British writer R.J. Ellory apologizes for writing fake reviews

Bestselling British thriller writer R.J. Ellory has issued an apology for posting fake reviews of his novels under various identities on Amazon.

Ellory, who has won several book awards including the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, was called out by crime writer Jeremy Duns on Twitter. Duns had noticed some of the threads begun as "Nicodemus Jones" later continued as RJ Ellory, The Guardian reported this week.

rj-ellory-190.jpgWhile Nicodemus Jones was positive about Ellory's work, calling one book a "modern masterpiece," the online alias dismissed works by fellow authors. Stuart MacBride's Dark Blood was given one star and described as "another in the seemingly endless parade of same-old-same-old police procedurals that seem to abound in the UK."

Ellory admitted to posting the fake reviews and issued this statement posted on The Guardian website.

"The recent reviews - both positive and negative - that have been posted on my Amazon accounts are my responsibility and my responsibility alone. I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologise to my readers and the writing community."

Mark Billingham, who was also given negative reviews by Nicodemus Jones, said Ellory has apologized to him personally, and called this practice "very widespread" among authors.

"And what has been most shocking about some of the more recent revelations is that up until this moment most of us had presumed that the people doing this stuff were self-published writers with no other means of marketing. But these most recent revelations prove this is not the case and it is very worrying," he told The Guardian.