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Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Reason to Live--Marty Singer, Retired DC Detective and Cancer Patient

Reason to Live, AReason to Live, A by Matthew Iden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marty Singer, retired DC Homicide Detective and recently diagnosed cancer patient, is demoralized, depressed, despondent, lonely, restless, hopeless. Mindlessly, he sits nursing a cup of coffee in a small café when a young girl stops at his elbow and identifies herself as the daughter of a woman slain by a fellow cop 12 years ago. Despite what appeared to be an open and shut slam dunk case, the cop, Michael Wheeler, walked and Marty was the lead detective on the case.

Now, Amanda, a twenty something young woman stands before him and announces that Wheeler is back in town and she is afraid for her life. She needs Singer to find Wheeler and protect her. Suddenly, Marty is energized at the prospect of finally getting justice for Amanda's mother and, at the same time, putting Wheeler away--something Marty was not able to do the first time and for which he has always felt somehow guilty. What went wrong in a case that seemed so iron clad? Can he get it right this time and prevent Wheeler from killing yet another woman, Brenda Lane's daughter?

Marty's sleuthing is helped by his former partner, Kransky, as well as Wheeler's defense attorney. Every time there appears to be a viable lead it falls through. The biggest mystery is where Wheeler is and where he has been for the past 12 years, since his acquittal. He appears to have fallen off the face of the Earth and yet he seems to be stalking Amanda and leaving white carnation petals, the flower he gave her as a child, in places where she works and frequents.

Interwoven with the investigation is Marty's starting chemotherapy--something which leaves him nauseous and weak and which brings the reality of his disease into focus. Not sure what the outcome of his cancer will be, Marty finds that the challenge of protecting Amanda and investigating the man who killed her mother helps to keep him going and gives him a reason to live.

Well written and exciting, Iden keeps the story moving and the reader guessing practically to the last page. A really Good Read.

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