PRAISE HER, PRAISE DIANA REVIEWS

We will be posting all of our reviews for PRAISE HER, PRAISE DIANA on this page.

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May 9, 2015 — J.B. Johnson, Brook Cottage Books — 4 Stars

Praise Her, Praise Diana is one of those books that shocks, mesmerizes and makes you go ‘ohhhhhhhh’ all at the same time! Its definitely not a book for the faint-hearted with some pretty graphic scenes. The book covers such topics as rape, abuse, feminism, sexuality and of course love. Diana is killing men in revenge for being raped. She isn’t just killing them though. She is hunting them. Stalking them. Murdering them without mercy or remorse. And, she appears to be copying the murders in a book that author Maggie Edwards is writing. Diana is obsessed with ridding the world of abusive men and her call to fellow feminists seems to spark interest in an extreme feminist group who appear to take her at her word and become her ‘followers’. The book plays host to many strong female characters.

The book is interesting in that it explores Feminism to the extreme and makes us question what justice actually means. How far should one person go to get that justice? Is the punishment justifiable? Does it fit the crime? This is a gritty book that sees female vigilantes taking a stand against men who have committed sexual crimes against women. Are they doing the wrong thing for the right reason? That is the moral dilemma the reader will face. An intriguing read and one I really enjoyed. Definitely a book that will make you sit up and take notice and will have you thinking about it long after you have finished it. This book is food for your brain and I love books that make me think about my own views and question what I would do if faced with a similar circumstance. My only gripe is that there are a host of characters in the book to get your head around but that was more to do with me than the book. Highly recommended but only for readers of 18+.

March 1, 2015 — Matthew Peters

Praise Her, Praise Diana by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks is fiction of the highest order. It tells the story of Jane Larsen, a Manhattan lawyer, whose newest client is an author. Unable to write the sequel to her popular first book, Maggie Edwards pens a gruesome tale of revenge murders for a hideous rape. But when copycat killings start to happen throughout the city, the line between fact and fiction is blurred. Will the identity of the killer be discovered before it is too late?

This extremely well written book grabs you from the beginning and won’t let you do anything but read until you’ve reached the end. The characters are drawn with a deft hand, and the settings are described in perfect, lyrical detail. The pacing is stupendous, as you tear through the pages in an effort to discover the killer’s identity.

I really didn’t want this book to end, and for me, with a huge TBR list, that is saying something. Rarely does a book capture my imagination and hold my attention as this one did. If I could give it six stars, I would. I can’t wait to read more from this highly talented husband and wife duo. Kudos to the authors on a remarkable job!

February 19, 2015 — Amanda, The Darling Bookworm

Praise Her, Praise Diana was generously sent to me by the authors in exchange for an honest review. As my blog states, I’m open to review requests from authors and publishers, but because I can be so picky about the books I choose to read, I get a little nervous about what sort of books may come my way. When I first read the premise for this book though, I was so excited to read it, because it definitely sounded like a book I would have chosen for myself, and upon finishing it, I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.Praise Her, Praise Diana is written by husband and wife duo Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks, and the story they’ve written together in this book is something I can only compare to as like an onion – full of layers that you, as the reader, must peel back chapter by chapter in order to reveal all the little secrets that dwell within the lives and hearts of the book’s characters.The book has a lot of characters, but the heart of the story really begins and revolves around a woman named Maggie. She’s the author of a well-known and well-loved book called Getting There, and she’s been hired to write its long awaited sequel to be serialized within a women’s magazine. But before she can even get started on writing it, she gets a mysterious phone call from an unknown woman, commanding her to ditch the Getting There sequel and instead write a story about a woman named Diana who slinks around New York City exacting violent, murderous revenge on men who’ve committed rape and sexual assault against both herself and other women – or else she’ll expose Maggie’s most deepest and darkest secret (and what that secret is, the reader has no idea til the very end). But because Maggie had a contract with the magazine to serialize the sequel to her famous work and broke it by submitting the “Diana” chapters instead, she hires a young, sassy lawyer named Jane Larson to help her smooth over the legal issues of it all.That might seem all fine and dandy at first glance, but the thing is: as Maggie continues to submit the Diana chapters to the magazine, the city of New York is thrown into chaos when a woman calling herself Diana begins to reenact Maggie’s story for real, leaving secret notes and severed body parts of her male victims (and I’m sure you can figure out which body parts those are) for others to find. Nobody knows who is behind the real Diana acts, and the police (some of them extremely corrupt) scramble to find her – all the while, members of a radical section of a feminist group find strength and encouragement through Maggie’s story and Diana’s actions, and begin to take matters into their own hands dealing with misogynistic and abusive men.

From beginning, middle to end, Praise Her, Praise Diana is filled to the brim with a slew of highly developed characters (seriously, there are a lot of characters) and plots within plots (remember, with the Diana chapters thrown into the mix, this is almost like reading two different books at the exact same time… plus, all of what I’ve described is still only just the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in this book). And while that may seem really complicated, it definitely makes for a juicy and addictive read that’s totally worth it. Once you get started, you’ll be aching to know the truth of it all – who Diana really is, Maggie’s big secrets, how this all comes to a head, etc – and will have you sitting back questioning your ideas of justice, your opinions on revenge, and your views on whether some people, depending on their actions, deserve death.

Right off the bat, I have to mention how well Anne and Ken write together. Each chapter flows easily into the next, and I didn’t feel like any segments of the book were choppy or disjointed, which is something I’ve unfortunately come across in the past regarding certain books co-authored by more than one person. Especially taking into account how layered this book is, that’s a really big accomplishment.

I really enjoyed Praise Her, Praise Diana, as you may have already guessed. It has such a unique and twisted plot, and the development of the characters was really well considered. As a young woman who considers herself a feminist and, like most women, all too aware of the rape culture we live in, I can’t say that I didn’t absolutely love the idea of certain role reversals taking place between men and women in this book and having men be inflicted with constant fear. It wasn’t women who were scared of walking down the streets alone at night or encountering strangers now – it was men! And I think the play on that can really open up a lot of important discussions we as a society should definitely be having. With that said, and keeping in mind how extreme some of what I just described might sound, I honestly felt like the subject matter of this book was dealt with both respectfully and boldly all at the same time. Again, it’s definitely the sort of book I can totally picture both women and men having some really animated and frank discussions about.

Praise Her, Praise Diana is a book I know I’ll be thinking about for weeks to come, and one I must add to my list of novels to recommend to those whom I feel are ready for the likes of Diana. The book can be quite graphic at times, which may be something to keep in mind depending on your own personal preferences, but in my opinion should not be something to deter you away from checking this book out if it initially catches your interest, as I feel the graphic nature is just something you’d have to go in expecting from such a book with this sort of subject matter. All in all, I give this one 4 stars out of 5!

Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn) February 8, 2015 5 stars
Congratulations on your marriage a miracle in itself.I want to add on to your dedication as a former crisis social worker all child/adult male/female, international sex trade, porn industry, war torn, poverty stricken or uprising/on-going religious faith victims of any sort of violence need help. Their lives are ruined forever. Of course most can move on, counseling, medication, & huge sums of money awarded in few select court cases, come on.
But is life ever quite the same? Mine wasn’t. Every once in a while those memories will come back to you.I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.A very awesome spooky book cover, great font & writing style. Wow, a very well written who-dun-it vigilante crime book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were a few grammar/typo errors (word spacing), but no repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & an enormous set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great domestic violence movie (Charles Bronson, Jodi Foster), PP presentation or mini TV series (A & E, History channel). A remarkable ending. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.Thank you for the free Goodreads; PDF book

Anonymous, January 31, 2015, 5 stars
Wow!!! The most creative, complex, daring thriller I’ve read. The book addresses pertinent issues in an intelligent, thought-provoking manner.
Great character development,insightful observations and plot twists and suspense that will keep you hooked until the very end. Loved it!
Michael Arches, Independent Reviewer, January 31, 2015, 4 Stars
This story tackles one of the most searing emotional and societal issues of our time, namely sexual violence against women and why we can’t seem to stop it. The main character is an author, Maggie, who is pressured by a mysterious person named Diana to tell the story of one victim of rape. When Maggie begins to write the story, it incites outrage in New York City, and then Diana and a group of female vigilantes begin attacking male sexual predators. That is something the police simply can’t tolerate, particularly since some of the predators happen to wear a uniform.This riveting story is told from the perspective of many women, each with their own take on things. Their feelings and opinions are natural and heartbreaking, but because the authors look at things from so many angles, we don’t experience the story as intensely as if we were in Maggie’s head all the time.The writing is first-class, and the only reason I give the book four stars instead of five is that Maggie carries a secret through the whole story. It’s something that preys on her constantly, but despite the fact that we’re privy to her thoughts much of the time, the authors keep the reader in the dark until the end. I would’ve preferred to know the secret early and agonize with Maggie as she struggles with whether to reveal what she knows and whether she can accept the consequences.Overall, if you like dark, emotionally intense mysteries, you will like Praise Her, Praise Diana.
Ellen Lafleche-Christian, December 26, 2014, 5 Stars
Praise Her, Praise Diana is a book that I could not put down. It has some triggers in it so if abuse or LGBT topics are not for you, you may want to pass over it. While neither of those topics are ones that I typically enjoy reading, I found the story intriguing and was hooked until the last page. If you enjoy thrillers, Praise Her Praise Diana is definitely one you’ll want to read.

Fran Lewis, Author and Independent Reviewer — Five Stars — December 9, 2014

“Praise Her! Praise Diana: Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks

Justice: What’s your definition and how would you define it? Each one of us wants those who inflict us with pain or injury to pay for what they did. But, what is the process or result of following the laws to judge this person and punish their crime is not enough to make them pay for what they did to you? Justice according to the dictionary is the “ the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice) However, there are times that impartial justice gets cast aside, laws tabled and someone’s own brand of vigilance takes hold. Diana! Just who is she? Is she a character in a novel or is she someone that is hiding in plain site in front of you? Maggie Edwards needs to finance her own apartment, pay her bills and although her first novel was a huge success it’s time to move on to the next. But, what she creates and why will give readers chills, tingles and leave you cold. Diana real or fictitious is a cold-blooded killer who has taken on the male population making them pay for the abuses they’ve inflicted not only on her but other women too. Receiving a phone from a mysterious caller claiming to be Diana. The words spoken are bone chilling, the implications daunting and the end result will send you right to the next page and on and on until you learn just who this diabolical killer is or maybe you will Praise Her Praise Diana, for her actions!

Chapter 2 begins the novel within the novel as Maggie takes the plunge, writes the story telling readers just why and how Diana came to be attacked, raped, tortured and kidnapped by two men. Hitchhiking can be dangerous and any young girl reading this story and Diana’s account of what she endured will surely learn a serious lesson about the dangers our taking rides from strangers.

Writing her chapters and sharing them with readers, Maggie comes to a serious roadblock when her editor and publisher want to serialize her story in their weekly magazine. But, she has committed the chapter to the New York Portal and Heather Burke, who will stop at nothing to make sure she keeps sending those chapters. One phone call that she cannot ignore and one writer being forced into telling the story of this elusive woman whose goal it is to hand down her own brand of justice to any male who has raped or tortured a woman by taking away the one thing he needs to continue his spree. But, deals are made, publisher and magazine editor in agreement, threats to sue, and then the unthinkable happens. Someone is enacting what Diana has described as Maggie tells her story. Diana or someone who has decided to become Diana has begun sending messages to those involved. Body parts delivered neatly wrapped. Notes and graphic pictures telling their own story to make the public aware of not just her story but also many others come to light as well.

While completing the deal with the publisher and the rogue editor Heather, Maggie’s lawyer and friend Jane Larson both realize that there is more to this story and whomever is doing this has another agenda. Receiving phone calls egging her on and making her realize that she has no other choice but to continue writing this story the author includes several other subplots that bring the issues of spouse, emotional and sexual abuse to light. Making the deal with the Portal created quite a stir. Promising a second novel called Staying There was no longer possible or Maggie’s goal. Interests handled and the next installment being written but not before the author adds in another layer. WPW or Women Protecting Women is a powerful organization that Maggie, Jane and many of her friends sponsor and belong. A special art showing at a gallery called the Iphigenia Gallery in New York would be the center of controversy where a special fundraiser for WPW is being held. Ellen the gallery owner, Sheila, a member, Ari and others would hopefully come together to help raise money for the organization. But, not everyone wants this to go off without a hitch and receiving a package wrapped up in butcher paper lets you know that it’s not a piece of meat from a butcher but someone sending everyone a dark and dangerous message. Read more about Diana in her own words as she winds up leaving NYC finding herself kidnapped in the back of a car but no knowing it at first and being used as a pawn, slave and sex toy for two men. Just how this scene plays out is quite graphic as the authors present the facts in a realistic and colorful way.

Justice comes when you least expect it and all too often you get what you deserve. One young girl would learn the meaning of deceit, lies and deception as Jane Larson has issued an order of protection for her against her husband, but this young girl is weak, naïve as Mariana Morales should have listened to Jane and kept her door locked.

Not everyone believes in the mantra of WPW and other voices are going to be heard as we hear Judith Frazier speaking out countermanding what WPW stands for, telling women to speak out and presenting her point of view. Judith was a victim of abuse by a family member and she never recovered as so many never do. Her friendship with one of the members allows her the latitude to join in some of the meetings, an on air interview and the fundraiser. Clashing with the group and the police does not stop Judith but will anyone stop her or does she know something about Diana that we have not found out?

Jane is living with a photographer named David and from this point on she learns just how little she can trust him sending her into the arms of someone else. Maggie and Jane decide to leave town and spend the weekend in Maggie’s house miles away from New York. Diana was determined to have her story told and now with two deals made the Portal and the new insert in Femme, her story will reach more readers and the end result just might make Maggie famous. But, at what cost and whose?

Not everyone is who they seem and the police come into the picture as we meet Detectives Glaser and Smalley but not before Jane, Judith and Maggie present their viewpoints on air. An interview that will keep you guessing and a story that seems to get better every step of the way as a woman’s group called the Eumenides a feminist group begins to take on their own picture or role of Diana, dressing the way she does and attacking and killing males adding more the violence and giving new meaning to the word Revenge. But, Maggie is pressured and she and Jane need time alone to sort things out as their weekend away turns into more between them. Added in we learn about Jane’s mom Martha who originally ran her firm and whose files the police would like to have but Jane will not share them. Added in one-woman claims to have scene Diana, knows who she is but will not reveal her name. Grand Jury convening, subpoenaed but Maureen will not budge.

Two detectives working hard to find out just who is behind the killings yet no one willing to tell. Added in we hear the voices of two cops, that have gone bad causing one woman to disappear after having a night of folly the one man’s girlfriend. The issue of sexual abuse and emotional abuse comes out very strong as we learn more about Jane and her own demons that she has to bear. But, not everyone wants this solved and someone has decided to take out one of the detectives but why? What is behind this killing? Is it Diana or someone else? Why do the authors say at the start that Marissa is dead? Who is Marissa and what part does she play, as she is the character in Getting There Maggie’s first novel.

Authors Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks have created a top notch novel filled with graphic scenes, characters that are well crafted who present their viewpoints in their own way as if they are speaking to the audience reading and hearing their story and in Diana’s own words to understand or try to understand why? When truths come out and lies unfold just who Diana’s and why she has enacted her own form of vengeance might not startle, shock or surprise readers. Just what is Maggie’s secret and what is her connection to Diana? A final protest will reveal it all and the end will make you wonder just how far someone will go to avenge a death! Just how far will someone go for Justice? Secrets, lies, betrayals, deceptions and no one are safe? Who deserves to die? Which man gets what he deserves? Why would Diana go after a woman? Role reversals are quite apparent as men are now on the you might say chopping block and being held accountable for their taunts, actions and abuse of women? But, should all of them suffer? Stereotyping is definitely brought to light in both the men and women characters within this complex novel. Praise Her! Praise Diana! What do you think? Should we? Just who you won’t believe!

The authors provide a great forum for discussion on each of the issues brought to light within this five star novel. ”

Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Link to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1127521818?book_show_action=false

Reviewed by Diana J. Febry, Author and Reviewer — December 8, 2014

This is the third book I’ve read, written by this husband and wife team, and certainly the most compelling and thought provoking. I give this book 5 stars as it’s written in such a way it causes a reaction in the reader.
If you’re looking for a standard thriller, the good guys go through hell to bring the bad guys down before they complete their deadly deeds, this book will come as a surprise, as it blurs the distinction between good and bad. The mystery is there, “Who is Diana?” Her acts of revenge, castration of men are suitably gory and the police are working hard to capture the culprit and control her growing following but within the framework of a thriller this is a book about sexual politics, an examination of women’s sense of solidarity, friendship and support and the unrest caused by radical protest.
The story is set in New York, the author’s home town and the writing catches the ambience of the city perfectly. The female characters are well developed. I especially liked the character of Jane, where the various fragments of her personality are shown in the different ways she behaves professionally, with her friends and with her lover, which together makes up who she is.
Maggie has written a book about a fictional character called Diana, who is brutally raped by two men and goes on to seek revenge. After publication, Diana, or a copy cat starts to attack men. She appears to be acting on behalf of all women, punishing the men who have harmed them. Diana develops a following of “second-wave” feminists who dress in her image and become increasingly violent, to make their point. But as the story develops it appears Diana’s victims may not have been so randomly selected, as first thought. The ending is interesting and I was shocked when the true identity of Diana was revealed.
Another important theme in this book is the damage, the carriage of guilt does and how the pain of hiding our deepest secrets and fears isolates us from the people who love us best.
One sort of criticism, although I wonder if it was intentional. The women characters were fully developed and the relationships between them were fully explored and sensitively handled. Two of them (Judith & Maggie) I thought were quite unstable but they were given excuses for their behaviour. The male characters, however, were quite one dimensional, and even if they showed some redeeming features they were very secondary to the women.
A very well written book with an interesting theme. I’d love to know what other readers, especially men think of this book.

Reviewed By Amanda Monell for Readers’ Favorite — November 26, 2014

Praise Her, Praise Diana by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks is a book which has two realities, one of the anti-hero Diana and the second of her creator Maggie Edwards. Maggie Edwards is sitting in a business meeting where she is being pressured for a sequel to a best selling novel to publish as a feature in a magazine. What she offers in lieu of the sequel is a book titled Diana. As the meeting progresses, an email surfaces, with detailed photos of a crime scene similar to what was described in the book. What was originally thought to be a public relations push for the new book turned out to be reality. As the book progresses, Diana becomes less of a monster and becomes more of a goddess, with ardent followers from housewives to extreme feminist groups. Diana’s prey become afraid as they are physically and verbally assaulted all in her name. The second reality is chapters from Maggie’s book detailing Diana’s brutal assault and why she is seeking justice.

Praise Her, Praise Diana by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks is a masterfully crafted book where two realities are twisted into a gorgeous piece of art. Although there is more violence in Maggie’s reality, Diana’s reality details one brutal attack on a microscopic level. On top of which, as you progress through the book, you are constantly wondering who the real Diana is, and on a more philosophical level you are left wondering who the real victims are.

Lotty Ellis, November 20, 2014

“Well, I’m not quite sure where to start with this review. I am not usually a big fan of co-author novels as I find that they often feel disjointed due to two separate and distinct writing styles, so I approached this book with a little trepidation. However any preconceived notions I had were rapidly dispelled as I was drawn into this novel from the first few chapters and I simply could not put it down.

Maggie a successful author is being forced to write a story about ‘Diana’ a woman taking revenge for all violent acts against women perpetrated by men. However soon the police are involved as ‘Diana’ appears to be a real woman mimicking the fictional acts from Maggie’s story and terrorizing the men of New York. Maggie is hiding a secret of her own, a secret that someone is using to force her to keep writing, despite the nightmare that begins to unfold.

This book is hard hitting and graphic, which caused some uncomfortable reading at times and yet the writing needed to be bold in order to do justice to the story and allow the reader to experience the full horror that the victims know. The characters are well thought out, have depth, and develop during the story. Very well written with twists throughout the novel that kept me guessing right until the very last page. This isn’t a book I would usually pick up to read due to the disturbing themes, however I am glad that I did. My thoughts kept returning to the novel long after I put it down, I could understand ‘Diana’s’ motives and the horrific acts she was undertaking due to the suffering many women have experienced at the hands of men. What would the world be like for men if they felt as vulnerable as women do regarding the fear of being the victim of a sexually violent crime? A thought provoking novel and one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’d recommend this novel to male and female adults however only if you have a strong enough constitution to cope with graphic physical and sexually violent scenes, as undoubtedly this may be a little distressing for some readers.”

Kirkus Reviews November 17, 2014

KIRKUS REVIEW

Gruesome revenge for rape jumps from fiction to real life in this multilayered thriller.
Best-selling author Maggie Edwards has recently finished writing a new book, but it’s not the one she promised her editor and publisher, who want to serialize it in their new weekly magazine, Femme. A mysterious caller named Diana has forced her to write about a woman, also named Diana, who takes vengeance on male rapists by killing them and cutting off their genitals. When the New York Portal publishes the first chapter without his approval, the publisher threatens to sue, but he changes his mind when a real, copycat Diana starts delivering bodies, creating a media frenzy. Who is this Diana, and what does she really want? Maggie’s lawyer, Jane, becomes a friend and then more to Maggie as the phone harassment continues, egging Maggie on to write new chapters about Diana and her horrific rape by two men. Diana gains the sympathy of women until the Eumenides, a radical feminist group, begins to emulate her, dressing alike and attacking and killing sexist males. As their relationship deepens, Jane discovers that Maggie has a secret, one she promises to reveal. The action moves from crime scene to courtroom to bedroom, but when a gang rape leads to a violent confrontation between police and the Eumenides, Maggie has to wrestle with her own past to reach a decision. The veteran writing team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks (Things Are Not What They Seem, 2014, etc.) delivers a complex, topical thriller. Though the violence is indeed ghastly, memorable characters bring diversity and depth to the story. There are a few quite moving passages, and there is a palpable sense of loss on several levels. There are also bumps: The use of different points of view is effective but sometimes confusing. Some of the internal dialogue comes off as stilted and repetitive. And more detail is needed about how “Diana” gets her information.
A suspenseful tale of violence and loss.
Tome Tender Book Blog, October 16, 2014
My Review
Praise Her, Praise Diana by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth HicksIf you have EVER contemplated reading a dark, suspenseful drama that touches on the pain that can live within one’s soul, please put Praise Her, Praise Diana by the wife and husband writing team of Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks on your MUST READ list.What starts out as a well known author writing a tale of a woman who has been brutally raped, her mind so destroyed that all she wants is revenge on every man in the world, becomes a real-life case for the police as men are mutilated and murdered.  Has the coin flipped?  Are men now to learn the fear a woman lives with? Will this teach them to treat a woman as a human and not a receptacle for their insecurities and need for power?Maggie, the author, is hiding a secret about the tale she has written. A feminist group uses her as their rallying point, a woman who will stand up to the inequalities of life, the victimization of women at the hands of men all around the globe. When a radical faction of this group takes things one step further, using strong arm tactics and inciting public unrest, a martyr or a goddess is born.  Only known as DIANA, the vigilante for women’s justice pulls everyone involved into a nightmare of epic proportions. Who is Diana?  Why does she mimic a fictional character’s actions? Who will die, who will wish they had?Team Hicks pulls no punches in their graphic emotional detail, their graphic physical detail or in creating an atmosphere that is brutal, dark and twisted.  They write with a crisp and bold tone, as their tale unfolds, one layer at a time.  Looking for a read that champions contemporary themes? Never tries to pretty up life or misery or loss? Makes you wonder who the real villains are while churning your gut into a mass of knots??I cannot recommend Praise Her, Praise Diana enough, for all adult readers.