Not only are there external characters I couldn’t care less about, but the two main characters who have kept me riveted over eighteen previous books don’t have an interesting enough story to give them anything to do. My favorite of the two characters is nothing more than an afterthought, and the interaction that made the duo famous is non-existent.
Another gripe, and yes, I know it’s a matter of writing style, but when the
character has a thought and then dialogue, I find it confusing when they're in two different paragraphs. It seems like padding, and when it happens throughout the book, it is
padding. This book is padded. Previous books might have been, but the story kept
me from noticing it or being annoyed by it.
Many successful authors can't judge when their series is becoming stale, but their readers sure do. It’s hard to keep a series fresh, and when you're publishing the twentieth or thirtieth book in the series, and there's an eager readership waiting, guaranteeing bestselling status, how can you quit? I'm having trouble keeping the fifth book in my series fresh, so how can I be so judgmental when an author reaches his twentieth book in the series? After reading the reviews of this book, many readers were as disappointed as I was. Instead, the story becomes repetitious in dialogue and devices. In this particular book, a homeless person becomes a witness to a murder. That would be fine, but this author has used that same device in a previous book. I know because I read it.
All genres have their own set of tropes or formulas, if you will. The books that leave an impression on me are ones where the author breaks the formula. Maybe the bad guy isn't the bad guy after all, or maybe the hero turns out to be a jerk. The high school sweethearts that meet again years later DON'T fall in love again. Yes, those things have happened, but I want a denouement I don't expect. A few more pet peeves are when a book is filled with unlikable characters I couldn't care less about; a book, even a serious book, with not one bit of humor; or a book that stretched credibility that's not in a genre that's supposed to stretch credibility.
I'm sure there are plenty more picky things that bother me, but those are enough pet peeves for today, folks. Tell me yours.
Polly Iyer is the author of ten novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, Indiscretion, and her newest, We Are But WARRIORS; a novella, The Last Heist; and four books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, Backlash and The Scent of Murder, with a fifth book on the way. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit Polly on her Amazon page and on Facebook.