Martyn V. Halm

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in Amsterdam, Netherlands



I read everything I can get my hands on.

Member Since
August 2012



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A Brief Bio:

Martyn V. Halm lives in Amsterdam, with his two children, one cat, two rats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.

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Martyn V. Halm Don’t write a book. Draft a story. Commit your story to paper or hard drive and pay no attention to the rules a book has to follow. When you’re…moreDon’t write a book. Draft a story. Commit your story to paper or hard drive and pay no attention to the rules a book has to follow. When you’re finished telling your story, you have a rough draft.

The draft needs to be edited to be readable to outsiders. Get a good book on self-editing for fiction writers and follow the advice in how to improve your draft until it becomes a manuscript. Find people who are willing to read your manuscript and tell you where the story fails to engage them, so you can improve the manuscript until it’s worthy of publication.

And don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing this.(less)
Martyn V. Halm You're not the first to ask this. I received some questions concerning Katla’s preference or inclination toward using sharp implements over firearms.…moreYou're not the first to ask this. I received some questions concerning Katla’s preference or inclination toward using sharp implements over firearms. Many readers cite firearms as better killing tools than sharp implements, but there are several reasons why Katla dislikes using firearms as killing tools.

One of these reasons is legal. The Dutch have strict gun control laws, maybe even the most severe in Europe. In the Netherlands, only law enforcement officers and army personnel are allowed to bear small firearms. Some occupations, like game warden, allow a restricted use of occupational firearms, like hunting rifles. That doesn’t mean that civilians aren’t allowed to use firearms, but their use is restricted to recreational or sports, and they are only allowed to transport the guns in a locked case, with the bullets separated from the gun.

Same goes for other weapons, like martial arts practice weapons, that have to be transported in closed bags. Transport of a Japanese sword, for instance, is only allowed if the sageo (cord) secures the blade in the saya (scabbard) and the sheathed sword is carried in one or more bags, to prevent the bearer from quickly drawing the sword. A bokken, or wooden sword, has to be carried in a bag as well. About the only ‘clubs’ that can be carried without the need for concealment, are field hockey sticks. And canes, of course.

Since there have been knife skirmishes where people became seriously hurt, the police will hold ‘preventive searches’ at mobile checkpoints, most often around subway stations, where everyone is scanned with a metal detector and has to empty their pockets. These checkpoints are prevalent at certain areas, mainly around Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein/Thorbeckeplein, Nieuwmarkt, Dam, where the mayor has put a law in effect that restricts possession of anything that can be used as a weapon, not just guns and knives, but also screwdrivers, chisels, chains, hammers, and other tools. Also, regular pocket knives, like the Victorinox ‘Swiss Army’ knife are also prohibited.

So, while getting caught with a firearm is a felony and will get you arrested straight away, possession of a sharp implement will often only result in a fine and seizure of the forbidden implement.

For someone skilled in handling blades, there is no real necessity to carry a machete or kukri blade. Several arteries that are fatal when severed are close enough to the skin to be reached by a blade no longer than the width of a hand. Especially the arteries in the crotch, armpit and neck are vulnerable to a knife attack.

Katla’s assignment often take her up close and personal with her targets. As many professionals will acknowledge, killing someone at arms length is the most difficult and dangerous way to end someone’s life, but it's also extremely reliable. Any projectile weapon will be less accurate than a handheld blade in the assassin business.

I know that's a controversial stance to take, and many owners and users of projectile weapons will rally the merits of their weapons, but professional assassins prefer a knife, a garotte or even a rumal* to a gun if they have to kill in close quarters.

Combat/warfare weapons are for the battlefield, not the assassination game. Guns are suitable for shooting your way out of a room full of enemies and an AK-47 is awesome when clearing a building of enemy combatants, but professional assassins are often stealth killers and even a suppressed Ruger Mark II .22 semi-automatic pistol** will make more noise than a well-placed spike dagger.

That's not to say that projectile weapons are unreliable or inaccurate—any sniper adhering to the 'one shot, one kill' principle will protest any such claim—but there are too many people surviving bullet wounds to validate my assertion.

But, what about all the people who survive knife wounds? Of course there are plenty of people who get into altercations with someone wielding a knife and survive the encounter. However, in 99% of these cases, the knife wielder was not out to kill, whereas most people who fire a gun aim to kill. And fail.

Amateurs often favour large caliber handguns that 'can blow your head straight off', but there's a reason why police officers don't carry Desert Eagles. Heavy and unwieldy guns with absurd recoil don't make the best guns to kill people. Although they might impress a flock of zombies...

Feel free to comment with your own experience as an assassin to negate my argument...

*Rumal, a silk cord with a coin tied to one end, used by the Thuggee cult of India to whip the cord around a neck and strangle someone.
**Do you want to kill someone silently with a gun? Forget about large calibers. Assassins favour the Ruger Mark II .22 semi-automatic for two reasons: a) the long thin barrel doesn't need much modification to fit in an ordinary soda bottle that will catch the noise gaseous cloud that follows the bullet out of the barrel, and b), a .22 bullet will have enough penetrative force to get into a skull, but not enough to exit. Which means that the soda bottle will muffle the shot, and the 'weak' bullet will careen inside the skull, shredding the brain tissue like whipping a cheesecake with a flogger.(less)
Average rating: 3.97 · 452 ratings · 141 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
Reprobate: A Katla Novel (A...

4.11 avg rating — 120 ratings — published 2012 — 4 editions
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Locked Room: A Katla KillFile

3.66 avg rating — 95 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Microchip Murder: A Katla K...

3.76 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Peccadillo: A Katla Novel (...

4.17 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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Rogue: A Katla novel (Amste...

4.37 avg rating — 27 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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Fundamental Error: A Katla ...

3.80 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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In Pocket

4.25 avg rating — 20 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
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Ghosting: A Katla novel (Am...

4.45 avg rating — 11 ratings2 editions
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Aconite Attack: A Katla Kil...

4.57 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2014
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More books by Martyn V. Halm…

Typecast: My 1955 Groma Kolibri

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Published on April 19, 2019 10:20
Reprobate: A Katla Novel Peccadillo: A Katla Novel Rogue: A Katla novel Ghosting: A Katla novel
(4 books)
3.95 avg rating — 432 ratings

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Martyn’s Recent Updates

Martyn Halm is now following Tami's reviews
Rogue by Martyn V. Halm
"I breezed through this book in a couple of days—I just couldn't put it down! From the first page, the rich descriptions of Amsterdam (and other cities the characters visit) drew me in, and it was a true pleasure to return to the world of Katla, Br..." Read more of this review »
Microchip Murder by Martyn V. Halm
"more I read the more I want "
Locked Room by Martyn V. Halm
""Left me cold"

Very clever short story set in Amsterdam; but with no tension or excitement. This was just a clinical description of a murder; I felt nothing for either the victim or the killer. Too much technique, and not enough emotion. Stories sh..." Read more of this review »
Martyn Halm made a comment on his review of The Cleaner
The Cleaner by Mark  Dawson
" Henry wrote: "I 100% agree with Martyn. Except I think you were over-generous giving it 1 star."
What can I say? I'm a generous person. :D
Martyn Halm has read
In Pocket by Martyn V. Halm
In Pocket
by Martyn V. Halm (Goodreads Author)
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As the author, of course I cannot rate or review my own work. What I can do is give you, the potential reader, some background information about In Pocket.

About twenty years ago, when I was working on what was to become Reprobate: A Katla Novel, I ha
For Those Who Wait by Roberta Pearce
" Well, you have to keep in mind that I write books filled with violence, murder, mayhem, and just a bit of romance. So I was constantly hoping a charac ...more "
Martyn Halm made a comment in the group Goodreads Librarians Groupkindle/ebooks topic
" I had a import bot add the 'Kindle' version of my book Ghosting, while it was already added as an e-book. Can they be merged?

This is the same book:

...more "
Martyn Halm added a status update: GHOSTING will be published on December 1st, but you can read the preview if you're curious - a PDF preview is available on GR, and you can get the ePub or Mobi preview by visiting the GHOSTING page on Tao of Violence.
More of Martyn's books…
“Life without risks is like a burrito without Tabasco. Bland, but you’ll still fart.”
Martyn V. Halm, Reprobate: A Katla Novel

“Common sense is only irritating in other people”
Martyn V. Halm, Peccadillo: A Katla Novel

“You can’t understand my work if you lack the moral deficiency to kill indiscriminately.”
Martyn V. Halm, Reprobate: A Katla Novel

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Comments (showing 1-2)    post a comment »
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Martyn Halm I've been receiving feedback from beta-readers on the ROGUE manuscript. Many typos were caught and some scenes need to be rewritten, with other scenes ending up on the cutting room floor. It's great to feel so supported by people generously giving their time to helping me improve the next novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.

Martyn Halm Research can be fun. I'm currently smoking heaps of herb and listening to Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru, Yabby U, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Yellowman, Peter Tosh, and Aswad, to adequately research the fourth novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, Ghosting.

Beats watching an autopsy for Reprobate.

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