In the late 90s, 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.
©2012 Matthew Iden (P)2013 Matthew Iden
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"At Last - a Voice for Marty!"
I loved the book when I first read it - a crime fiction story with a twist. A retired cop, fighting cancer, re-opens an old case. I was so excited to find it an audio version finally. Mr. Sherr does a great job narrating the story - so now I have a voice for my mental vision of Marty Singer. (You might recognize his voice - he does narration for Modern Marvels and the History Channel.) The narration was well-paced and voiced.
I loved the opening scene where Marty meets Amanda, and the scenes with Julie Atwater scenes are great.
If you like crime fiction, but are tired of the wrote whodunit, then try Marty Singer out.
"The Who and the Why Didn't Make Sense....."
I am not sure about this one.... I listened to the entire novel, but believe that I missed something essential to understanding the ending (the who and why). I guess I thought the who and why was a little too far fetched. I will take a second listen at some point because most of the audible reviews raved about the story and characters. I did love the main character "Marty" and how realistic his character and personality was drawn (can't get more real than having cancer, chemo treatments and all that entails). I also liked how there were a few dead ends in the investigation, but the conclusion didn't make sense to me at all. The narrator performed very well,nothing negative there... just didn't get the ending... oh well, this may not be the one for me.....
"This book was a distraction"
The character Marty Singer. He was so easy to connect with.
The pacing was great, with quieter scenes in between the action. Also, there is a pet cat that has no loyalty to Marty (the book is true to life).
Lloyd Sherr was an excellent pick for this book. He owned the role and I can’t imagine another voice for Marty. He also had distinctive voices for the other characters, including the ladies.
This book was a distraction. Don’t tell my man, but dinner was late a few nights because I wanted to listen to this book instead of making a glorious meal (and I do enjoy cooking). Yeah. I liked it that much. Quite frankly, I got attached to Marty Singer. His character made the book for me. He’s got a cat, is a history buff, bit of a wise ass, and has a soft spot for people being stalked by killers. I wanted Marty to kick his cancer in the ass, catch the killer/stalker, and save the day. And he does, but the path is full of twists and turns. Marty had to be nimble to catch his man.
Amanda, a 20-something year old with one degree and working on a second while interning at the university, was the maiden in distress. As Marty was my favorite character, Amanda was my least. I really only have one criticism about this book, and it is how Amanda is portrayed. She lost her mother to a shooting as a kid, grew up in foster care, got a degree, has a job, and is working on a second degree. So why is she portrayed as a 16 year old kid half the time in the book? Other than being the object of desire for the stalker, she doesn’t really bring anything to the story.
OK, enough on that. Enter Julie, the defense attorney who got the cop involved in the shooting of Brenda Lane off. Yeah. Now that the stalker/killer is back and leaving little flowers for Amanda, Marty starts digging through Brenda’s case. Alas, much of the files from the 1990s have been lost or somehow destroyed. So Marty goes to Julie, to see if she has any information on the cop and is willing to share. I really liked Julie’s character because she starts off so very prickly, but then softens, decides to help out, and as a friendship forms between Marty and Julie and Amanda, we learn some of the reasons Julie seems so bitter. She had depth and I liked how that depth was explored.
The pacing was excellent, with plenty of suspense intermixed with reflection, piecing the clues together, and a bit of action. The ending had a few twists I was not expecting (excellent, as I don’t like to guess the ending every book). And the ending also left me hoping Marty’s battle with cancer goes well. Which of course makes we want to read the next in the series.
"Outstanding! Loved it!"
I would rank it as one of my most favorite audiobooks. A Reason to Live is a winning combination of mighty fine writing and excellent narration.
I love Marty Singer. He is a hero who agrees to help a scared young woman even when his own life is uncertain due to his battle with cancer
I laughed out loud at Marty's description of the paper gown he had to wear in the doctor's office.
I would love to take Marty Singer out to dinner to take his mind off his health problems and hear stories about his life before the diagnosis of cancer.
It's the first in the Marty Singer Mystery series and I can't wait to hear more.
"Excellent detective thriller; great narration"
This is the first novel in the three novel Marty Singer series. I have previously written reviews of the other two books in the series. Marty Singer is a 53 year old retired Washington DC police detective who is fighting colon cancer. A young woman is concerned that the man who murdered her mother 12 years ago is trying to kill her. A Reason to Live is a solid and worthwhile modern detective mystery/suspense thriller with some unexpected twists.
"predictable but enjoyable mystery"
This very formulaic mystery is about a retired police detective fighting cancer and getting dragged back into a former case where the murderer seemed to walk free. The main character is likeable and believable, and the narrator is very easy to listen to. This novel was a pleasant, fun way to pass the time. There is mystery, action, and romance. This was good "escape fiction."
"A good detective story with a great narration"
No, I wouldn't consider it better. I both listened to and read the book and also whispersynced it. There are good aspects to both just reading and just listening. I get a bit more of the urgency of this type of story when I just read and I can certainly read faster than the narrator. But the narrator does bring the words to life. So, it's really fifty-fifty for me.
I liked the character of Marty Singer the best. Julie and Jim were good characters, too. Amanda, although the story centered around her, was not as dramatic for me as the other three. But Marty really tops them all. He's not so much the cynical ex-cop as a man on a mission. It's what he's been doing for over thirty years and forced retirement along with chemo and cancer are not going to change that..
Lloyd Sherr's voice and expression were so perfect for this story that I was drawn right into it. He's also the voice for Modern Marvels on The History Channel, but once I knew that, I didn't find it distracting at all. It actually added to my enjoyment of the narration.
If my time wasn't so limited, I would like to have listened for longer periods.
I see the next book isn't available on audio yet. I'm assuming it will be so I will watch out for it.
"The Villain's Too Improbable"
Among well written stories, this one is average. Lloyd Sherr's a terrific actor and manages the entire cast brilliantly. Marty Singer's got an interesting, um, challenge that works to both deepen him and to add tension to the plot. Here's the "but".
That's the sound of snapping credibility. The evil mastermind behind all of the action sucks too heavily upon the reader's belief. Too much disbelief's got to be suspended. I couldn't do it so the ending sagged when the big-bad-boss TWANGED credulity.
Maybe I'll read the next Marty Singer mystery. maths Iden's created a clever character facing a unique challenge. So… If you're intrigued by the publisher's blurb… Well heck, it got me to read it. Just remember the "TWANG!" and don't say you weren't warned. K?
"Engaging Mystery - Good Listening!"
Marty Singer is a retired DC Homicide cop about to begin chemo treatments when an unexpected visitor knocks on his door. Amanda is now a graduate student who remembers Marty as the lead Detective in the case against Michael Wheeler, her mother’s murderer from twelve years before. Although Wheeler walked free due to trial errors and lost evidence, Amanda is sure that Marty can help her. She needs protection because the killer is back, leaving white carnations at her door.
Marty vows to protect Amanda seeking help from his old partner who is still angry about the botched trial but agrees to help. Trying every lead, Marty practically accosts Julie, the defense attorney who represented Wheeler. She is pretty bitter about the experience and doesn't really want to talk about it.
Amanda goes into hiding with Marty and soon Marty discovers goons ransacking his house for his files. Threats and circumstances change Julie’s mind so that she returns to Marty and now all three are hiding from an unknown threat as well as the killer. Marty continues to investigate even as his usual strength and reactions fail him due to weakening from the chemo treatments.
There is good suspense, action and twists in this mystery thriller. It is very sharp and realistic with ‘real-to-life’, characters complete with physical (age and illness), mental (madness and weakness) and moral (greed, pride and more) flaws. Some of the investigation paths lead to dead ends which adds to the realism. Also, the primary hero being older and coping with cancer issues makes him an interesting character with more depth than some young, hot shot detective.
Mr. Iden does a good job of weaving in unexpected twists, a little bit of romance and a bit more of moral dilemmas that have the reader/listener pondering levels of madness, ethics, loyalty and honesty. How far do professionals go to protect themselves, their families and their clients? I like Marty as a character and love the crisp suspense. I recommend this to mystery readers and would enjoy more suspense stories featuring Marty's tenacious pursuit.
Audio Notes: I was impressed with the narration by Lloyd Sherr. He was able to capture the emotional stresses of the characters and maintain the movement and suspense of the story. I was engaged for the full story and my assessment of the presentation is “well done.”
Marty Singer sat in the courtroom and heard the verdict of not guilty being read. He knew that a murderer was being set free. The whole department knew that he had murdered the young woman and now her 10 year old daughter would be left without a mother.
Twelve years later, the daughter approaches Marty and asks if he would help her. The man who had killed her mother was now stalking her.
Marty had retired as a detective from the police department because of a diagnosis of cancer. He had nothing to keep himself busy and being a detective again was just what he needed. He would get out of the house and the job would keep him busy.
The book turned out to be an enjoyable listen. The narrator, Lloyd Sherr, did a good job. He created a the voices of the character's with recognition. Sherr was able to create the emotions required, anger, happiness, fear, etc., appropriately. I would suggest that someone who enjoys a good mystery that is creative in its style, would enjoy, A Reason to Live.
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