“The dead will always find ways to speak….”
When Teffy Byrne steals a dead sex worker’s coded journal from a local art show, she thinks it might shed light on an unsolved murder committed seven years ago. The victim? Teresa Squires, her boyfriend Ger’s old flame.
But Teffy has to put Teresa’s journal aside because Troy Hopper, Ger’s former drug boss, is out of Her Majesty’s Penitentiary and trying to contact Ger through her. An attempt to protect her lover quickly gets out of hand and Teffy finds herself stranded on an island with a pound of Troy’s heroin smuggled inside a dead woman’s urn: a dead woman whose daughter is intent on scattering what she thinks are her mother’s ashes.
But Teffy is determined to get the dope back and crack the code to that stolen journal. She just has no idea how explosive the journal’s contents will turn out to be.
Martin’s propulsive storytelling, knife-edge prose, and deep compassion for the hardscrabble lives of his characters will keep you turning pages in this North Atlantic noir set against the hip galleries and rapidly changing outports of modern Newfoundland.
When the Dead Are Razed is a nightmare—a dark, vividly realized crime novel that exposes the cruel underbelly of violence in the drug and sex trade in Newfoundland. Deeply affecting, masterfully taut, and explosive.
Lisa Moore, award-winning author of Caught
Tangly, breakneck, and profound, When the Dead Are Razed is a study of evil and love, and the prices we pay for even the best of motives. This is not a pretty novel. It’s something much rarer: a beautiful novel, with the complexities of the human condition laid bare. Hilarious and terrifying—often in the same moment—When the Dead Are Razed knocked me flat.
Michelle Butler Hallett, author of Constant Nobody
When the Dead Are Razed takes us on a harrowing journey through the underbelly of Newfoundland, spurred on by a singular and authentic writing voice drawn from the very bones of the place. It’s a story that is equal parts ferocity and heart, one that hurls the reader into a world they may never have known without Martin’s vivid prose and formidable protagonist Teffy Byrne as guide through the beauty and mayhem.
Kevin Hardcastle, award-winning author of In the Cage
Samuel Martin’s When the Dead Are Razed is a headlong, no-holds-barred, gritty story of brokenness and hard-won grace. The breakneck pace makes the pages fly by even as Teffy’s story sinks deep and lodges itself in your heart and mind. Moments of tenderness litter these steely pages and offer glimpses of unexpected redemption. A striking work for a talented new voice.
Nicole Baart, bestselling author of Little Broken Things