Review of Unspeakable Acts by Janet Leigh Green (2 Stars)

Unspeakable Acts (McQueen Investigation Series Book 1) by Janet Leigh Green
Paranormal Horror Romance for Adults


First of all, I want to make it clear that this paranormal horror romance novel should be rated X/NR-17 (at least), not so much for the graphic sex, but rather for the sick psychopathic behavior including rape, torture, and murder. I definitely do not recommend this book for teenagers or anyone offended by such subject matter.

The book tells the story of a young woman who lives in a very old house haunted by four ghosts, three of whom are as sickeningly evil in death as they were in life. After being repeatedly raped by one of the ghosts while sleeping, she seeks the help of a three paranormal detectives, who eventually succeed in freeing her and the house from its evil inhabitants.

The basic premise and plot are interesting, and I very much liked the backstory. In the hands of a more talented writer, this book could have been an excellent chilling tale of horror for the more mature audience. Unfortunately, the author was not up to the challenge. There was far too much telling and not enough showing. There was a lot of unnecessary repetition, and the action dragged in spots. But the worst aspect of the book (and the reason I gave it 2 stars rather than 3) was simply the writing. Too often, the author employed simple declarative sentences at a reading level more appropriate for a younger audience than the subject matter demanded. In addition to a more sophisticated writing style, the book could greatly benefit from a good copy editing; grammar errors (especially missing commas) are numerous and the number of typos often jarred me out of the story.

Bottom Line: While the book holds a lot of promise (if for a somewhat niche market) and is worthy of a rewrite, I reluctantly recommend passing on this edition and waiting for the next.

About Donald

A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term “distinguished” makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray. By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.
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2 Responses to Review of Unspeakable Acts by Janet Leigh Green (2 Stars)

  1. I want to thank you for your honest review of my book; I appreciate your feedback very much. Unspeakable Acts was my first novel and unfortunately, although it was professionally edited, a lot was missed. I am in the process of a rewrite and re-edit. I was going to take the book down; but I had already committed to BOTM. I will remove it when I am ready to release the second edition. I hope you go back and read the book again when I’m done. I am learning as I go; and I have learned a lot from everyone at onlinebookclub. I hope your opinion of my talent changes as well when you see I am indeed “up to the challenge” Thank you again!

  2. Donald says:

    I am glad to see that you will rework the book. It shows a lot of potential, and I hesitated a long time over whether to give you a 2 or 3 star rating. I also know just how much good editing can help. I initially thought that my first Hell Holes book was pretty good, but I have been amazed at what my second editor found and just how much it has improved over the last year; it is now in its 4th edition. We are very lucky to live in the time of indie publishing, ebooks, and on-demand printing, in which we can constantly improve our work. My traditionally published technical books suffered greatly over time do to my inability to convince the publisher to let me do a second edition. Good luck, both with your rewrite and with your writing career.

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