Five Moves of Doom is a high-altitude and high-attitude entry in A.J. Devlin's award-winning mystery series, one that finds its hero pushed to his absolute limit, relying on his closest allies to survive, and making choices he never thought he'd have to make.

Hired by local mixed martial arts trainer Elijah Lennox to find a missing UFC Championship belt, pro-wrestler PI "Hammerhead" Jed must extract answers from the tight-knit MMA community.

Still consuming his weight in banana milkshakes, Jed ventures into a world of jewel thieves, bodybuilders, eccentric yoga enthusiasts, and adorable baby goats. As he infiltrates an exclusive and unique no-holds-barred fight club, Jed might just find himself down for the count ...


A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California for seven years...

A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from Chapman University and a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute Conservatory. After working as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he moved back to Port Moody, BC, where he now lives with his family.

Cobra Clutch, the first book in the "Hammerhead" Jed professional wrestling mystery-comedy series, was released in spring 2018 and nominated for a Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery and won the 2019 Crime Writers Of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The highly acclaimed sequel, Rolling Thunder, was released in spring 2020 and featured in the Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Globe and Mail, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal Reviews, Mystery Tribune Magazine,,, and on CBC Radio's The Next Chapter.

The third book in the series, Five Moves of Doom, was published in September 2022 by NeWest Press and featured on The House of Mystery Radio Show on NBC. It won the 2022 Crime Fiction Lover Editor's Choice Award for Best Indie Crime Novel, was selected by The Globe and Mail as one of the Best Books of 2022, was a finalist for the 2023 Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, shortlisted for the 2023 Crime Writers of Canada Howard Engel Award of Excellence for Best Novel Set in Canada, and nominated for the 2023 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Comedic Mystery.

Book 4 Bronco Buster coming October 1, 2024 from NeWest Press.


    “It’s a book that pops and fizzes with humour, action, and mystery. Clever, exciting, different, and loads of fun. The action tears through downtown Vancouver like a rabid grizzly bear on steroids. It’s a book that pops and fizzes with humour and mystery. Pure crime fiction entertainment from Canada.”
  • Lesa Holstine

    "FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, and the other “Hammerhead” Jed books, are violent and vicious. But they’re also funny and thoughtful as Jed searches for answers to his own life, with his father and cousin as strange guides. There’s love in that family, along with humor, and the ability to pick on each other. It’s an unusual combination. I love this series.”

    Lesa Holstine
    Mystery Writers of America 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Raven Award Winner

    “An entertaining book that will have you laughing out loud. Devlin sure writes a good story.”
  • MH Callway

    "Terrific! Devlin knows fighting and that shines through in every scene. It takes a skilled writer to draw the reader along to explore Jed’s troubled path. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM is a tour de force of writing and comedy gold.”

    MH Callway
    Debut Dagger and Crime Writers of Canada Award-nominated author of WINDIGO FIRE
  • The British Columbia Review

    “Devlin expertly handles tongue-in-cheek humour, expressive dialogue, dazzling characters, and prose that is vivid and clean. Readers are taken on a high-speed, fist-throwing adventure that results not only in fights but in learning more of Jed’s backstory. There’s something special about this series.”

    The British Columbia Review
  • Cozy up with Kathy

    "Compelling, engrossing, thought-provoking, yet still humorous. Grab a banana milkshake and be prepared for the ride of a lifetime.”

    Cozy up with Kathy
    Crime Fiction Blog
  • Niall Howell

    “It’s a case of same place, different terrain as Vancouver’s pro-wrestler PI grapples with new threats that force him to confront dark truths about his city and himself. In Five Moves of Doom, Devlin showcases a more vulnerable ‘Hammerhead’ Jed than we’ve seen before. While this installment features the signature comedy and charm of the first two books, it’s the shadows, spilling from corners and pooling at feet, that give this latest mystery its true shape. A worthy cap to this trilogy.”

    Niall Howell
    Kobo Emerging Writer Prize-Nominated author of Only Pretty Damned and There Are Wolves Here Too
  • Joel Johnston

    “Five Moves of Doom is a fast-paced, rollicking rip through the vibrant and seedy neighbourhoods of Vancouver and surrounding area. With Devlin’s usual cast of colourful, eclectic characters along with his equally colourful regular cast — including ‘Hammerhead’ Jed, cousin Declan, and VPD Detective Rya Shepard — this adventure took me back to many familiar haunts in Vancouver’s skid row and some of the outlying regions around the city and the Lower Mainland. MMA, murder, mayhem and money make this a can’t miss!”

    Joel Johnston
    Retired 28-year VPD Sergeant, Shotokan Karate and MMA Practitioner, Use of Force Subject Matter Expert, Writer and Technical Advisor
  • J.T. Siemens

    “This time around, ‘Hammerhead’ Jed isn’t the toughest guy on the block, and the adrenaline-pounding excitement when his investigation leads him to square off against a particularly ruthless and brutal MMA fighter brings to mind Rocky vs. Drago. Bigger, badder, and darker, Devlin’s third installment reveals a deeper and more vulnerable side of our favourite wrestler-detective, adding gravitas to a case involving a world where second place often means death.”

    J.T. Siemens
    Critically-acclaimed author of To Those Who Killed Me
  • Gerry Gionco

    “A.J. Devlin nails it with his explosive, hard-hitting fight scenes. A well-written and entertaining look into the most interesting sport in the world — Mixed Martial Arts — through the eyes of tough guy PI ‘Hammerhead’ Jed!”

    Gerry Gionco
    Legendary Canadian fight promoter
  • M.N. Grenside

    “I ripped through Devlin’s latest. At times I felt I was in an MMA fight with dialogue as dry as a three olive Martini and descriptive prose peppering me with blows and throws. It may be a cliché, but this book’s a knockout.”

    M.N. Grenside
    Film / TV / Music producer and author of Fall Out
  • Dave Butler

    “A.J. Devlin does it again with Five Moves of Doom! It’s fast and furious and fun, full of action, unexpected twists and turns, with a shocking ending that proves once again that Devlin is not only on his game, but in a league of his own. The best yet in the ‘Hammerhead’ Jed series.”

    Dave Butler
    Crime Writers of Canada Award-Winning author of Full Curl, No Place for Wolverines, and In Rhino We Trust

    “Keeps the tension high and the pages turning. In the action scenes both the author and characters shine.”
  • Debra Purdy Kong

    "I’m a fan of this series and this third installment is the best yet. It’s not just because of the great plot and unexpected twists. It’s the emotional upheaval that causes Jed to question his ability as a PI and a competent fighter. The pacing and descriptions of Vancouver are well done, as is the blend of humor, gritty action, and poignant moments. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM is full of surprises. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Jed.”

    Debra Purdy Kong
    Author of the Casey Holland Mysteries