Review: Bad Karma, The Criminally Insane Series Book 1

By Douglas Clegg

Available on: Amazon, Audible, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Read as part of the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge.


Blurb: On vacation with his family, Trey Campbell has to deal with trouble from his work at Darden State Hospital for Criminal Justice that follows him not only home but on vacation with more than slightly bloody results.

Trigger Warnings:

Ableism, Blood, Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Drug Use (Prescription), Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Mental Illness, Murder, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Sexual Abuse, Suicidal Thoughts, Suicide, Unsafe Lifestyle, Unsafe Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery, Vore

Body Count:

The Specs:

  • Series 
    • Series Name: The Criminally Insane Series
    • Book Number: 1 of 3
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Crime Thrillers, Suspense, Literature and Fiction,
    • Theo Genre
  • POV:
  • Publication information:
    • Paperback page count: 364
    • Publisher: Alkemara Press
    • Language:  English
    • ISBN-13: 9781944668181
    • ASIN: B007HS0ZXA

Other Fun Stuff:

To Read or Not To Read (Again):


Rating out of five: 2.0 out of 5

Representation, Morality, and Sexism Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test
    • Purpose: to establish actual female characters that act independently of male characters in a story.
      • Do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • DuVernay Test:
    • Purpose: to establish characters of color in a story.
      • Are there fully actualized characters of color? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Ellen Willis Test:
    • Purpose: to show balance in characters regardless of gender.
      • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Hays Code Test:
    • Purpose: to ignore outdated and queer-degrading/punishing standards that once were the standard for produced mass media.
    • Part One: outdated moral guidelines
      • Are there any outdated “moral content” rules gloriously kicked in the teeth by this story? Yes
      • Are there people of color allowed a happy ending? No
      • Is there an interracial couple? No
      • Is there profanity used at all? Yes
      • Is there one or more homicidal acts and/or murder? Yes
    • Part Two: queer representation
      • Are there queer characters that get a happy ending? No
      • Is there an illegal or otherwise distasteful age gap between characters, queer or otherwise? No
      • Do the queer characters die tragically, violently, or at all? No, actually.
    • Pass or Fail: Half Pass
  • Mako Mori Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that in the story there is at least one female character independent of a male character’s story.
      • Is there a female character? Yes
      • Does she get her own arc? Yes
      • Does it do anything other than serve to support a man’s story? It does, but she does have her own arc as well.
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Sexy Lamp Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that a female character in the story serves as an active protagonist, not just a device to be used by the male main character.
      • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Yes
    • Post-It Note Caveat:
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Tauriel Test:
    • Purpose: to help support the existence of competent, independent female characters regardless of a romantic sub-plot.
      • Is there at least one woman in the story? Yes
      • Is this woman competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character? Yes
      • If she has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, does she suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest?  Nope
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Vito Russo Test:
    • Purpose: to establish more characters that are on the SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance), QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) or LGBTQIAP+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Biromantic/Bigender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic, and others not listed here) spectrum.
      • Is there a character on the queer spectrum? No
      • Are they a character beyond their orientation? Not applicable
      • Do they actually affect the plot? Nope
      • Is the character something beyond a punchline? Not applicable
    • Pass or Fail: Fail

Overall review:

Thoughts: It was okay. I’m not a fan of the creepy violence, to be honest. It was a bit gore-heavy for me. The premise of reincarnated murdering lovers is quite interesting though.

Was it engaging?

Room for improvement

Favorite Character:

Don’t have one for this book.

Review format updated 4 June 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s