Deanne Stillman recently got Amazon.com to delete 16 customer "reviews" of Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave that she calls "vindictive, malicious, and possibly libelous" efforts to discredit her 2001 book. But it wasn't easy. She writes in an email:
"I asked my publisher to contact Amazon. They would not, and told me 'you can't buy this kind of publicity.' (Prior to removal of the reviews, there were 60 posts). I personally contacted Amazon several times, and never got a response...I then contacted the community help desk at Amazon, and pointed out how the posts violated Amazon's own reviewing guidelines -- they were 'spiteful' and 'spurious'...
"I know for a fact that the campaign was waged by the same group of people who were calling me the 'anti-Christ' in the local paper in 29P before my book came out.
"Anyway, I guess it pays to go through customer service because I did get results, after three years of trying, and somehow forgetting that it's the customer who always rules the day!"
The book tells the backstory of the murders of two teenage girls by a Marine based in Twentynine Palms. Publishers Weekly calls it "Stillman's tale of social and geographic isolation, military arrogance, sexual violence and death." Stillman recently sold Horse Lattitudes: The Last Stand of the Wild Horse in the American West.