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Matthew Iden

Author of A Reason to Live

22+ Works 536 Members 58 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Matthew Iden

Image credit: Crime fiction author Matthew Iden on his back porch. There's a Bloody Mary in his right hand, but you'll never see it in the picture.


Works by Matthew Iden

A Reason to Live (2012) 157 copies
The Winter Over (2017) 146 copies
One Right Thing (2013) 24 copies
Three Shorts (2011) 23 copies
Three the Hard Way (2011) 22 copies
Birthday Girl (2018) 15 copies
The Spike (2013) 13 copies
Finding Emma (2013) 12 copies
The Wicked Flee (2014) 10 copies
Assassin (2012) 9 copies
one bad twelve (2011) 8 copies
Once Was Lost (2016) 7 copies
The Sword of Kings (2012) 4 copies

Associated Works


Common Knowledge




Predictable, dull, and unwieldy

The author tries to cover too many characters at once, which only accomplishes 3 things.
1) Less emotional connection to the characters because the POV is so spread out and there's so many characters to keep track of.
2) A generic, formulaic tragic back story for every character, which gets old.
3) Making it clear who the Observer is because it's the only damn character focused on in detail that doesn't get a POV.

Besides that, there was way too much exposition and lackluster description. One can only describe the snow and cold in so many ways. But still, I trudged on because I thought it might be worth it.

Nope. Just a disappointing climax and a rushed ending that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. We follow the main protagonist and we hope she will do something but in the end deus ex machina happens and she closes her eyes and all of a sudden everything is OK.

I'd rather freeze in the snow than recommend this book to anyone.
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CrispTea | 6 other reviews | Jul 5, 2023 |
This was gripping and fun, with a decent mystery and good use of the Antarctic locale. It loses a star for a lack of originality and some clumsy writing at times, but overall it's a solid and enjoyable thriller. The characters are a mixed bag, some more convincing than other, but I did really enjoy the portrayal of the heroine.

This is the first book where I've read and listened to it using Whispersync of the Audible and Kindle versions, have to say it worked really well and I'll definitely be doing more of it.… (more)
whatmeworry | 6 other reviews | Apr 9, 2022 |
Earlier this year, I read the eighth book in this series, Chasing the Pain , and enjoyed it enough that I had to go back to the first book and read the whole series.

“What’s your first move?”

“We’ve narrowed it down to Michael Wheeler or the rest of humanity,” I said. “So let’s start with Wheeler.”

Twelve years ago, Detective Marty Singer investigated a murder. A police officer was in the home of a woman he'd been harassing and shot her. Singer didn't believe his story and arrested him, and worked as hard as he could to put the cop away. It didn't work, he was acquitted and then disappeared. In the ensuing years, this has haunted Marty.

Now, that woman's daughter, Amanda, has tracked him down—she's being stalked, harassed by someone—and all the evidence points to it being the man who killed her mom.

So she comes to the detective she learned to trust all those years ago—she needs his help to keep her alive. The downside is that Marty recently retired from the force so that he could focus on cancer treatment. But there's no reason to tell Amanda that—Marty feels he owes her (and her mother) a debt he can't repay, so he'll do the next best thing—keep her alive.


I'd been treating cancer like it was the flu, an inconvenience that I’d have to put up with temporarily. Except cancer wasn’t just a sore throat and a fever, and chemo wasn’t just a shot in the arm. Cancer wasn’t a bump in the road—it was the road, and I’d better make plans to treat it that way. My life, as I knew it, had changed for good.

Sure, there's a murdering stalker out there, but the "Big Bad" of this novel is Marty's cancer. It casts a looming shadow over everything, it affects the way that Marty can work—how he can investigate, protect, and defend.

I don't know how many books will feature this struggle—I hope we get a couple more. I do know, thanks to starting the series where I did, that it's not a constant presence in the series. I just hope that it sticks around for a bit—it's refreshing seeing someone have to deal with things like this.


Amanda’s face was animated, happy. I realized I wanted it to stay that way. Why? Was it feelings of guilt from a job poorly done more than a decade ago? I’d probably done worse things to more people over the years and I wasn’t hustling to make amends with them. Was it paternal? Misplaced feelings for a kid I’d never had? Maybe. But the real reason was closer at hand. It didn’t take much imagination to wonder what I’d be doing right now, how I would feel, if she hadn’t had the guts to walk up to me

It almost feels like a creepy thing for Marty to find a reason to live in Amanda, but it's not. As he says in the quotation—it's like he found the daughter he never had—and he gets to do something for her that he couldn't do twelve years earlier—identify and then stop her mother's killer.

Add in the fact that Iden made her sweet and supportive, a nice person with a good heart, and obviously, readers will get invested in her quickly and will frequently be on the edge of their seats to see if Marty can keep her safe.


And what became clear to me in that infinite moment is that, ironically, a man with cancer has more options than one that doesn’t. Having already stared my own mortality in the face, I couldn’t really be threatened with death.

When you have a thriller where the protagonist really can't be threatened? That adds a little something

Of course, Marty's lying to himself—there are threats that would make him stop everything—but as long as he believes he can't be threatened, it does give him more options and adds a little something to the novel. Throw in the complications of his varying amounts of energy and stamina with the added complication of learning how to act without a badge to back him up.

Sure, some of the tension was eased because I knew the outcome for most of the characters, I knew the relationships that were being created here—just knowing that the series goes at least eight books tells you a lot right there.

Still, it was a gripping read, and a good introduction to Marty and Amanda and Marty's retired life. A fast, enjoyable novel—it's easy to see why the series has been going as long as it has been. You should check it out.
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hcnewton | 8 other reviews | Aug 31, 2021 |
Retired detective Marty Singer gets involved with one of his old cases - the daughter of a woman murder 12 years before believes that she is being stalked by her mother's murderer.
Vesper1931 | 8 other reviews | Jul 29, 2021 |

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