Skip to main content

Review of "Operation Stop Hate" by Jessie Chandler

Operation Stop Hate
I am seriously torn about this book.  I like Ms. Chandler's writing style and being in her main character's head, but I have some big issues with some of the plot points that made it impossible for me to finish reading it.  I was excited to read it, although also worried that this was not the time to start reading a book that deals with mass shootings and terrorism--not with there being more mass shootings this year than there have been days.  I eventually decided to give it a try because at this rate, there would never be a good time to read it.  Even yesterday as I tried to get through it, there were reports of an active shooter on the campus of Arkansas State University.  Because of course there was.

Cailin McKenna loves her job with the NPIU--National Protective Investigative Unit, but it often has her dealing with things she would rather not have to contemplate.  Case in point: she's currently working with the police department, trying to find a connection between two school shootings in a matter of days.  To make matters worse?  She knows the shooter from the most recent case.  When it appears that the connection between the shootings is music from a Neo-Nazi label based out of Minneapolis, Cailin and the others in her unit search for more clues that a hate group is responsible for the shooters' actions through the messages in their lyrics.

The thing that bugs me the most is that music is apparently to blame for two teenagers shooting up their schools.  Yes, music can make you feel a certain way--there's a reason why I have a Cheer Me Up Spotify Playlist--but music cannot force someone to pull the trigger just as violent video games, television shows, and movies cannot.  The thing is that music has been blamed for so many things over the years.  People think that it started with Rock music, but that's not true.  Twenty years before rock was considered a tool of the Devil, the older generation said the same thing about Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (yes, the Rat Pack sewed discord, according to my Great Grandparents' generation).  In earlier years (and again later on), music was blamed for suggestive dancing  (Don't we all love Dirty Dancing?).  In the early 19th Century, women had to have permission from their parents to dance a waltz before heading out onto the dance floor with potential suitors because that type of dancing involved being held much closer than older styles (aka the more appropriate kind of dancing), which supposedly made everyone horny.  Music was blamed for this because if waltz-like music wasn't made, then no one would be waltzing.  Oh, those strict Regency morals.

Don't even get me started on the Rock Around the Clock riot in Munich back in the mid-1950's.  Obviously, Bill Haley and the Comets wanted people to tear each other apart.  That's totally what that song is about, right?

Then, of course, there were the 80's when the Reagan and Bush administrations thought that heavy metal music could contribute to delinquency of minors and suicide.  There was even a court case against Judas Priest because two kids committed suicide after listening to their album, Stained Glass.

In the 90's when I was still in elementary school everyone blamed Marilyn Manson music for the Columbine School Shooting--even kids in my class (mostly because that's what they heard from their parents, who were just aping the media's stance on the situation).  Marilyn Manson did not cause Columbine.  Wagner did not cause Nazism despite being Hitler's preferred music.

I get that everyone is entitled to their opinions, no matter what erroneous information they are based upon, but should anyone be spreading such nonsense as music causing violent behavior?  I think that is almost as dangerous is spreading hateful, Islamophobic rhetoric despite all evidence pointing to the exact opposite of anything one specific Right-Wing Nutjob claims.

I digress.

I did have other problems with this book; pacing being a big one.  The prologue has you at the edge of your seat as you're in the shooter's head while he's killing his classmates.  Then, as soon as the first chapter starts the action stops, focusing more on Cailin's personal life than on the details of the case.  Now, if this was listed as a romance, I wouldn't have a problem with this, and when I'm reading romantic suspense, I tend to get annoyed when there is a greater focus on the procedural aspects of the case than on the romance.  This, however, is labeled as a mystery/thriller.  I want to know about the case, not about Cailin's psycho ex-girlfriend.

Another big problem was that this is listed as being the first book in a series, but it doesn't read like that.  Instead, it feels like you're dropped into the middle of a series.  There are all kinds of hints at this other big case that Cailin was involved in and about the romance that developed with her current girlfriend, Alex, during that case.  It just doesn't make sense.  I kept having to go back to the book's Netgalley page to make sure that it did in fact say that this was the first in the series.

Combined with everything I mentioned in yesterday's Video of the Day post (odd pop culture details that fit more with 2004-2005 than with 2014-2015), this was just too much for me.  It really is a pity because I wanted to like this so much.



Popular posts from this blog

Review of "The Other Miss Bridgerton" by Julia Quinn

Title: The Other Miss Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesby #3
Publisher: Avon
Price: $6.99 (e-book) $5.77 (mass market paperback) $21.55 (Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 I love Julia Quinn.  A few years ago, I stumbled upon Just Like Heaven in the Howard Beach library; I'd heard of Ms. Quinn before, but hadn't actually read one of her books.  Immediately after finishing the book, Marcus and Honoria became one of my favorite hero/heroine pairings ever.  I'm probably going to be diving back into the Smythe-Smith books again soon because despite reading all of the Bridgerton books, the Smythe-Smith series is still my absolute favorite Quinn series.  The Rokesby series is giving it a run for its money, though (I've read Because of Miss Bridgerton at least four times since it was published in 2016).  Is it wrong that I want another book already?  Sure, The Other Miss Bridgerton came out just last week, but one is never enough, right? From the Publisher:
She was in the wrong p…

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)

Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:

Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

It's Not Me; It's You--A Review of "Shelter in Place" by Nora Roberts

Title: Shelter in Place
Author: Nora Roberts
ISBN: 1250161592
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Price: $14.99 (e-book) $16.49 (hardcover) $23.95 (Audible)

Over the last few years, I have found myself reading fewer Nora Roberts novels.  In the past, she was my go-to author, an auto-buy, someone I knew whose work would never disappoint me.  Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.  While her prose is still beautiful and effortlessly depicts all manner of situations, her stories have become stale (recycling plots from other books is a big part of my problem with her) and it seems that she is less inclined to writing actual romances.  I was actually really excited about Shelter in Place because it wasn't like anything else I've read by her--and that sounded like a good thing.  What I got was a book that wasn't really sure what it was or what it wanted to be.

From the Publisher:
From Nora Roberts, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Year One (December 2017), comes…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)

It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Kiss Me At Christmas" by Valerie Bowman

Title: Kiss Me At Christmas Author: Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #10
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Price: $7.99 (e-book) $5.98 (mass market paperback)
Christmas Rating: 🎅🎅 1/2

I guess it is that time of year again--it is finally acceptable to listen to Christmas music on repeat!  Yes!  Unfortunately, I read this book in October and was getting a lot of weird looks when people heard snippets of Shake Up Christmas.  Honestly, this wasn't the earliest I've listened to Christmas music.  That honor goes to my review of Snowfall on Haven Point for the Smart Bitches, which I wrote in the middle of one of the worst heat waves in Northern California back in June of 2017.  But you're not here for a recitation of my Christmas music woes, so let's do this thing.

London, December 1818
Lady Regina Haversham’s thirtieth birthday was precisely one month away, which didn’t leave her much time to lose her virginity. Not that she wanted it lost. S…