You know how it is. There you are, blissfully absorbed in your favourite author’s latest book, when someone reveals something that totally ruins it for you.
For one disgruntled Twitter user, however, it wasn’t a major spoiler that scuppered his enjoyment of Val McDermid’s fiction.
It was learning that the iconic Scottish crime writer is – gasp! – a feminist.
A man using the Twitter handle @ThreeNSixPlease, who describes himself as an “unashamed white heterosexual middle-aged male MGTOW” contacted McDermid on the social media site to inform her of his change of heart. MGTOW, in case you were wondering, apparently stands for Men Going Their Own Way, an internet community of men who believe that relationships with women aren't worth the money. We know, we know.
He wrote: “I enjoyed some of your books but since discovering that you are a #feminist I’ve decided not to buy/read any more of them.”
McDermid, best known for her three series of crime thrillers starring tough, commanding female characters – the Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, and Tony Hill/Carol Jordan books – decided that the criticism warranted a response.
“You probably struggled with them anyway,” she wrote, with excellent terseness.
Other Twitter users praised McDermid for her quick retort – including her fellow bestselling Scottish author and the queen of trolling the trolls, J. K. Rowling:
@ThreeNSixPlease Not to worry, Val, I'll order two of every copy from now on 😂— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 16, 2016
@ThreeNSixPlease Gonna be hard to find an author to read. Every decent one I know is a feminist. Bye.— Harlan Coben (@HarlanCoben) August 16, 2016
The author, who has written more than 30 novels, has every reason not to worry about losing one anti-feminist reader: McDermid has sold more than 11 million books worldwide and it was announced this week that she is worth more than £2.6 million. We reckon she’ll be just fine.
Image: Rex Features