a novel
By John Martin

Globalization may be knitting the world together, but it’s tearing at the fabric of American society. The United States and China are locked in an epic struggle—one trying to hold on to what it has, the other trying to seize it for their own. Complicating this brawl is the cyber age, where intellectual property theft has led to massive technology robbery.

In LOST SOURCE, a strike by an American union against outsourcing leads to the discovery of a knockoff ring run by the Chinese army. The plot turns on the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., Chinese counterfeiting with links to al‑Qaeda, and the challenge and instability of a China racked by a secessionist plot and mass protests.

As the story opens, the two economic superpowers are veering toward a trade war when the union leader is murdered. John Shay, at a stale point in his marriage and at work, takes over the strike, along with Hannah Stein, who is battling her own issues—a stormy bond with her father, bad relationship choices, symptoms of young-onset Parkinson’s.

Hannah and John quickly realize the strike is a piece on a larger game board. Aided by Chinese democracy activists and a Native American woman working in Asia to combat digital piracy, they stumble into a thicket of intrigue, as unrest spills into the streets of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.

In this topical thriller, Hannah and John are snared in a geopolitical drama and fighting for their lives—just when they begin to grasp the meaning of those lives—as a U.S. carrier strike force steams toward the Taiwan Strait, two heavyweight nations on the brink of war.

About the Author

John Martin is the son of a FDNY captain and the first person in his family to go to college. He was born in the Bronx and lived on St. Ann’s Ave., a few blocks from Yankee Stadium. He moved to the South Shore of Long Island when he was five and grew up on a dead-end street linked to a canal that opened into the Atlantic bays, where he spent his youth fishing, crabbing, and bouncing a ball in the driveway.

After graduating from the University of Rochester he rented a house with a professor and two other students, forming an intellectual community that revolved around philosophy, poetry, and the general mayhem that accompanies the soul’s hunt for itself. To earn a living he worked as a laborer, dock hand, roofer, and printer.

He worked seven years as a machinist in South Boston and Beantown environs and in Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Oakland–machining computer housings along Boston’s Route 128, machining components for motion-picture cameras on Manhattan’s West Side, remachining sewing machine parts for garment district manufacturers in a Chelsea shop, high-speed machining aerospace parts in Oakland, and building gadgets for professors’ experiments in a West Village machine shop off Washington Square that served the NYU Chemistry and Physics departments.

While a machinist in Southie he was a union organizer for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). He has been a member of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and District 65 (now UAW).

He left the factory floor to become a photojournalist at McGraw-Hill. He left there to freelance for The Economist and magazines in Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. He drafted a novel years ago and turned down a contract from the literary agent who went on to represent John Grisham. Oh well ...

LOST SOURCE is the first book he has published.


Critic Reviews

"Outsourcing, industrial spying, product piracy: they're the stuff news is made of, and now they've been made into a very readable novel ... The novel is not only great fun; it's a painless, enjoyable way of learning about a galaxy of issues related to labor and globalization. Those issues come alive in this exciting yarn ..."

—Valley Advocate

“This is good fiction at its best. The racy, clever plot, the sophisticated and lucid economic analysis … You will learn a lot about the nature of modern global capitalism and be entertained by a good story.”

—Liberty, the monthly newspaper of SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union

Reader Reviews

A Page-Turner with Substance!

John Martin weaves an exciting thriller with fascinating background on the American Labor Movement. A great book for those wanting something different from legal/cop/private investigator-based mysteries.

—Amazon Review

A great read

This book moves rapidly all over the world. The author has extensive knowledge of geography, macroeconomics and the global labor movement. It is a stimulating and fast read. Ideal for the beach or a trip.

—Amazon Review

Hear John on The Jim Bohannon Show at 11pm ET on Tuesday, July 2.

Buy the Book

LOST SOURCE by John Martin

In paperback, e-book, and hardcover.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-5175-2

Available online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others) or by order through bookstores.