Empty Places

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
242 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Martin Roy Hill is the author of the military mystery thriller, "The Killing Depths," and the award-winning short story collection, "DUTY: Suspense and Mystery Stories from the Cold War and Beyond." His latest mystery thriller, "Empty Places," was released in October 2013.

Martin spent more than 20 years as a staff reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines, before becoming a military analyst specializing in battlefield medical operations for the Navy. His freelance credits include Reader's Digest, LIFE, Newsweek, Omni, American History, Coast Guard Magazine, Retired Officer Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Opinion Section, and many more.

Much of Martin's freelance work involves historical topics, especially military history. He was a lead contributor to the 1995 WWII anthology, "From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki: America at War," published by the Retired Officer Association (now called the Military Officer Association. He was also a contributor to the Civil War anthology, "Gettysburg: Three Days that Saved the United States," published by I-5 Publishing.

Martin's short stories have appeared in such publications as Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Alt Hist: The Magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History, Plan B Mystery Anthology, The Off the KUF Anthology Vol. 2, San Diego Magazine, and San Diego Writer's Monthly. His first book, "DUTY," was named the Best Short Story Anthology/Collection during the 2013 San Diego Book Awards (SDBA). "The Killing Depths" was also named a finalist for the SDBA Sisters In Crime Mystery Award.

A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Reserves, and the California National Guard, Martin has also served on a sheriff's wilderness search and rescue team, and on two disaster response teams. He lives in La Jolla, CA.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

California TV Reporter Robin Anderson thinks she’s meeting a source that will take her career to the next level but he is there for far more nefarious reasons. When Peter Brandt, Robin’s ex-husband returns to California to bury her, he learns from his buddy Matt, a police officer turned private investigator that she was murdered, probably a planned hit. Whether it is his instincts as a war correspondent or looking at Robin’s solitary existence and seeing it mirror his own, Peter decides to do a little digging. In Empty Places we get to see the good side of reporting, albeit reporting in 1987, of hard-working reporters going after stories that matter. Martin Roy Hill did a fantastic job of keeping the tension slowly simmering throughout most of the story, then hitting the reader with a heavy dose of reflection at the perfect moment.

Empty Places reads like a fast paced action-thriller. From the beginning as Robin hears Peter’s advice about meeting sources in dark empty places echoing in her head you know that something truly interesting is about to happen. As Peter seeks to unravel the mystery of his ex’s murder, we are taken on a wild ride filled with shady, rich people with ulterior motives. Martin Roy Hill created a gem of a character in Peter Brandt. His world weariness is so visceral you can feel it emanating from the pages, and his straightforward attitude made him easy to like. That same attitude also made it easy for those in his path to dislike him and seek to quiet him. The method of blending fiction with real life events was not only an incredible idea, but it added layers of potential suspects so when the who and the way are finally revealed it feels like a shocker!