A Reason to Live (A Marty Singer Mystery) by Matthew Iden
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
In the late nineties, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide detective Marty Singer got to watch as the murderer walked out of the courtroom a free man. Twelve years later, the victim’s daughter comes to Marty begging for help: the killer is stalking her now. There’s just one problem: Marty’s retired…and he’s retired because he’s battling cancer. But with a second shot at the killer—and a first chance at redemption—Marty’s just found A Reason to Live.
I don’t often read “straight-up” mysteries, but something about this blurb appealed to me, so I gave it a try, and was happily surprised. I found Marty Singer to be a very likable guy, and I was engaged with the plot all the way.
It’s often difficult to make a character suffering from something like colon cancer sympathetic to the reader in just the right amount. Too much, and it’s uncomfortable. Too little, and it’s not realistic. I felt Matthew Iden hit the perfect balance. I believed Marty had cancer, and was floundering as he tried to figure out what to do with whatever was left of his life, but I never felt it overwhelmed the story, or became maudlin or depressing.
The murder mystery was well done and believable, too, if not earth-shattering at the conclusion. And most important of all when you are writing a series, A Reason to Live made me want to read the next book.
If you are a fan of mysteries with a bit more grit to them than most cozy ones, but without the heavy-handed violence and gratuitous sex of so many on the other end of the spectrum, I recommend you give this one a go. You just might find yourself a whole new series.