Tag Archives: Once Was Lost

‘Once Was Lost,’ by Matthew Iden

Once Was Lost

This is the latest Marty Singer novel, and it just came out. I grabbed it right away. I’m enjoying this series by Matthew Iden, and Once Was Lost doesn’t disappoint.

Marty Singer, ex-Washington DC cop and cancer survivor, gets asked for a favor by his adopted daughter, Amanda. She works at a women’s shelter, and a guy who’s been doing handyman work there needs serious help. He was a low-level gangster, but he decided to testify against his boss, who’s also his uncle. Then he was betrayed, and he barely got away alive with his son when his police protectors were murdered. Now he’s had enough of gangsters and cops. He wants to run away and disappear. Can Marty help him? Can he keep the father and son safe from both the crooks and a (possibly) corrupt US marshal?

Well, it’s not easy. And Marty doesn’t much like his new “client,” Tommy Donlan, who’s arrogant, whiny, and ungrateful. But his kid is nice, and Tommy’s genuinely devoted to him. So Marty, along with Amanda, his girlfriend, and a computer geek buddy, gets to work trying to disappear Tommy.

It works. And then there’s a twist, and he needs to find the guy he’s helped to vanish.

As always, author Iden writes a tight, gripping tale. A particular excellence of this book is his development of the character of Tommy. Tommy’s very off-putting, but Iden skillfully gives him just enough humanity to make us root for him. It’s interesting that a book called Once Was Lost includes a character named Grace. There’s grace in this story, but also many reversals and surprises. Amazing, you might say.

Cautions for language. Recommended.