Well put, EC. I don't think readers should have to be looking nervously over their shoulders when commenting about a book. Readers are perfectly entitled to not like a book, however disappointing that might be for an author.Authors should learn not to go and get involved in Amazon reviews. They exist for reader comment and interraction and having the author looking over one's shoulder is at best uncomfortable and at worst situations can degenerate into stuff like this.
I was looking round Amazon UK the other day and saw an author chipping in about adverse reviews of his latest. Also noticed his author friends chipping in too. Then you check their books, and see they all scratch each other's backs and return the favour if there's a less than stellar review of one of their books. It so lacks professionalism and it's intimidating to readers.
I noticed a similar case on Amazon UK - perhaps the same one you're referring to- the Scottish book?
Although I think the HWA is a great idea for HF authors, I've been following the HWA forum which I think is a rather difficult situation for readers reviewing books by author members. The reviews I've read there have been flattering, not to say rather gushing, and not necessarily providing a comprehensive picture of the books reviewed. A back scratching exercise can be a bit cringe-making and not that helpful to either reader or writer.