Welcome to another Free Read Sunday

Welcome to another Free Read Sunday


My new book THE TROUBLE is FREE today as part of this month's History, Crime, and Mystery promotion, 16 free and sale-priced mystery, crime, suspense, and detective novels from our friends at BookFunnel and their generous authors.


THE TROUBLE follows homicide detective Adam Kincaid and Catholic nun/forensic psychologist Jane Grey as they pursue a ritualistic serial killer during the Irish civil war known as the Troubles.


My latest book, an advance reader copy of DEATH MAGNANIMOUS, is also FREE as part of BookFunnel's 2022 Fiction event. All 22 novels are FREE until Wednesday, Dec. 7.

CLICK THE PIX on the promo pages if you want in on these fabulous deals!


In The Trouble, homicide detective Adam Kincaid, from the Irish Republic -- the southern part of Ireland -- doggedly pursues a wily serial killer across the border to Northern Ireland, where most of the battles, bombings, and bloody mayhem occurred.

An inspector with the Irish Republic's main police agency, An Garda Siochana, Kincaid forms an uneasy alliance with a police sergeant from Northern Ireland's Royal Ulster Constabulary, Kevin O'Connell.

The killer targets male victims in the Republic, female victims in the North. Women are burned; men suffer other tortures, including crucifixion and beheading.

In search of the "why" behind these crimes, Kincaid and Sister Jane Grey, a forensic psychologist hired by An Garda Siochana, research old-school executions. In one book, they read:

“Women guilty of heresy and other crimes against either the Catholic or Anglican Churches were almost exclusively burned, to avoid the ‘indecent’ exposures which might occur during those execution techniques reserved for men, notably quartering and beheading. Follows a tradition established during the earlier days of crucifixions.”


In time, a pattern, a motive, and a grander scheme emerge, leading Kincaid and Grey to a high-level coverup between the Catholic Church and state agencies on both sides of the border.


Along the way, we meet and interact with some of the Troubles' most notorious participants: terrorists to their enemies, warriors to their friends.

These real-life characters, imagined before they became infamous, include James Mitchell, a leader of the Glenanne Gang; Robin Jackson, an assassin later known as The Jackal; and Brendon Smyth (Brenden Wryth in the story), a Catholic priest and convicted child molester whose crimes helped bring down the Republic of Ireland's government.


If you have read THE TROUBLE, please do leave a rating, review, or both on its Amazon or Goodreads page.  Ratings and reviews are the life blood of indie book sales; they do most of the heavy lifting yesterday's book and literary critics once handled, and they mean a lot to authors and readers.







The Trouble

DEATH MAGNANIMOUS, my newest novel, is FREE at Bookfunnel as an advance reader copy.   

It follows flamboyant criminal defense attorney Charlie Chessman, faced with choosing to live -- or die -- after a private aircraft accident badly disfigures him.

real-life story first inspired my interest.

Dax Cowart, a Texas-based criminal defense lawyer, was so badly disfigured in a natural gas explosion, he insisted on the right to end his life and the suffering he knew was ahead.
From the moment of his injury in 1973, when he begged a passerby for a gun, to his death 46 years later, Dax never let up on the idea that he a right to choose death over life, an absolute right to end his own suffering, despite the life-saving medical establishment's arguments against him.
In Death Magnanimous, Charlie Chessman faces the same choice, with the same obstinance, persistence, and passion Dax displayed that changed the course of medical ethics.

But Charlie's dilemmas are also different.

Fast forward to modern-day medicine at the fictional Jacobsen Burn Center in Pittsburgh. Pain control is light years better today than it was fifty years ago. So is reconstructive surgery, psychological care, and social acceptance.

While Dax had few viable alternatives to extreme suffering when he was treated, Charlie not only has alternatives, but eloquent, committed, modern-day role models who choose to live through some of the most terrifying injuries imaginable.

What will Charlie Chessman choose? Is the life he wants to end instead the life he's been waiting to begin?

Advance Reader Remarks

"There are two choices at play in Death Magnanimous: the external---Can I kill myself?—and the internal---Will I kill myself?  Ironically and beautifully, we see Charlie Chessman learn that even after tragedy, even after everything you’ve known is flipped upside down, life will go on. We are the only ones who can decide if and how we want to be a part of it."


In this excerpt from Death Magnanimous, Charlie Chessman is on the road to Texas with a physician, Richard Fostris, he has hired to assist in his suicide. Texas has a new law, Dax's Law, that makes physician-assisted suicide in non-terminal cases legal.  The law is fictional, but was what Dax Cowart fought his whole life to realize. Charlie is in a wheelchair now, with a catheter bag and limited mobility.

CHARLIE OPENED THE STAINLESS steel door to the extra-wide stall. The floor was wet. Toilet paper hung over the john. And only one grab bar, in a hard-to-reach place.

“You’d think a state rest stop would know ADA design,” he said.

Fostris stood at the urinal. “What’s the issue?”

“Nothing to steady myself. Well, nothing except the toilet paper holder and this—I don’t know what it is. This bar that needs a playmate. Or two.”

“Hang on.” Fostris washed his hands, looked in. “How are we going to do this?”


“I can pretend to be the missing bar. Or whatever.”

“I don’t—”

“Sure you can’t hold it?”

“No!” Charlie wheeled forward. “First, it would probably help to unwind some T. P. One less thing to maneuver.”

Fostris returned with a wad of toilet paper from another stall. Two men came through the restroom door, almost together.   

Charlie looked at the wet toilet seat. “They need to put a sign in here,” he said.  “Please be seated.” He unrolled more toilet paper and wiped down the seat. “‘Put the lid down,’ my mom always said. ‘You don’t understand,’ I always tried to tell her. Okay. All right.”

“Where do you want me?” Fostris asked.

Charlie surveyed the stainless steel fixtures. Toilet paper holder here, grab bar there, heavy-duty plastic changing table, but too far away. “Here. Left side.
Hold your hands out like you’re throwing a cheerleader.”

“Never done that.”

Charlie imitated the cradle best he could. “I’ll put my elbow in there, hand on the chair, then toilet paper holder, then—why is this bar here?”

“I’ll never look at those bars the same way again,” Fostris said.

“Stay out of our stalls, fully abled,” Charlie said.

“These stalls are usually the only clean ones.”   
The last man snickered as he dried his hands.

Fostris formed the hand cradle, lowered it to Charlie’s level.

“Watch the bag,” Charlie said. “Gotta keep it clean. Gotta keep it—” He pushed himself out of his chair, rested his elbow in Fostris’ cradle, cautiously pivoted toward the seat. As Fostris reached for the chair control to move it back, he slipped.

Collided with Charlie.

“Goddamn it!”

“Whoa, sorry,” Fostris said.

Fostris got up, wrapped his arms around Charlie’s chest. Charlie lingered precariously between wheelchair and toilet.

“It’s okay. Okay,” Charlie panted. “Help—get my pants down.”

Fostris tugged on his patient's pants until they slipped down.

“Now—hold me up.  Hold me up!” Charlie said.


They slipped again on the wet floor. Both fell, Charlie backward, Fostris forward on Charlie with a gasp. Fostris scrambled to bring them both to their feet. 


But slipped again.  

“Get up,” Charlie gasped. “Get off me.”

“I'm trying—there's—”

“Piss all over the floor.  I can't breathe!”

A man shut off the faucet and pressed back the stall door. “Can I . . . help?”


“No, but thank you.” Fostris tried to stand back.

“Don't you dare.  Don't you dare get up,” Charlie said.

Fostris slipped into Charlie.

“You see? See what it's like? Two professional men swimming in piss in some filthy-ass can and I'm shitting all over myself.  Who's gonna clean me up?  Who's gonna wipe my ass? My dear wife?” Charlie was breathless, perspiring.

“I will,” Fostris said.

The doctor dropped the wad of toilet paper and mopped up the water with a free foot. He steadied himself, swung Charlie onto the commode.

“This is how it really feels,” Charlie said. “Loneliness and dirtiness and helplessness and nobody gives a fuck until after awhile neither do you. I won't burden anyone with this.” Charlie grabbed Fostris' collar with his teeth.

“You’re okay. Let go,” the doctor said.

Fostris tugged but Charlie wouldn’t budge.  The doctor’s face reddened and his jaw tightened.

“Don't you dare imply that I don't understand suffering,” the doctor said. “Now let me up or I'll break your jaw.”

Charlie opened his mouth. “You mean what's left of it,” he said.


Can a forward-thinking woman help the police solve a murder in a backward-thinking town?

Amazon reader:

"Young ladies should be obedient, pretty, figurines that listen to their fathers.
Adele is not your typical 1900's lady.

"She is a self thinker, progressive, intelligent young woman who knows her mind and is smart enough to use it to help solve the murder of a friend. The reader can't help but root for her and her new New friends."


GET YOUR FREE COPY OF The Carnation Murder


Audiobook: Four generations of carpenters use a grand prank to kick big oil out of Southern Illinois.

Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise.

When a faulty oil derrick falls on their house and poisons their neighborhood's well, Remmy and his friends plan the world's greatest prank to drive an oil giant out of their town.



Meet Sidney Grace: Quirky Journalist. Curious Witch. Professional Butterfingers.

Sidney Grace, a young journalist living in Boston, is not ready for all the troubles heading her way. For starters, she’s curious about her grandmother’s witchcraft even though her spellcasting is a bit rusty.

But family drama and untapped magic are the least of Sidney’s troubles.

Dog Gone Troubles is a fun, heartwarming paranormal cozy with charming characters that will keep you spellbound!



Thank you so much for reading!

Until next time,

Michael Martin

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