Stalking Sapphire: A Thriller

Stalking Sapphire - Mia Thompson A galley copy was provided free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I can’t remember the last time I read such a mean spirited, poorly characterized, stereotype-heavy, racist, and all around hateful book as this one. This book hated every one of its characters. I don’t mean I hated them, though that happened, too. I mean the book hated its own characters.I’m serious, this book hates everyone. It’s a book about celebrity society that hates celebrities, so it paints EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM as being vain, shallow, and verging on too stupid to live. There is no nuance here, people. Picture the most over the top, cartoonish portrayal of a valley-girl brat. Now magnify that amount of ridiculous by a thousand. You might – might – be near the level of contempt this book has for its own subject matter. Not only is every single rich person stupid and spoiled, there’s not even any acknowledgement that there could be smart rich people lingering off-page. Nope, this book doesn’t allow for that. ALL RICH BEVERLY HILLS PEOPLE ARE SCUM, it screams at you, relentlessly, in the vain hope of scoring some points.Sheesh, I’m not a fan of the extreme gap between the wealthy and middle class, either, but at least put some nuance into things.Oh, and let’s not forget the racism. The Hispanic housekeeper can’t speak proper English, and her accent is written out. The French shop owner has his accent phoneticized so badly that it’s near impossible to understand what he’s saying. The only Asian woman to show up keeps repeated the word “yes” to everything and appears to be unable to form complete sentences or even react to her environment.As a bonus treat, we get pretty extreme slut shaming as well. Every woman in this book that we’re not supposed to sympathize with is an overt horndog, and the book is not kind to them for it. Most women exist only to drool over Aston and show off what a hot piece of man-meat he is, and Aston gleefully objectifies and demonizes them in his own head, right before he sleeps with them and then forgets their names the next day.Oh yeah, let’s talk about Aston. He’s a complete shitbag. I don’t mean he’s a bad boy or kind of rough and rude. No. He’s the shittiest douchcanoe I’ve read about all year. He is a horrible human being. I wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire, that’s how much I hate this guy. Not only is he horrible to everyone he meets, he’s got to be the worst cop on the face of the planet. The reckless handling of his own firearm alone would make me want to kneecap him, but that’s just the start of his incompetence. As for Sapphire? She’s an idiot. Her motivation is non-existent, her sleuthing skills are informed and never shown, she’s selfish and self- righteous, she’s a horrible friend, and she’s kind of a moron. Why did Sapphire start hunting serial killers? Who knows! Apparently it gives her a rush, but that’s the best we get, which isn’t nearly enough for something that takes this level of dedication and shitfuckery. She barely does any investigating in this book, and what she does do comes down to luck and assumptions, not skills. Throughout the book, she also continually refuses to go to the police, despite the fact that a girl’s life is at stake and the police have more freedom, experience, and resources than she does. She claims that the police wouldn’t solve it as fast as she could, but we never see any proof of her being so much better than the boys in blue.“But Whitley,” you ask. “Surely there was something good about the book? Nothing can be all bad!” Well, fine, the structure of the plot was good. It built up a decent mystery and the plotting and pacing went smoothly. But that was it. The romantic chemistry was nonexistent, the writing was juvenile and full of ridiculous lapses in logic and stereotypes, and both main characters made me want to punch them in the face. What little was good in this book got overshadowed by the mountain of horrible.