DNF Review: Murder on the Rocks by Clara Nipper

“I’m fighting crime with my twat.”


Bold Stroke Books | 2016

DNF @ 52%

Filed Under: The Case of the Unexpected Butt Plug

Soooooo, honestly what the fuck is this? It’s been a while since I read something this cringe-worthy.

Part of my bookish New Years’ resolution is to tackle my backlog of Netgalley arcs that I’ve been slacking on reading so hard that it’s kind of embarrassing at this point. This is one of the books in my backlog. And it’s going to be my first ever DNF.

That’s right, this book has forced me to turn over a new leaf – my DNF leaf. That’s a thing.

First of all, let’s talk about how this is presented to the reader – as a detective crime fiction novel. But, as far as I read, this book fits that category in only the most basic sense.

The main character, Jill Roberts, is a detective. Check.

She visits a couple of crime scenes. Check.

And that’s about it.

There is no investigation work done for the reader to take part in, the police work aspect is more backdrop than actual story, and everything in between were inconsequential personal scenes that are rough, obscene, ridiculous, and sometimes offensive (depending on your sensibilities) or just plain weird.

The writing was choppy and underdeveloped creating transitions between moments or scenes that were vague and disjointed. Multiple times I had to go back and re-read paragraphs to find out what information I’d missed that explained getting from point A to point B.

what is happening steve carell GIF by Saturday Night Live

Detective Roberts describes herself as a top-notch, gifted detective and no other detective can touch her skills. But her boss seems to hate her – actually most people seem to hate her – and there are no real moments during what I read that would demonstrate that she’s better at her job than any other detective could be had they not been written as misogynistic, bumbling bags of fermented douche. I don’t know that better than awful is really a bar to be proud of reaching.

The book opens with a dead body and bullet wounds that haven’t bled, but the body is covered in blood. The scene ends with some CSI: Miami level dialogue hook before the credits roll where Roberts asks, “then whose blood is this?” And I’m thinking, Oooo this could be interesting. Except that case is literally never picked up again??? Okay, Horatio.

Detective Roberts was instantly unlikable on the first page and by the time I stopped reading things had only gotten worse. She is, to put it in the most concise terms, a giant fucking asshole. I think the intention was to write a witty, tough female lead, but what you get is a rude, insensitive dick who is dismissive of everyone around her and doesn’t think about anyone but herself. It’s like the author took every unlikable male cop stereotype and just change the gender. And there was no backstory that would have allowed the reader to feel even a smidgen of empathy for her.

The dialogue, on the plus side, was fast and snappy, but the content of the dialogue was brash, borderline racist in spots, occasionally misogynistic and not funny even though it seemed to desperately want to be. Roberts also had a catchphrase that was overused, and by overused I mean I didn’t even want to hear it the first time, “fuck god in the eyeball.”

Listen, I’m not religious and have been known to piss off my religious family members with my various heathenings, but that line is so stupid I’m offended just on the grounds of quality.

I think what this book is better categorized as is erotica, featuring a toxic romance between Jill and her ex-girlfriend, Sophie. Jill is possessive and emotionally abusive and Sophie is stuck in that cycle, even when she’s moved on to a new relationship.

That’s just not my genre. Erotic writing makes me want to crawl out of my skin. I can’t read it. I’ve tried! And to get erotica when I thought I was getting crime fiction? Instead of solving a mystery, we’re having kinky sex? Please stop.

The minute the butt plugs and strap-ons came out, in explicit detail, I had to drop this.

If you’re into F/F erotica, this might be for you. Erotica is not my thing, in any form, and it’s definitely not my thing when it’s wrapped itself up in crime fiction sheep’s clothing. You can’t surprise people with sex like this.

For me, this was awful and I can’t finish it or recommend it to anyone in good conscience.


Murder is a seductive story that keeps Detective Jill Rogers hypnotized and soothes her road-hungry feet. Money and murder—the world’s most fascinating subjects. Jill quit romance when she left Sophie Walsh, the love of her life, starved and hurting. Love is for sunny, squishy people, and Jill is dark. 

A few things Jill knows for sure: the more violent the crime, the closer the relationship is between victim and murderer. Murder investigation is a two-piece puzzle. One piece is the crime scene and it forms half the picture; the other is the witnesses and suspects. Ideally, the two halves come together and form a complete whole and the case is solved. If they don’t, either Jill made a mistake or someone is lying. And she doesn’t make mistakes.

Book source: The publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

9 thoughts on “DNF Review: Murder on the Rocks by Clara Nipper

  1. Omg wtf… What is wrong with the author? I hate it when they use words for effect instead of a story… And you are bang on (pun unintended) this was more like a male protagonist wearing female title…
    Woman was dragged by car scene was hilarious – where is the forensics in that?
    Beautiful, beautiful post loved your clarity…
    You should have stopped reading at 10%…but I can understand why you gave it a chance, sometimes books get better later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? I have no idea what she was thinking – to me you write to get the story out. I don’t know why this was the story that needed to get out LOL. I always feel bad about DNFing an arc, but better someone who likes it give it a full review.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ” I mean, the butt plug was unexpected so…”
    I literally choked on my juice. This review is everything I never knew i needed. wow. I’m sorry that you had to endure this shit show but thank you for keeping me from requesting it! lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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