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 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.

“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 by a talented new voice.”

— Nicole Baart, bestselling author of Little Broken Things and Everything We Didn’t Say

When the Dead Are Razed is a nightmare-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 and Something for Everyone

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 Debris and In the Cage

“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 and This Marlowe.

Patrick Wiseman moved his wife and son back to Newfoundland to start a new Pentecostal church, but when his wife Anne leaves him for a man she meets on Facebook and his son Hab moves in with his girlfriend Natalie—a burgeoning alcoholic with a fiery past—Patrick takes a suicidal leap of faith that brings him face to face with his estranged father Des, a Catholic mystic who might be covering up an old crime.

While Patrick wrestles to come to terms with his failed marriage, Hab struggles to hang on to his tenuous relationship with Natalie.

But when a woman is almost burned alive in a nearby house fire and a neighborhood drunk is beaten within an inch of life, Hab begins to wonder if Natalie and her housemate Gerry know more than they let on.

“Samuel Martin’s A Blessed Snarl is a highly-charged web that wends tightly through belief, love and need — and the human condition of the loss and redemption of all three. Filled with sharply-defined characters whose voices ring as true as a bell, Martin has drawn up a small precise world that can’t help but make you shudder from its depth of raw feeling.”

– Russell Wangersky, award-winning author of Walt and The Glass Harmonica

A Blessed Snarl is “so skillfully composed it is an effortless read, and a gripping one. The dialogue is spot-on and events unfold with realism and momentum. [This novel] is a merging, even collision, of the high and low, saints and back alleys, bile and grace. It is crafted with compression and compactness. It shows a gritty urban world. But one where there is humour, generosity and mercy.”

– Joan Sullivan, The Telegram (St. John’s)

“Samuel Martin is possessed of the ability to spin a good yarn—and also to plumb the depths. In his novels and short fiction he marries canny and satisfying storytelling with a rich and sympathetic investigation of his characters’ interior worlds, all lovingly and convincingly grounded in the land- and seascapes of his native Canada. His critically acclaimed first novel, A Blessed Snarl, is a family saga worthy of the Old Testament.”

– IMAGE Journal

This Ramshackle Tabernacle is a collection of short stories set in and around the fictional villages of St. Lola and St. Olga in northeastern Ontario.

Whether reflecting on the broken lives of others in the community or mourning the death of a friend who drowned in a freak fishing accident, the characters in this collection face tragedy with grace, humour and perseverance.

These stories deal with both the rundown and ruined aspects of our humanity but also with the redeeming and renewing love that can hold a community together when tragedies threaten to make it crumble.

“Sam Martin is an exceptional writer. In all ways this is a highly original work.”

– David Adams Richards, award-winning author of Mercy Among the Children

“In This Ramshackle Tabernacle, the reverent and the irreverent not only share space—they rhyme. Martin puts God in a full-nelson, brings the miraculous down to earth, and makes you feel the sacred in the shadow of a telephone pole. You will laugh and be lacerated. You will need stitches. A profound, funny, and exquisitely crafted book.”

– Jessica Grant, award-winning author of Come, Thou Tortoise

“These linked stories set in a remote community in northeastern Ontario are as crisp and bracing as a chilly morning gulp of air. Achingly sympathetic and honest, they depict the lives of characters struggling to come to terms with their flaws and to achieve a saving grace.”

– Hugh Cook, award-winning author of Heron River

“These stories look you straight in the eye until you feel naked. They see every scar. They know and understand that life is dangerous, and yet tell you to jump off the cliff, whether or not you can swim. To get your head under, because that’s the point.”

– John Terpstra, award-winning author of The Boys, and Disarmament

Showcasing an impressive range of voices – from a mentally-ill teenager to bickering elderly couples – these stories are linked by shared characters and setting. It’s a book with teeth as sharp as its heart is tender. […] A deep empathy and sincere compassion punches through and unites all his stories. They are stories about outcasts and characters on edge, and the forces that can push them over or haul them back to safety. 

This Ramshackle Tabernacle is weighty; it lingers and swims in a rare and profound humanity

– Arts East