About Martyn V. Halm and the Amsterdam Assassin Series
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Under the name Loki Enterprises, Katla specialises in disguising homicide and providing permanent solutions for both individuals and corporations.
With authentic details and brisk action against the backdrop of the notorious Dutch capital, featuring a devious heroine and a supporting cast of singular characters, the Amsterdam Assassin Series gives a rare glimpse into local Dutch culture, international terrorism, computer hacking, forensic sciences, martial arts, foreign intelligence services, the psychology of social engineering, and the brutal efficacy of disciplined violence.
The first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, Reprobate, marks the first time Katla breaks one of her own rules, and how this affects both her personal and business life.
The second novel, Peccadillo, shows what happens when you attempt a hostile takeover of an assassin’s legitimate business cover.
The third novel, Rogue, has Katla taking a contract she shouldn’t have taken, which brings her to the attention of international intelligence communities.
A fourth novel, working title Ghosting, is in development and slated for release in 2015.
While the novels are stand-alone and can be read out of order, reading them in chronological order might be more enjoyable.
Between the publications of the novels, the Amsterdam Assassin Series will also feature stand-alone short stories, the Katla KillFiles. The Katla KillFiles chronologically precede the novels in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. Each KillFile features Katla executing one of her contracts before the events in Reprobate, and, while not mandatory reading, each KillFile provides insight both in Katla’s work methods and skill, and additional background information in her character and personal history. The KillFiles can be read out of order, as the contracts are random samples from her past.
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About the author:
Martyn V. Halm lives in Amsterdam, with his wife Maaike, two children, two cats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.
Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work. Martyn is a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction, even if that requires learning new skills. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche’s abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first kill. And, apart from being an accomplished prevaricator, Martyn already possessed several skills that qualified him to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
- Like Bram, Martyn studies the game of Go, although he wouldn’t be able to play an entire game with his eyes closed.
- A former bouncer, Martyn trains in aikido and koryu bujutsu. The combination of street-fighting and martial arts provides him with the experience to write realistic fighting scenes. Plus he knows how to wield a Japanese sword convincingly.
- His knowledge of Namikoshi shiatsu is reflected in Bram Merleyn’s mastery of acu-pressure massage.
- Like Katla, Martyn is a former motorcycle courier and loves to go for rides on his motorcycles — both to commute in the congested Randstad and for recreation. His personal motorcycles are a tricked-out bedlinered BMW R1100GS, a dented Vespa PX200E motor scooter, and a Moto Guzzi Mille GT with EZS sidecar that he uses to cart the children around. His wife’s Suzuki 650 V-Strom Black Rhino will do in a pinch.
- Martyn shares his protagonist’s fondness for sharp implements and projectile weapons developed before the age of firearms. His expertise with catapults, throwing blades and darts, and (cross)bows notwithstanding, he knows how to handle light firearms. And spud guns.
- While he is as fastidious about tea as Bram and as critical about coffee as Katla, Martyn prefers a cappuccino over an espresso, and drinks his Lapsang without sugar.
- While Martyn is nowhere near as handy with lockpicks as Katla, most household locks are unable to resist him for long.
- Although Martyn also shares some of Katla’s lethal and unorthodox skills, he doesn’t feel the need to use them for illegal activities. Crime might pay, but writing about crime provides a steadier income with less risk.
Martyn always enjoyed stories about assassins, but his opinion on assassins differed from the books he read. Since most fictional assassins are antagonists, they are often warped individuals, with freaky childhoods. However, Martyn has come across mercenaries (basically the same field), who are pretty regular people. Sure their view of the world differs from ordinary citizens, but they’re not ‘warped’. This made him want to write about an assassin who has no deep-seated frustration or abused childhood, but who just realised that killing was what she was good at and who had the appropriate world view and lack of conscience to pull it off.
Martyn likes stories by Philip K. Dick, Iain (M.) Banks, Vachss, Wiltse, Jim Thompson, Pirsig, Chuck Palahniuk, and Philip Jose Farmer, graphic novels and comics by Andre Franquin, Henk Kuypers, Milo Manara and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud. He listens to Freddie Hubbard, John Mayer, Wynton Kelly, James Morrison, Stanley Clarke, Portishead, Tom Waits, Hank Mobley, Radiohead, The Doors, Tony Overwater, Chris Hinze, Talk Talk, Mozart, Miles Davis, Tori Amos, King Crimson, Lou Donaldson, Pink Floyd, Art Farmer, Yes, Lee Morgan, Rammstein, Freddie Redd, Muse, Ludwig Van…
[Covers by Farah Evers Design.]