actually makes a world of difference to them, especially if you leave a review after you finish.
Ohhh, a few!
My main two are historical settings where modern terms are used. Chucked a book on my “could not finish” pile when an 18th century protagonist was getting ready for a ball, said to herself the dress wasn’t exactly Ralph Lauren, but it would do. ?
That and when the tense changes through out the book. Scene is set using third person tense… Then character’s description, actions, speech is first person, then swaps to third and back. Urgh, hire a better proof reader! ?
Gratuitous cruelty to animals….also detectives with multiple ‘issues ‘..constant swearing ,drinking and and general insubordination to their seniors.
I agree on the whole rebel cop thing. It is sooo outdated, they wouldn’t last five minutes now.
I agree. And my personal add is the troubled female detective with her complete family killed or with a very disturbing childhood, becomes a complete loner, does her own thing and solves everything. I have absolutely no problems with a female detective with a difficult background but in some books they point out constantly how horrible everything was. I think it’s the new version of the drinking,swearing, rude male detective. But maybe it’s just me?
@Saskia Not just you 😉
@Lesley On behalf of my sanity, thank you?
@Saskia Well, I mislaid my sanity long ago but it seems we share the same taste in books 🙂
On a side note, I’ve been invited to talk to French students in a nearby town who have an assignment to write some crime fiction (in English) and record it. One of the things I want to talk to them about is creating believable characters. Ones people can relate to and care about. Ones where you can think, ‘yes, I see where they’re coming from, and I’d like to have a coffee with them some time.’
@Lesley Teach me how!!! And yes, we absolutely have great taste??
I would love to know how your talk went!
@Saskia It won’t be until September, I imagine, so I will be happy to let you know how it goes. I’m really excited about it. Really love sharing ideas with young people, they are the hope for the future.
??️♂️When a detective arrives at a gory crime scene, there’s a decapitated corpse on a bedroom floor and instead of focusing on the details of importance, the author launches into the color of the drapes or the view from the window. It’s infuriating to me that certain authors feel the need to pad their work with unnecessary description.
I do agree, with a caveat. I did this in a way for the first murder scene in my novel. But the details he saw as he was “scanning the room” were all deliberate pieces of the puzzle, and only the “unusual” ones that nudged questions were actually featured.
He then goes outside and takes in the local surroundings for a line or two…but only because the LOCATIONS of the murders becomes a significant factor in the serial killer’s “story”. Soooooo….
But yes, lengthy, arbitrary description that doesn’t move the story along is … irritating.
@Colin I haven’t read yours as yet, but, I’m in total agreement that if location, décor or “whatever” are of actual importance to the story then by all means it should be there. ?
@Brogan Haven’t read it? HAVEN’T READ IT? 😮 That’s criminal! Teehee
(It’s on offer at the mo, AND other promos! :p )
Poor writing and a shallow plot and limited character development.
Sometimes the way a story is written is more like it was meant as an English assignment rather than a mature audience. I don’t need to be reminded constantly what someone looks like or what their background story is. And if the plot involves animals getting hurt or killed It puts me right off as well.
When a detective has to ask for help from someone now in prison from a previous book, or anytime they continue to bring back the same evil character for multiple new books.
Writing in the first person. Sloppy research when it is very clear the author hasn’t a clue about how to investigate a crime.
female detectives who can’t maintain a relationship. You can be happy in a relationship and good at your job
Forgot to mention present tense and first person….my all time hate
When the characters are two-dimensional and too good to be true, and conversely when they are so flawed they are impossible to believe in. I have to be interested in them for it to work for me!
I’m with @Kathleen. Present tense, first person. And over descriptive. I don’t want to read descriptions about every house etc you walk past when it’s not part of the story. And my all-time bugbear, typos.
It would be fascinating to read the plot that incorporated all the excellent points made here.
Been writing it for the last two years. Up to 7th re write.
Very best of luck.
Too many expletives.
Bad grammar and inadequate proof-reading.
Too long chapters. I can only read in spurts so if the chapters are long I often don’t pick it up as much. As said above- price. Often first books in a series are 99p then subsequent books are higher. I’d rather have the price for each book the same and as low as the author/publisher can allow so I can expect the cost.
If the names are to hard to pronounce
I’ve JUST ran into this. Reading a sample of a new fantasy series, and the names are killing me…can’t continue. It’s too bad cuz I think it was going to be a good story.
I read a funny book one time, by Tony Kenrick, about some not very bright criminals. One was trying to read aloud from the papers and kept saying ‘franzencroy’ all the time (I think that was the right word). When someone asked him why, he said, hard word. Whenever there’s a word I don’t know I say franzencroy. I’ve done them if I can’t make sense of a foreign placename 🙂
When the detectives family get involved ???
When they copy the title of a popular book and change one word
I hate it when one chapter starts in the past a “prologue” and then dodges from past to present and back again. Hate it with a vengeance
Don’t pick up a book by Karen White.
Ok thanks for the warning
I love books like this
If done well I quite enjoy it xxx
@Shell I do too!
A crap cover lol
I gave up on a book recently because I didn’t like the protagonist. It was told in the first person, and her head just wasn’t a pleasant place to be. She was so sleazy I could feel myself cringing as I read the book. It was just a cheap kindle purchase, so I wasn’t out of pocket, but I hate giving up on a book!
I also skip sex scenes, because they’ve usually got absolutely nothing to do with the plot and I they make me wince because the descriptions are always so stupid ?
Yes, to much romance complety wrecks a good crime novel for me. I just stopped reading halfway through a book that was the second in a series because the romance was to much.
Poor plot and simplistic writing
Too much backstory in the first pages.
To much romance, when the romance gets more attention than the actual case.
Swearing in a book just ruins it for me.
Changing writing style mid-series. For instance changing from a first person past tense narrative to to present tense for 2 or 3 books then, after struggling to get used to that, suddenly it’s third person omniscient narrator. I gave up at that point!
Gratuitous sex scenes do it for me. We all know – or assume – that police officers have sex lives but do we really need to follow them into the bedroom?
I read a crime book a couple of years ago which, although good, it had such a strong political bias it really put me off. I felt the author was using his book to push his political ideals which were completely irrelevant to the book. I have read nothing of his since simply for that reason. The place for reading politics is a manifesto not a crime novel.
If it’s described in reviews as terrifying or a tear-jerker. I read to relax and don’t need to be scared or upset! ?
Mine are ridiculous, implausible storylines & scenes .. poor research on the geographic location.. sloppy proofreading/grammar.. Hate starting a book that’s got the greatest, most outstanding of 5* reviews, only to discover it’s written with all the above pet hates ? So many spring to mind where I’ve fallen foul to believing the reviews and I’m left questioning what was going through these readers’ minds that I see so differently. I need believability!
I agree with that. It is, as all, crime fiction, not crime fantasy 😉
@Lesley Exactly! And also why does every detective seem have to have the killer zoom in on members of their family, their police sidekick or the detective themselves? Serial killers/psychopaths just don’t sit there and decide to kill/kidnap parties close to the very person hunting them down! I guess it’s all just to create tense drama and climax of an ending ..otherwise it’d just be a boring straightforward police procedural ?
@Jan I have the builders in at the moment. One is now looking at me with a very worried expression as I experiment with murder weapons from his toolbox. All in the interests of accuracy, you understand 🙂
@Lesley ooh please excuse my ignorance! I didn’t realise you were an established author with a series of books! I’m from Hyde and Stockport was my shoppers playground… I’ve downloaded a free sample of the debut to the series to my kindle and am looking forward to getting to know Ted ?
@Jan Oh wow, thank you, how kind. Ted is one of the sponsors of Stockport Pride this year 🙂
@Lesley I wasn’t aware Stockport had its own Pride…how in the dark am I ? I thought it was just Manchester… when is Stockport’s?
@Jan 29th July, in the market place 🙂 I won’t be there, sadly, it’s a bit far from central France. But Ted will have a banner next to the main stage.
@Lesley ? thank you.. date duly noted! Enjoy central France and I’m sure Ted will do you proud ??️?
@Jan If it goes well I might just do the same next year and go over. Not been back to Stockport since 2007 🙂
@Lesley ? I’m sure you’ll notice a LOT of changes then if you do… the best stores closed and replaced and a new development behind Princes St. Central France sounds divine… I’ve enjoyed some wonderful holidays in the Provence region ?? near Manosque
@Jan I’m in the Auvergne, all volcanoes and red cows 🙂
@Jan I can see nearly 100 volcanoes from my garden, and it’s now a World Heritage site. Not my garden 🙂 The volcanic chain.
@Lesley you’re blessed with a wonderful vista ☺️ A far cry to the traffic choked, hustle & bustle of Stockport ?
@Jan Ah but the dear old viaduct is still so dramatic I used it on a cover 🙂
And a great cover image it is too 🙂
Unrealistic police investigative procedures.?
I don’t know if you have law enforcement experience, but as I nurse/hospital administration veteran, I cringe at the way healthcare & providers are often portrayed.
I was a journalist. Ditto.
Couldn’t agree more. That’s why I set up a service to help authors get their procedures right.
Alcoholic Detective whose wife died/murdered. Or daughter disappeared. Who breaks the law to solve cases for justice. Spends overtime consumed with said case. And the killer always gets sentenced or dies at the end after detective puts him/herself in danger alone with no back up. Yawn.
What Louise said
Much more fun to discover during the book that wife never actually died, but is the one who has orchestrated the daughter’s kidnap. Being mates with one of the husband’s colleagues, she gets the corruption wheel’s turning right up to the top and in the final scene we find the daughter murdered and the detective framed. Depending on the courage of the writer, the detective gets locked up or killed in the closing scene, too.
Can be as minor as a stupid name for character! JK Rawlings comoran has totally put me off!!
Cops eating fried egg sandwiches. Don’t they realise they trigger cravings? Heck, I wish I hadn’t run out of bread ?
Detectives who regularly almost die in every book, usually because they have broken cardinal rules and “go it alone”.
Paedophilia story lines- again-it’s overused (yes its horrific but it does seem to be used as a shock tactic far too frequently)
Detectives who can’t maintain a family/husband/wife relationship- I’m sure it is possible
Detectives who seem to be the only person on the police force and can never go home