The Books & Background Story

Background Story to the Books

When Dr. Martin Ellingham arrived in the little Cornish fishing village of Portwenn a little more than four years ago, he was still reeling from his devastating fall from grace. Once a renowned London vascular surgeon, he had been blindsided by haemophobia and forced from the surgical theatre.

Martin came to Cornwall in hopes of securing the position of Portwenn’s General Practitioner. He was expecting a hospitable and perhaps even welcoming environment, but then he met Louisa Glasson. The spiky but beautiful young school teacher, who served as the lay-member on his interview panel, immediately dismissed his impressive credentials and challenged his suitability as the village’s standard-bearer for health. Though his skills as a surgeon were unsurpassed, dealing with people had never been Martin’s strong suit. And as Miss Glasson made clear to him immediately, “If you want to be a GP in our village, then social skills and a good bedside manner are really essential.”

But the school teacher found the doctor had an unconventional appeal, and she was immediately drawn to him. And for the new GP, the ways of the quirky inhabitants of the village would have made life in Portwenn unbearable if it weren’t for Louisa Glasson’s presence there. Despite their frequent rows, a romantic relationship developed between the new doctor and the school teacher. The path their tumultuous relationship took was a convoluted one, leading them from an aborted wedding, to parenthood, the altar, and finally to a marriage in crisis.

Battling Demons (Book 1 of Battling Demons series)

For more than four decades Dr. Martin Ellingham had kept the demons spawned by an abusive childhood buried. But the stresses of fatherhood and married life has exhumed them, and the hour of reckoning has come.

Fractured (Book 2 of Battling Demons series)

To avoid losing his wife and son, the brilliant but irascible Dr. Martin Ellingham had been forced to face the demons bequeathed him by a cold, loveless, and often abusive upbringing.

Through his work with his therapist, Barrett Newell, Martin now accepts that his parents’ complete inability to feel any sort of affection for him was not due to some genetic anomaly which had rendered him inherently unlovable, but rather due to their own inability to feel love for other human beings. However, learning to accept that he was, indeed, deserving of being loved would prove more difficult.

And with the enlightenment that came with the disinterment of buried memories from his childhood, came disturbing questions. Questions which would haunt him as he faces the desperate days ahead.

Fragile (Book 3 of Battling Demons series)

Fragile, the third book in the Battling Demons series, is as much about facing the uncertainties of the future as it is about dealing with the demons of the past.

A horrific accident has thrown Dr. Martin Ellingham’s life into turmoil and stripped him of the emotional barriers that he had spent a lifetime erecting and fortifying. He has been left a physically fractured and emotionally fragile man.

The Ellingham family is brought back together under one roof as Martin struggles to reclaim some sense of control and a semblance of normal life.

Headway (Book 4 of Battling Demons series)

Dr. Martin Ellingham, recovering from a near-fatal car accident, continues to move towards a resumption of his medical career. An unexpected friendship develops, and the frustrations and hilarity that often accompany life in a small village blossom.

He and Louisa are making headway in resolving their marital difficulties, but not without a few misunderstandings along the way. Despite their differences, their bond continues to grow stronger, but trouble could be in the offing when one of Martin's youngest patients is in need of an advocate.

Insights (Book 5 of Battling Demons series)

It’s been said that a moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience. Although a brilliant doctor, Martin Ellingham was one of those people who, as his wife might say, would never quite fit in. He would never quite be ordinary. A childhood devoid of parental love or affection had left him with a surety that he was undeserving of love. And it had deprived him of the tools most of us are equipped with when navigating the social aspects of life. This was all he had ever known.

But then he fell in love—twice. He was now a husband and a father. His love for Louisa and James Henry became his impetus for confronting his past in hopes of a better future for his family. With the help of a gifted psychiatrist, insights into his past are beginning to shed light on the lifetime of experiences that have shaped him into the man he is today. Yes, he will never quite be ordinary. But to quote his wife, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

A Cornwall Christmas (Book 6 of Battling Demons series)

Read as either a stand-alone novel or as the sixth installment in the Battling Demons series.

For Dr. Martin Ellingham, the brilliant but socially awkward GP in the little Cornish fishing village of Portwenn, Christmas never carried with it the fuzzy sentiments held by most people.

He couldn’t change his past, but a desperate phone call would give him the opportunity to change the future for one of his smallest patients. As the doctor tries to give young Evan Hanley a Christmas present on which to build a positive Christmas future, he’s drawn into the celebration that brought so much pain in Christmases past.

Mis-Perceptions (Book 7 of Battling Demons series)

The Ellinghams find themselves enduring a long, cold Cornwall winter as they move forward with their plan to make Evan a member of their family. Martin begins to doubt his ability to be a good father as situations arise and we see him face comic and tender moments of village and family life. Knowing people will be judging them, Martin and Louisa feel every situation could influence their chance to adopt Evan. Misperceptions in the village abound!

Through it all, the loving and tumultuous relationship between Martin and Louisa grows, and they learn more and more what it means to be a husband and wife—father and mother. An enjoyable read for all Doc Martin fans and those who would like a glimpse into life in a small Cornish village.

Interactions (Book 8 of Battling Demons series)

Martin Ellingham was a family man now, with a wife and son who he loved dearly, and a foster son who he grew to love more with each passing day. His social world was expanding, whether he liked it or not. His desire to be a good husband and father demanded it.

And his position as the village medic demanded it as well, forcing him to share in some of the most personal and, at times, devastating moments in the lives of the people he tried so hard to keep at arm's length.

Portwenn was not defined by a recognizable skyline but rather by its people. Interactions, the eighth book in Kris Morris’ Battling Demons series, gives us an intimate and, at times, humorous look into the relationships between the quirky residents and their gruff, socially awkward doctor.