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72 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Apparently the previous commentators are all PhD writers with Pulitzer and other prizes, otherwise they'd only sound self-serving. This book is what a casual reader will expect of a novel......it is fast-paced, it holds interest, and is written to entertain. If it were written to be serious literature or investigative journalism, it would be a very different story. As...
Published 20 months ago by Chad Spawr

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110 of 126 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a Runny Egg
The Millstone Prophecy was loaned to me by a friend who asked for my honest opinion on the novel. Criticizing anyone's creative work is never a joyful task. In the author's defense I understand how difficult it is to 1) write and 2) write well. However, not offering an honest criticism in the face of twenty-four 5-Star ratings would be doing future readers and the...
Published on January 27, 2012 by Skadoo


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110 of 126 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a Runny Egg, January 27, 2012
This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Paperback)
The Millstone Prophecy was loaned to me by a friend who asked for my honest opinion on the novel. Criticizing anyone's creative work is never a joyful task. In the author's defense I understand how difficult it is to 1) write and 2) write well. However, not offering an honest criticism in the face of twenty-four 5-Star ratings would be doing future readers and the author a disservice. I wouldn't buy a boat, find that it leaks, and not tell the boat builder his work is flawed.

I'll keep this simple: the storyline of Millstone Prophecy is weak, predictable and rife with clichés and stereotypes. The hero 9/11 cop, lesbian detective with attitude and pervert priest is the stuff of made for TV movies. The characters are thin and lifeless; I honestly could not like, dislike, sympathize or otherwise identify with any of the characters because the author didn't take the time and effort to develop them. Too much energy was put into trying to make each chapter akin to a Fox News Alert with little or no attempt towards character development. What is more, the protagonist's morphing into a famous literary detective is bizarre and more fitting for a 1980s Leslie Nielsen spoof film than a serious attempt at fiction. From a technical standpoint the novel is flawed, and in some cases terribly flawed. Apparently, the author did no research on his alleged home town (MY home town), or how real NYPD detectives work. I question the credentials of his NYPD technical advisor.

All that being said, I do applaud the author's effort. I think I see where he was trying to go with this novel; a sort of Dan Brown meets Clive Cussler meets Lawrence Sanders mix. He didn't pull it off. In short, reading Millstone Prophecy was like ordering a hard-boiled egg and finding, once I cut into it, that the inside is runny and undercooked.

Lastly, this is a self-published work, which raises my antennas from the starting gate. Perhaps if the book was published through traditional means versus self-publication it would have met with more critical review before/IF it hit the presses and, more importantly, given the author greater guidance on how to perfect his craft. Good fiction does not come easy. Like the undercooked egg, more time in the pan could have led to a more desirable finished product.

Footnote: an article that I read this morning in the New York Times [...] discusses vendors who commission false 5-Star ratings for their products on Amazon.com in an effort to boost sales. I certainly hope that book reviews are not included in this practice.
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish attempt-- needs thorugh editing, April 12, 2012
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This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
I am only into this book 12% and already have over 20 notes regarding editing issues. This author seems to be trying to write in a complex manner and is not pulling it off. There are SO many grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and improper word usage errors it is irritating.

I am tired of stopping my reading to make notes in my kindle. I usually make notes for myself when I start to see a plethora of errors, so I can be precise in my review but this is getting ridiculous. I can hardly get through an entire page without finding something wrong.

Trying to write complexly often gets amateurs in trouble. What they THINK come off as wonderfully flowing words wind up a literary nightmare. Simple is better, especially if you are not a student of English or journalism.

It takes a reasonable command of the English language to write well. You don't start sentences with "but", you don't throw commas in wherever you feel like it Many of the sentences are extremely poorly written, and are either awkward or confusing.

Unfortunately, with so much self publishing going in these days, books that are not edited or are poorly edited are becoming too common.

This author needs to get someone who is very good at editing to help him/her re-write this book. It needs to be re-written from start to finish.

I suggest this be his/her last attempt at a novel unless he/she brushes up on English grammar.

I am amazed this book has so many "gold stars"...it sure does not deserve them.

Edit: I have completed this book and would like to add to my review. The plot in this book is one that could be a good novel, but the author simply tried too hard. There are a lot of grammatical errors, punctuation errors, run on sentences, incomplete sentences, sentences that are awkward or confusing. Some of the idioms are incorrectly written (such as arm and arm, when it should be arm in arm). I could not tell if shutter instead of shudder was a typo or a mis-use as the author got it right (once) and wrong twice.

Overall, this book drags. There is no sense of urgency, nothing that really hooks you in and makes you want to read furiously to the end. I found it to be slow reading, especially when I ran across sentences that did not make sense as written, when there were words left out of a sentence etc.

I suggest the author read this book himself, one more time, and spend time re-working many of the sentences in the book. Often times I found myself imagining the simple changes it would have taken to make a sentence better. I suggest the author stop beginning sentences with "being that"...

The author tries too hard...and uses too many "tricks" adding things to the story that just don't need to be there (such as the mention of the gay police). The romance is not believable. After knowing each other 4 days, just not believable that they are using terms dear, darling every time you turn around, and certainly not believable that they have fallen in love in 4 days...There are several things in the book that just are not believable. The author needs to ask himself throughout the book "is this believable?".

This author has potential, but this book reads more like the first draft. It needs a lot of work.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not well researched, needs editing, July 7, 2012
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This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
As some other people have given 1 or 2 stars, I can say they are spot on. I would like to add some comments on the badly researched part where the main characters travel to Europe. The author tried to give an international flair by having the italian cop's language sprinkled with italian expressions, - but otherwise expressing themselves with a highly literary and complex english, the way not even english people speak. Same for the Belgian, sprinkling French- but worst were the German people. Dear Author, it is Die Ratte, not Das Ratte, and the invented words moeder and meneer... I assume this was supposed to mean Mutter (mother) and Mein Herr? and then suddenly.. the book was over! the whole grand finale was bunged into an epilogue. To bad, the idea of the story was actually not bad at all, but this was more of a students attempt to write a paper in Dan Browne style, but not something to be published.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, April 13, 2013
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This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Paperback)
Apparently the previous commentators are all PhD writers with Pulitzer and other prizes, otherwise they'd only sound self-serving. This book is what a casual reader will expect of a novel......it is fast-paced, it holds interest, and is written to entertain. If it were written to be serious literature or investigative journalism, it would be a very different story. As it is, it is what many other novel writers achieve......a good story, a good plot, a fast pace, and lots of intrigue to keep a variety of readers interested.

The previous objections seem pretty consistent with folks who just have to find something negative to say. That can be said of any works by Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck (and probably were). This is not intended to be great literature, just a good read that keeps the reader's interest.

Good job, Jack. I enjoyed it and will read anything else you publish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book, March 22, 2013
This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
Like the others I have read, it kept you on the edge, wondering just what was about to happen. When you think you have it....you don't. Like the structure of the story, and the slow build to the end. Thanks for a great read. Arthur Decker, Bristol, Connecticut.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, March 21, 2013
This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved all of the Michigan references since I am from Michigan. I found this book to have some surprises in it and that always makes a book enjoyable to me. I will definitely be looking for more books from this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abuse, February 18, 2013
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This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
This is a very well written and though book with lots of suspense. The story well bring tears and also joy to the reader. Has a lot of short chapters but really well spelled out from chapter to chapter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, February 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
It was a slow starting story, but stick with it. The last few chapters are very very interesting. The story is taken from todays
headlines. It was ironic how while I was reading this book, The Pope, in real life resigned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging telling of a troubling story, February 10, 2013
This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
The sexual abuse of children by anyone is terrible, and by clergy it is especially horrific. This tale of abuse and the search for justice is compelling and, despite the subject, exciting. I was engaged from beginning to end, and look forward to more offerings from Jack Harney. I hope there will be a "series" of some sort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, July 1, 2012
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This review is from: The Millstone Prophecy (Kindle Edition)
I expected a little more from this book and this author. Very predictable and full over overused sterotypes. I kept waiting for the storyline to pick up speed and intensity - it never did. Too bad.
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The Millstone Prophecy
The Millstone Prophecy by Jack Harney
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