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A Reason to Live

(Marty Singer #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,093 ratings  ·  260 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 .

Paperback, 333 pages
Published May 2012 by Createspace
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,093 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
It is pretty standard that the main character in any police/ private investigator type mystery has to have an issue, usually alcoholism or a recent divorce due to the pressures of the job or something similar. Well Marty Singer has the ultimate issue. He has just been diagnosed with cancer and is about to commence some aggressive chemotherapy.

Actually as the book begins we find Marty in a depressed state due to his diagnosis and the fact that he has had to retire early. As the title says he
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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" ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, read-2013
Id barely started reading A Reason to Live 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 caféI don't know the name, Middle Grounds or Mean Bean or something preciouswas 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, hoping
3.75 stars rounded up

It has been a while since I started a new mystery series by a new-to-me author. I picked this up from "Read Now" Mystery Section at Netgalley on a whim; I liked the cover. But as I started, it turned out to be a good decision. I really enjoyed this mainly because of one element. Marty Singer, the former DC homicide detective retired because he suffered cancer. For me that was one of the major factors contributed to my thinking this was different. I don't think I have read
Jan Rice
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The author of this detective novel crafts his words well. I seem to need to squeeze more fiction into my life, and this one, waiting on my Audible queue, was next up. The set-up went according to a certain convention, that of the unhappily retired police detective (Marty Singer) who is sucked back into work over unfinished business with an old case. I thought the pretext could be a lovingly repeated trope, as opposed to being unoriginal--but then again I don't usually read detective novels. The ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
This book was a distraction. Dont 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. Hes 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
P.D. Martin
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 whos starting his battle with cancer when a case from the past comes knocking on his door. A murder victims daughter is worried shes being targeted by the same man who killed her mother twelve years earlier.

This is an impressive debut novel from author Matthew Iden and Im looking forward to reading more of his work and
May 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Storyline was thin and characters woefully underwhelming. Stereotypical jaded hard cop going through chemo, unethical (but beautiful, and ultimately beddable, defense attorney) and young, naive victim of past wrongs failed to equal anything close to a good book. Female characters were so irritating I found myself yelling at them in my head. Singer's major leaps from investigative process to full on crisis, from sleep to stalking a would-be intruder was just too much to take. Even the "twists" ...more
Jamie Rose
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Retired cop Marty Singer is given a chance to get it right when the murder victims daughter is being stalked by the unpunished murderer and she asks for his help. Marty is retired due to his recent cancer diagnosis and has days where he cannot due much due to his chemo treatments which makes his character seem all the more human as he struggles to get thru his day to day life. This was a good legal thriller with a twist at the end. I look forward to reading more of the Marty Singer books. I ...more
Liz Barnsley
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.

Ill admit that I found the first couple of chapters a little slow going, but this story soon kicked into gear and I found myself
Lynda Kelly
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Denise MacDonald
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s
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
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery.

Touching, compelling story and real characters you'll like to meet. Some of them for sure. Great reason to read is the Marty Singer, he's in his fifties and has colon cancer. While going through chemo trying to help Amanda and keep her safe. Also makes sure his cat Pierre is taking care of too.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
A different take on a flawed hero, a chance to make amends and a psychopathic stalker make for a ripping yarn. It was kind of heart-warming too. It will be interesting to see where to from here for this particular hero.
Susannah Carleton
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting main character and premise--a homicide detective in D. C., Marty Singer, who retired after thirty-plus years because he's battling cancer---and a twelve-year-old case against a former cop, who walked because the case was bungled, key evidence was missing, etc. The daughter of the woman who was killed in the old case comes to Marty because she believes the man who killed her mother is now after her. Marty isn't sure what he can do, but he's willing to help her. They get help from some ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Marty Singer is a new character (to me) and an interesting one. He's a retired detective who's been carrying guilt for a botched case for 12 years; a murderer got off because of police error. Now comes a chance to help the victim's daughter. There is the small matter of having cancer & needing to start chemo in a few days. Since there is a novel, you already know that he decided to do the right thing. And I can't tell you any more without spoiling it for you.

The main characters are solidly
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great police story with twists and turns. Quick read too!
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK. Not bad but nothing special. There are better crime stories out there. For example, it takes place in DC, but the story felt like it could have been anywhere in US.
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"But you were the only one in charge of the case, Marty," he said, stopping and jabbing a finger into my chest. "The rest of us got to stand by and watch it go down the tubes. A good woman died, a girl got orphaned, and we got watch Wheeler walk out with a smile on his face because you screwed up."

This is my first read of the five book series about Detective Marty Singer. Series, detectives, crime stories, you're calling my name. In the late 1990's Marty was forced to watch a bad cop, Michael
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
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
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, reviewed, netgalley
Ex-detective Marty Singer is struggling to come to terms with an early retirement and the mental and physical challenge of fighting back against colon cancer when Amanda asks him for help. 12 years ago her mother was murdered - by a cop who walked free and then disappeared. Now she thinks he's back, and Marty grasps this chance for redemption - a chance to make right the mistakes of the department. An easy read, but very descriptive that really paints a vivid picture for every character and ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
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 ...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
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a free book on my Nook. What a surprise! It turned out to be one the best mysteries I've encountered for a long time. Vivid imagery heightens the impact of a well-told story. Marty Singer is an ex-cop, forced into retirement when he learns that he has a debilitating cancer. But along comes a young woman, Amy, who needs his help. She is the daughter of a murder victim whose case he worked years ago. Her mother had been stalked by another cop and now her stalker has been released from ...more
Susan Angela Wallace
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Reason To Live By Matthew Iden is a mystery and thriller and general fiction (adult) read.
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 killerand a first
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I requested this from Netgalley to see if it would be something that I might actually like, and while I did like it for some reason I just didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. I loved the main character and the story,but there was something I just couldn't enjoy about it ,which is funny since I usually love reading mystery and suspense thriller type novels.i think what it was is that there's something about the story that just didn't pull me into the story.
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Cinematic action, not enough introspection 1 15 Aug 14, 2012 04:50AM  

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I write fantasy, science fiction, horror, thrillers, crime fiction, and contemporary literary fiction with a psychological twist.

Ive 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,

Other books in the series

Marty Singer (6 books)
  • Blueblood (Marty Singer, #2)
  • One Right Thing (Marty Singer, #3)
  • The Spike (Marty Singer, #4)
  • The Wicked Flee (Marty Singer #5)
  • Once Was Lost (Marty Singer, #6)

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With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with ever...
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“a ragged jean jacket to guard against the bite of early December.” 2 likes
“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.” 1 likes
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