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A Reason to Live (Marty Singer #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  796 ratings  ·  124 reviews
In the late nineties, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide detective Marty Singer watched the murderer walk out of the courtroom a free man.

Twelve years later, the victim's daughter begs for help: the killer is stalking her now. But Marty has retired to battle cancer. A second shot at the killer--and a first chance at redemption--Marty has A Reason to Live .

The M...more
Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published May 2012
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I'm not a fan of crime thrillers and I never did like first person POVs. Matthew Iden had TONS of strikes against him even before I picked up the book (which I downloaded on a whim when it was free and kept on my TBR for an indefinite period of time) BUT he's written an outstanding novel and I will be picking up his sequels. The very best indie novels are indistinguishable from traditionally published novels - they have great characters set in a great story. For that reason, "A Reason To Live" i...more
P.D. Martin
More of a 4.5 stars!

A Reason to Live introduces an interesting and engaging new character to the mystery/police procedural world -- Marty Singer.

Singer is a recently retired cop who’s starting his battle with cancer when a case from the past comes knocking on his door. A murder victim’s daughter is worried she’s being targeted by the same man who killed her mother twelve years earlier.

This is an impressive debut novel from author Matthew Iden and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work...more
I’d barely started reading A Reason to Believe when I hit this paragraph.

I was killing time at a coffee shop, slouched in an overstuffed chair that had been beaten into submission years earlier. The café—I don't know the name, Middle Grounds or Mean Bean or something precious—was a grungy, brown stain of a place flanked by a failing Cajun restaurant on one side and a check-cashing store on the other. A crowd of Hispanic guys hung around out front looking simultaneously aimless and expectant, hop...more
This was pretty good for a Kindle Freebie. Thankfully, it was free of the blight of appalling spelling, grammar and generally shoddy editing that is the curse of the Ebooks....

Mary Singer has recently taken retirement from the Washington Police, it wasn't his choice to retire, life forced him into it. I think some readers might find the descriptions of his condition upsetting.

He is facing a difficult time and things become more complicated when the now adult child of one of his old cases arrives...more
A very enjoyable suspense/mystery "cold case" type of story. Marty Singer, recently forced into retirement, is faced with the resurfacing of an old case that was never solved to his or anyone else's satisfaction. A cop was involved in the death of a woman but was acquitted under questionable circumstances. The womans daughter shows up at his doorstep because she believes that the murderer may now be after her all these years later.

This book moved at a nice pace and was well written with some int...more

A Reason to Live is the brilliant debut novel by Matthew Iden. It follows retired DC cop Marty Singer as he battles his cancer diagnoses and a past case that has haunted him throughout his career.

The story combines corrupt police, old friendships and good old detective work and begins when Singer is approached by the daughter of a woman murdered some 12 years earlier.

I’ll admit that I found the first couple of chapters a little slow going, but this story soon kicked into gear and I found myself...more
Denise MacDonald
This book was a typical mystery novel, other than the fact that the main character is a retired homicide detective and has cancer. Soon after Marty's retirement the daughter of a victim in one of his old cases comes to him for help. The story line had a lot of surprising twists, which was nice to see. I liked that it wasn't predictable from the beginning to the end.

I liked that the author included Marty's doctor visits, the chemo treatments and made it realistic how these treatments affected hi...more
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...more
A good start, indeed. I especially like the way you handle the first-person narrative of Singer. It's real enough get me float along with the story flow. You definitely have a personal touch in the story-telling part. And for that, the book should get 2.5/5 stars from me. It's almost a 3 (in GR definition: like it) but I still think there is still some gaps to be filled.

- Depending on your target audience, this may applies or it may not:
the plot unravels kinda too fast, almost like a movie. Many...more
I really enjoyed this novel. Gotta say, had a pretty hard time putting it down. I would have give this a 5 if it wasn't for all the grammar errors in the Kindle edition; at times I'd had to reread sentences to try to make sense of it.

I feel like this novel was a complete story from beginning to end. I didn't feel like there were any gaps or important things left out like you sometimes get with novels. Something I love about mysteries is the fact that they keep you guessing what's going to happen...more
Liz Wilkins
Marty Singer is a retired detective battling Cancer...when the daughter of a murder victim comes to him for help he has the chance to right a wrong from a case that haunts him still. Despite his illness Marty is determined to protect the girl and find the truth...

I was very impressed with this novel, the authors debut I believe and it did get me wondering again about the foibles of publishing..this is terrific crime fiction. An interesting protagonist who you can really get behind, a wonderful m...more
I read this one with my ears. 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. Amanda's mother was murdered twelve years ago and Singer was one of the investigating officers. She kept his card all these years and has asked him for help. It seems the murderer (who got away with it) is back and stalking her. The myster...more
Betsy the Quilter
An excellent start to a great mystery series

It takes a lot to get me to give five stars to a book--but Matthew Iden's A Reason to Live took me there. One of the best new series I've read in a very long time. Authentic, gritty, surprising and real. No Jack Reacher superhero here. Marty Singer is all too human. But, like Lee Child's hero, he's stubborn. I'd say that's probably his best quality. Oh, and he has a cat.

This book was on my to-be-read pile for quite awhile, and I'm kind of kicking mysel...more
I listened to this book instead of reading it but I think even if I'd read it, I would have loved it. It was a great first book to a series I will definitely be reading (or listening) to as they come out. I've already downloaded the next one in the series.

This book introduces us to retired homicide cop, Marty Singer from the Metro DC Police Department. Retired after 37 years on the force because of a diagnosis of cancer. He's sitting in a coffee shot when a young woman comes up to him to ask hi...more
I was extremely surprised how much I enjoyed this book.

Positives: All of the named and active characters actually get lives. Mr. Iden takes the time to develop the characters to the point where the reader cares about them as a part of a greater story. Also, the plot is painfully plausible, not one of those mysteries that is unlikely or over the top. A murder happened, the accused walked, and now the victim's daughter fears for her life. How extremely mundane, right? No, actually, this simple pre...more
This was an audible book.

Marty Singer is a retired detective in DC he has also been diagnosed with cancer. When Amanda Lane approaches him because she is being stalked, she thinks, by the man who had killed her mom 12 years before, Marty decides to help her. Having been the lead detective on the Lane murder he still doesn't feel easy about the fact that the killer was a cop and he got away with it.

As Marty and his former partner, Kranski, move Amanda about trying to keep her safe they do their r...more
A retired cop, bored with retirement already gets re involved with an old case that he feels he failed.
The daughter of the victim who goes to the detective, Marty Singer, telling him that she is being stalked by the killer of he mother, a killer found innocent by the jury.
A psycho obsessed killer, once a cop.
A corrupt police chief.
All very familiar elements. It obviously would take something extra to make this book stand out from all similar novels.
The author added the needed extra ingredient t...more
What an ending

Well written book, very descriptive. I felt the main characters
weaknesses and strengths. Protagonist had good qualities and bad ones. When I'm can get into a characters head, its real.. I'll read Iden's sci first books after I finish the Marty Singer series.
Shirley Worley
A Reason To Live was my first introduction to Matthew Iden and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was interesting with plenty of twists, the pacing of the story was well thought out, and I loved the characters. I always like to be surprised by the ending, and I was not disappointed. Chapters are interspersed with thoughts/conversations with the stalker and peak the reader's interest. Most main characters are tough through and through, but Singer is confronted with a recent diagnosis treatment tha...more
A bit formulaic at times. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, but it does feel like a story I've read before. With the addition of a few twists and turns. If I based this review strictly on the plot I would have given it three stars, or maybe even two.

However, a book is not just a plot and a story is not just a story. How a story is told can make a big difference. If that weren't the case then we wouldn't all rush out to buy another rehash of vampires or zombies or ghosts or any number of plo...more
I had already read "Blueblood," Book 2 in the Marty Singer series and given it a 5-start rating. This is Book #1 and maybe even better than Book #2. The order doesn't really matter much. If you like loads of twist, turns, and surprise endings in your mysteries, you might not like this series as much as I do, but if you'd rather swap surprises for excellent character development, stories within the main story, almost flawless editing, and just a touch of romance to spice it all up, this series wi...more
Kerry Clair
I liked this book but there were a couple if inconsistencies that really irked me and were difficult to put behind me as a reader.

Not a spoiler as happens in very beginning of book but I won't be specific: Daughter says Brenda wasn't sleeping with Wheeler but says she doesn't deny it could have gone there eventually. But meanwhile whole book is about how Brenda complained and reported guy from day two or three of him annoying her. No way Brenda was gonna sleep with the guy. She was freaked by t...more
Again my book loving friend Pat Cook recommended a good one; short, quick, to the point mystery. A great weekend read. This is the first in a series featuring Marty Singer, retired detective. The story is gritty without being offensive and moves quickly to the end without giving away the end. Marty is likeable in a gruff way. He has been given cancer for a side plot and so far that doesn't get in the way of the story. This is a quick read and if you like a well written murder, this is for you.
Ex-DC cop, Marty Singer, is facing an uphill battle against cancer. When graduate student Amanda Lane, the daughter of a homicide victim from twelve years earlier approaches him, worried that her mother's killer is now stalking her, Marty decides he must, despite his own health concerns, help her. His reasons are bigger than just helping a young woman in need -- as the lead detective on the mother's case, he feels responsible for the fact that her killer went free.

Soon enough, Marty agrees that...more
Angie Holtz
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff

The story is classic detective mystery book. Iden's writing has a natural ease to it, and his characters are deep and well rounded. Just look at Marty, a retired homicide detective. Kind of cliche until you see that he's battling cancer.

I don't think Marty likes being retired either. He's a lonely man who is forced to look death in the face. This was a brilliant move because here is a guy who has dealt with the ugly side of death his entire career, now he has to deal wit...more
A Kindle freebie, but I would have paid to read this one! Marty Singer has recently retired from the Washington, DC police department to battle colorectal cancer. Shortly after he has unahappily retired, he is contacted by the daughter of a murder victim of several years ago. Marty and his partner were certain that another cop had killed the young woman's mother, but the jury found him not guilty and he disappeared. Now it seems that he is stalking the daughter, who has come to Marty for protect...more
Melanie Greene
Iden contacted me via twitter to see if I'd listen to his first Marty Singer mystery. I looked at the sample pages and was engaged enough to want to keep going, so I had him send me the audiobook. And I truly enjoyed the listen.

Singer is wry and fond of the sound of his own voice, but sharp and more compassionate than he would like to be. Like all the best retired detectives, he crosses lines but trades on his accumulated goodwill to keep out of trouble - and being the cop who retired due to can...more
Lynda Kelly
This is a debut full-length novel by this author who's written a lot of short stories prior to this which I never bother with. I want to read a proper lengthed book. (Is that a word) ?? Anyway, you get what I mean !! I don't download a book unless it's longer than 200 pages.
It's about a retired cop in Virginia who has recently started treatment for cancer. A young girl tracks him down since he was the lead detective in her mother's murder twelve years ago and now she thinks she's being stalked b...more

Author: Matthew Iden
Published by: Createspace
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Series: #1
Rating: 5


"Reason To Live" by Matthew Iden was a very good 'riveting and entertaining' detective mystery read from the start until its finish. This is the first in 'The Marty Singer Detective Series' and it will keep you on the edge of your seat guessing what was coming next. I found "A Reason To Live" well written by the author at a fast pace with lots of twist and tu...more
I picked up "A Reason to Live" from the kindle lending library. This is the first in the Marty Singer series.

When Marty is diagnosed with the "Big C", he retires from the police department. Now, only a few months into his retirement, he is approached by Amanda, a young lady that Marty met when he was investigating her mother's murder twelve years ago. Amanda is all grown up now, a teacher at a local university. Amanda had been receiving flowers from someone she is sure is from the man that kille...more
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Cinematic action, not enough introspection 2 15 Oct 29, 2013 06:13PM  
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I write fantasy, science fiction, horror, thrillers, crime fiction, and contemporary literary fiction with a psychological twist.

I’ve held jobs with the US Postal Service, international non-profit groups, a short stint with the Forest Service in Sitka, Alaska, and time with the globe-spanning Semester at Sea program. Trips to Iceland, Patagonia, and Antarctica added to the creative pot, as well,...more
More about Matthew Iden...
Blueblood (Marty Singer #2) One Right Thing (Marty Singer #3) The Spike (Marty Singer #4) The Sword of Kings Finding Emma

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“Like, Well, there you go. Or, It is what it is. And, Well, what can you do? I suppose these one-offs are less idiotic than they seem on the surface. They're all a way of saying the same thing, that shit happens and you have to deal with it. You can try to ignore it, wait for it to go away. Maybe that works, but sometimes the knot won't untie itself and your attention is required. A thing you never expected, could not have predicted, suddenly becomes the foremost event in your life and no amount of wishing it away will work. In some cases, the event is small and the ramifications manageable. In my case, it affected everything. Forever.” 0 likes
“time, but maybe not so cool to ask how far” 0 likes
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