But damn. The writing itself was quite the mess. More like a first draft in transition.
She had sentences with extra words in the middle - obvious that she'd changed direction between drafts, but no one caught the danglers. The narrator shifted into third person a few times, where most of the story was first person POV, so at some point it must've been written another way. But no one caught the odd remnants of that version. And while the bulk of the story was in the Boston area, it was unclear whether the narrator's hometown was in NH or Maine, because she referenced each, so I'm guessing that changed between drafts at some point but was never cleaned up. There were also the random misused words, the ones spellcheck can't fix because while they are real words, they are not the right words for the sentence. And don't get me started on the punctuation mishaps or the misplaced paragraph breaks.
I think the author made too many changes to this manuscript and didn't keep track of her revisions. Or have anyone else do a final read through.
This is why every author needs an editor. And needs the editor to read through more than once. It's not enough to read through a final draft on your own - you know your story. You will fill in the blanks in your mind and not notice.
For example. In my own most recent manuscript, I realized that I needed to add a sex scene before the heroine and hero find the next dead body. So I went back and added it. In the final read through, the hero is whipping his cell phone out to call 9-1-1.... except that he's now naked, where he hadn't been in the original version. So where is he whipping that phone from, his ass? Ewww...
(yes, I fixed that before submission. whew.)
If you are self-publishing, then you are paying for the editorial services on your own. And editors can be expensive. But it's worth it. I will never buy a book from that author again, despite how much I enjoyed her characters and plots.
If she's not going to take her writing seriously, why should I?
Now, who's feeling brave? Share the biggest or most embarrassing mistake your editor caught - like my cell phone in the butt cheek moment. C'mon, I know I'm not the only one who appreciates her editors.