Available for Kindle, PC, laptops, smart phones, tablets. Download the Kindle App here.
Phil Martin, Manchester’s latest crime / thriller writer has six novels available now on the Kindle Store from Amazon.
“I grew up in the creative cauldron of nineties Manchester when Madchester rocked the charts and the Hacienda ruled clubland. The city has shaped me as a writer. My name’s Phil Martin and I am a proud Mancunian. I write thrillers and crime stories based on the fine folk of Manchester and Salford and sell them online as ebooks. Click on the covers above to read a free chapter and follow the links to amazon to buy them if they grab you. I hope they do. Take a look too at my Manchester poems on my blog. If you’ve ever lived or breathed anything Manchester, they should resonate.”
My books focus on normal Mancunians whose lives are changed forever by crime or by chance encounters with fictional gangs in Manchester, Salford, London, Las Vegas, from Eastern Europe and beyond. I don’t write from the gang’s point of view nor do I write about superheroes or humans with superhuman strength, trained to fight or cope way beyond the normal means of you or me. My plots focus on relationships, breakups, breakdowns and self-discovery. They toy with psychology, spirituality, destiny and human compassion, all taking place against the backdrop of the criminal underworld with its drugs wars, revenge missions, gun laws and murders. My stories break the crime genre; they blend dark humour with likeable villains. I hope they’ll break you too.
Possession versus mental health versus heroin addiction; what if your girlfriend wasn’t just restless in her sleep, she was murderous?
Navenka Banović and Declan Davenport are on a collision course from hell.
Declan’s search for the future Mrs Davenport takes him online, where a terrifying cry for help from a cam girl leads him to a secluded mansion in Cheshire’s countryside. Doubling as an illegal casino and brothel for the rich and famous, it hides the darkest of secrets. Declan has to take on Manchester’s most feared gang if he is to rescue the cam girl but they are the least of his worries. His prize hides a far darker secret than the heroin addiction forced onto her.
Navenka must face up to her inner demons but Declan doesn’t realise those demons are all too keen to take him on too. As her night terrors turn more sinister and her behaviour becomes more erratic, it becomes clear that Declan’s death is only part of the focus for whatever is controlling her. It wants revenge and that means both their lives are in danger.
A queue is forming though; the gang, her past in war-torn Serbia and her dark secret all block their route to future happiness. Declan will explore any avenue to find her salvation from psychological to spiritual. Because as he learns, when God closes the door, the devil can open a window but Declan knows demons aren’t real; Navenka just needs saving.
Pete Wyatt is a nineteen-year-old trainee hairdresser funding styling school with what he convinces himself is small time, drug dealing in a Manchester nightclub.
His money-making scheme sends him deep into the shadows of the Manchester drugs trade where he witnesses a gangland execution that will change his life forever.
Suddenly every crook in town wants a piece of him. Tortured by the pain of what unfolds, and let down by the courts, he promises to exact his own revenge, risking his job, his life and every relationship he’s ever forged. As his career as a hairdresser takes off he realises he is perfectly positioned to deliver retribution.
A double life emerges. During the day he styles in a camp city centre salon, in the evenings he cuts the hair of the wives and girlfriends of the men he wants to kill, priming them for information, and at night his alto ego hunts down those who have wronged him. His mission is to bring down one of Manchester’s leading crime families. His sacrifice is the normality of his own existence.
Suspicions rise; the spate of unusual deaths is no coincidence. Manchester’s underworld has spawned a vigilante but who will stop him; the girlfriend, the police or those at the top of his list?
Having graduated from Medical school, Amy Walker turns her attention to another of her lifelong ambitions; finding out more about where she came from.
Adopted at an early age by a loving couple reaching retirement age, Amy grew up believing she was orphaned in a tragic coach crash in Tuscany. Her initial research though tells her one thing, she was never on that coach in Italy. Having exposed lie after lie told by her foster parents, Amy decides she should stop at nothing to find out her truth.
After journeying from her Manchester home to the shanty towns and palaces of Morocco and the home of an erratic, elusive socialite, more untruths lead her back to London and a dark Chechen underworld that her adopted parents’ suburban existence could never have been a part of.
As Amy gets closer to unearthing her truth, discovering she was the third on a sinister, coded list of stolen children spanning two decades, she disturbs it, alerting it to her existence. The gang are still in operation and planning to strike again, this time in Barcelona. As she gets closer to the person who took her, the person who holds all her secrets, she realises her truth will do anything to stay hidden.
Amy Walker must be silenced.
Little girl lost must never be found.
Never a couple to conform, Jamie and Lauren’s wedding is set to take place in Las Vegas but not before their obligatory hen and stag do’s on the same trip.
Her military-like attention to detail will ensure there are no mishaps in the travel arrangements for friends and family. Only one thing could let her down now; him.
Travelling a day earlier, Jamie’s stag do is quickly sucked into an American gang culture that none of them understand and they soon discover that money isn’t the only thing to lose in Las Vegas.
A promise to his fiancée and a night at a strip club lure the group away from the protective bubble of The Strip and deep into a fragmented gang culture about to implode.
Any pre-wedding nerves are cast to once side as the group become the number one target for both the gangs and the police in the Valley’s bloodiest weekend since the mob ruled.
But as the real motives for some of the group travelling to Sin City emerge they are plunged into ever deepening crisis. By the time the girls turn up their party of a lifetime has turned into a gamble just to stay alive.
And as the body count mounts it is the unlikeliest of relationships with a four-year-old girl that will ultimately decide whether he says I do or I don’t and whether he lives or dies.
Having discovered she was third on a sinister, coded list of children, stolen to order over two decades ago, Amy Walker travels to Monza to meet the blood parents revealed to her in the final breath of the female gangster who snatched her.
However nothing is as it seems in north Milan and Amy will have to fight once more just to stay alive. Only one man can save her.
Superintendent Needham and Detective Flowers have all but exhausted the list of children that Amy discovered with each sorry case leading to nothing. Only the details behind one final snatch remain to be discovered.
Zurich provides their last chance to unearth anything positive, could there be another Amy Walker out there; another child snatched but still alive?
With her life expectancy ticking close to zero, Amy Walker’s journey to discover the life she was stolen from has been replaced by a struggle to just stay alive.
Vitali knows Chechnya will provide their next clue but with Amy bleeding heavily she may not even last that long. As they journey across the vast wastelands of Russia the couple have become the number one target for a criminal brotherhood stretching from London to Chechnya and everywhere in-between. The bounty on her head has never been so high but the Moscow Police aren’t after a payday; they just need her dead at any cost. Two death squads are despatched but, motivated by the money, will the gangs get to them first?
Superintendent Needham’s obsession with Walker sees the girl’s origins become the focus of New Scotland Yard. If her instinct is right, Walker’s truth is far darker than she could have ever imagined. But solving crime is only part of Needham’s motivation. What she wants to uncover has the potential to finish off Amy Walker more brutally than any gang member ever could. Needham is convinced that three unsolved cases, linked to dead, London crime lord Vyacheslav Khasbulatov ultimately hold the key to unlocking her dark secrets. She is convinced too that Child No. 3 is on a vigilante quest to murder anyone connected to her abduction, twenty three years ago.
As Amy’s plight moves into ever darker territory, Needham is convinced her secrets lie closer to home. Both routes to Amy’s past are set to collide with each other as well as with the London, Russian and Chechen underworlds.
Born and bred in North Manchester, I grew up in the leafy suburb of Whitefield backing onto Hillock playing fields and Hillock Estate, originally a Beswick overspill, behind it. I spent most of my time on the fields or the estate, playing football and watching the older lads be naughty. I asked my mum to move onto the estate many times but we stayed put, on the periphery of easily accessible naughtiness, but separated from it.
I breezed but didn’t excel through school, then stumbled through college as girls and clubbing replaced football as my favoured pastime. United burst onto the scene as a ten year old and blew me away becoming an addiction ever since. Then trouble on the terraces caught my eye from the safety of the seats of K-stand, watching the naughtiness unfold below but always staying on the periphery. Madchester rocked through my teenage years; Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, North Star and James were my musical backdrops, the same as every Manc lucky enough to live through that era; but I was just a normal kid growing up in a very special Manchester.
Clubbing kicked in as soon as I could pass the bouncer’s stare and house music soon took over. Sampling the Hacienda as a wide-eyed, naive seventeen-year-old, I graduated properly through the schooling of Bowlers, Maxims, Wigan Pier, Hippos, Angels, Love Shack and The Limit, mixing with naughtiness from the periphery again. Watching bouncers and gangsters in their play grounds and pay grounds intrigued me but always keeping that safe distance, hoping I knew how to stay out of the serious trouble. Liverpool beckoned and nights out in Quadrant Park, 151 and The Drome in Birkenhead brought trepidation but happy times. The vibe was the same at both ends of the 62.
Sheffield Uni in the mid-nineties would set me on the straight and narrow, a large sleepy village compared to a sprawling metropolis. But South Yorkshire boomed and in no time caught ground on Manc where clubland was suffering from gangland trouble. Rise at The Leadmill, Niche, Love To Be, The Arches and Republic all brought the same fond memories but to a less edgy backdrop. Trips back to the North West were frequent, to The Hac, time after time, Home at Ducie House and getting lost again and again in Cream. House music and Saturday nights ruled my life. The clubs, the doors, the gangs; they all fascinated me.
And then came Ibiza in the mid-nineties, and what would become a once yearly pilgrimage to pay homage to the White Isle and all it bestows. Once again I was in awe of the extravagance of the naughtiness but I bought into everything, every aspect of the island, not least that two exiled club promoters chased out of Manchester by the gangs. They relocated to Ibiza and set up Manumission; the most hedonistic, sexually spectacular club experience ever. Theirs is a story I’d love to write but I hear they’re writing the film script themselves. But me? I was nowhere near a writer at that stage.
I studied English at Uni, I can speak it quite well now, but it passed in a blur. I wanted to write but was nowhere near qualified so stayed in Sheffield to train as a journalist. At last I was ready to pave a career for myself, first writing about traditional markets and then moving onto casinos, bringing frequent trips to Las Vegas, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, China and everywhere across Europe. Journeying to Eastern Europe thrilled me most, again with a blend of trepidation and fascination. Kalashnikov-armed doorman in Russia, cloakrooms for guns, police ripping up passports for bribes and the most alluring sorry-eyed, model-esque females lying naked as some high-roller’s decoration on a canopes platter. I stayed safe just and carved out a career I still enjoy today. The gaming industry has taught me a lot. I experienced much on my travels; mixing with entrepreneurs, millionaires and that most spellbinding of businessman; the casino owners themselves. I was fast becoming a social chameleon.
Football remained a constant, home and away, closer to the naughtiness, proud Mancunian/Salfordian people with real attitudes with no one allowed to take liberties. The alcohol-fuelled camaraderie and the match itself was enough for me but life felt real. Manchester had changed; the Hac was no more and bar culture had taken over. The sub-cultures of clubs such as North, Venus, Sankies and Ampersand were still carved into the hedonism of my weekend. The gangs were still there but the doors were controlled. Fights became fights and not all out wars. The guns weren’t gone but they’d edged out of the city, back into the strongholds of the criminal worlds, for the most part at least.
Writing fiction took a grip of my early thirties. Fittingly, a brush with the underworld fuelled my desires. Sucked into a film script in a matter of minutes, just surviving a spiralling situation in Vegas, I felt compelled to write about it to cleanse myself. What if this had happened, what if I’d done that, and a new journey was born. Stories formed in my head, sparked by snippets of conversations, crime on the news and other peoples’ stories of naughtiness, watched from their own peripheries. My mind began working differently. I’d submersed myself in all manner of subcultures and seen the world through so many different peoples’ eyes. Now I wanted to write. But it didn’t come easy; my skills are still raw with rewrite after rewrite. I’ve had to teach myself the trade and the work is a graft but one I enjoy. Because of all this, my stories feel real. I’ve listened and watched and absorbed different perspectives all my life and now I’m ready to launch. I hope you enjoy my books.