Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"The Spike" A Marty Singer Mystery by Matthew Iden

                                                     BOOK FOUR IN THIS SERIES

"Had I pushed away from the wall and gotten to my feet, my head would've been down and I would've missed what happened. If I'd glanced at my phone or scratched my nose or even blinked, I wouldn't have seen a thing. As it was, I was watching the incoming train like it was a movie screen and couldn't have had a better view of what happened next."

The " Marty Singer Mystery" continues with this fourth book in the series. Pick it up and dive right into the comfortable character of retired homicide detective Marty Singer.  Marty is waiting to  ride the train when it now becomes a matter of  being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Marty witnesses the murder of Wendy Gerson at the train station. Giving unsuccessful chase to the suspect , he's not much help in the description of the murderer. With the police having so little to go on the family contacts Marty and asks for his help.

Marty's leads  take him down a political road involving activists, politicians and lawyers. They are involved with corporations that buy up areas, demolish  and rebuild. Could this be what led to Wendy, a lawyer who specialized in these kinds of real estate transactions, to be killed? Another murder close to her also points in this direction. Or does it? Marty struggles with the answers to this one. The answers he seeks are not going to come easy.

As with the others in this series  this book is an excellent stand alone, but well integrated with the previous three books.  I like his growing relationship with his now "adopted" daughter Amanda from the first book in the series.  He is doing the "dad and daughter" thing and learning how to be a parent of a grown up . There are the personal situations and relationships that arose in other books that also are part of the story line and it was good to see that brought into play in this book and not brushed aside. I like the surprises that are never what I expect. Skillful story telling. He is still dealing with the consequences of his cancer diagnosis that ended his police career. We get to know Marty better with the added layers of his character with each book.

I give this book one less star than the first three. That's only because of the political corruption parts of the book. Matthew Iden did find a way though to make it an interesting read for someone who usually stays away from that type of thing. The characters are strong and the writing is top notch. If he made it interesting for someone who doesn't find it that appealing, I'm sure that someone who understands this kind of thing will be enthralled. It is legal for corporations/groups to buy up neighborhoods, push people out and then rebuild.   There are people out there who do this all the while convincing people its whats best for them. Meanwhile someone is making a lot of money at their expense. Sometimes there are hold outs though. People who don't want to sell their little piece of the American dream. That's where "The Spike" comes in. I didn't understand the concept when I first started the book but have a clearer view of how these things work.  So I did learn some new things and to me that's always a plus. Here is a small excerpt in reference to "The Spike."

"Is it the notion of the spike that appeals, Singer?" he asked in the mocking tone he'd used when we first spoke. "A lone hero, holding out against the forces of corruption and evil? A solitary figure railing against the darkness?"

Onto the fifth book! I hear from the author that there will be more after the fifth one and that there is a short story out there that is also part of this series. I will post an update concerning that when I have that information. I'm sure you'll want to continue with this series. I know I will.

Thank you to Matthew Iden, Netgalley and Thomas& Mercer Publisher for the A.R.C.

                        Buy "The Spike: A Marty Singer Mystery on Amazon: click here!