Books by Martyn Bedford

TWENTY QUESTIONS FOR GLORIA by Martyn Bedford
YOUNG ADULT
Released: April 12, 2016

"A page-turner that runs aground on a shoal of stereotype. (Thriller. 14-18)"
Two teens run away to a better life—temporarily. Read full book review >
NEVER ENDING by Martyn Bedford
YOUNG ADULT
Released: March 11, 2014

"Beautiful and illuminating but as hard as therapy. (Fiction. 14-18)"
An English teen can't stop blaming herself for her brother's death. Read full book review >
FLIP by Martyn Bedford
FANTASY
Released: April 5, 2011

Fourteen-year-old geeky musician Alex wakes up hundreds of miles from his London home in the body of Philip Garamond, a high-school soccer star and girl magnet nicknamed Flip. Though asthmatic Alex is intrigued by his new, fit body and the attention it draws, he soon realizes he's trapped in a new environment with new expectations that he can't live up to. Along the way he meets Rob, a veteran of the same condition—psychic evacuation—who decides to take Alex under his wing. Bedford packs so much exhilarating action and cleanly cut characterizations into his teen debut that readers will be catapulted headfirst into Alex's strange new world. They'll wince in pain as the police escort him from a vain attempt to reconnect with his real family and rally when he connects with a new girl whom Flip would normally never look at twice. They'll also wonder about Flip himself, who, besides Alex's nightmares, exists only in the expectations and memories of the people Alex encounters. The mysteries are countless: What is a soul? Where does it go when its human host ceases to function? Bedford adeptly sweeps the existential curtain aside and tackles these heavy questions as the tension soars. Alex has to figure out why his soul overtook Flip's body, and how—if at all—he can get back into his own before it's too late. (Thriller. 12 & up)Read full book review >
THE HOUDINI GIRL by Martyn Bedford
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

Following his taut debut, Acts of Revision (1997), with a more maudlin tale of love and loss, Bedford offers a promising yet finally disappointing story of a magician unable to perform the ultimate trick: bringing back to life the woman he adored, then betrayed. On first meeting in an Oxford pub, Red and Rosa click, although they're too cool to let on. But after he tosses off a crowd-pleasing trick with her assistance, she goes home with him—and moves in the next day. For a year they feel made for each other, but then Rosa steps off a slow-moving train into the path of an express, and in her death reveals herself to be quite different from the cocky Irish girl that Red had thought she was. Rosa's shoulder bag appears mysteriously in the mail after her death, its contents complete with a wig and someone else's passport. The police sharpen their interest after a routine inquiry reveals that her father was an IRA terrorist—and that she vanished for a five-year period ending just before she met Red. Too depressed to resume his life as a professional magician, Red himself begins sleuthing, using a couple of Amsterdam phone numbers he found in Rosa's bag. Calling them brings a swift response: his house is ransacked and he's beaten, but when the thief is apprehended, his claims place Red under suspicion of having Rosa killed. Now a fugitive, he wangles his own vanishing act to reach Amsterdam and get to the bottom of Rosa's identity. A trail of addiction, prostitution, and murder eventually brings him back into the arms of the police. This has all the trappings of a satisfying mystery (and a fetching love story). But Red, deceiving everyone and wallowing in self-pity, is too blasÇ a character to pull it off—not even Rosa's occasional voice from beyond the grave can save him.. Read full book review >
ACTS OF REVISION by Martyn Bedford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 7, 1996

From the Yorkshire-based Bedford, a suspenseful saga of a sociopath's return to his painful past, seeking vengeance for slights real and imagined from his former teachers. Bachelor Gregory Lynn, 35, has lived with his mother, in strangeness and seclusion, for most of his adult life. But her death, and his subsequent discovery of old school reports, releases disturbing memories, sending Gregory out on a systematic hunt for his ``oppressors''—the details of which are given here in retrospect as Gregory is interviewed by a legal team preparing to defend him against a number of charges, including murder. After subjecting an ex-history teacher to an anonymous blitz of hate- mail, Gregory visits Wales and his former geography instructor, a provocative dresser who once caught him masturbating in class. He stalks her for days, assaults her, but then lets her go without raping her. A series of letters between Gregory and his sympathetic English teacher follows—an exchange that starts well but ends with Gregory threatening her, too. Contact with his math instructor is thwarted when he discovers that the man is dead, but a visit with his bullying gym teacher proves more satisfying: Gregory finds him at home in Oxford and tortures him before being forced to flee. Now hunted himself, Gregory takes refuge with his freethinking art instructor but leaves when his uncontrollable appetite for revenge sours the understanding they once had. Gregory's final act of vengeance, though, is reserved for the hated Mr. Boyle, still teaching science at the school where an assault on him 20-odd years before led to Gregory's expulsion. Taking Boyle hostage in his classroom, Gregory extracts a night of torment from his victim before bringing matters to a violent, unpredictable end. Thoroughly unsettling, this tale forcefully presents the workings of a deranged mind in all its complexity while retaining the page-turning pleasures of a genuine thriller. A riveting debut. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection; author tour) Read full book review >