Availability: Hardcover (09.10.14), Paperback (07.05.15), Kindle (09.10.14), Kobo (09.10.14)
Synopsis: THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE NEVER FREE.
Cain Moran wanted Jenny Riley more than he had ever wanted anyone or anything before in his life. But loving Jenny Riley was the easy part; it was telling his wife he wanted a divorce that was going to be the killer…
Jenny is not just any girl. She cares nothing for Cain’s hard-man reputation – she just wants to be with him.
But Cain is not a free man. And he’s about to find out that when his wife Caroline said ’til death us do part, she meant it.
When Cain is sentenced to life in prison it seems that Caroline might have got her wish. All Cain and Jenny know is that if their love can survive such separation, then one day they will have a chance at the Good Life together again.
But there are greater trials ahead than either can foresee. They’re about to learn the hardest lesson of all:
LIVE THE GOOD LIFE. PAY THE PRICE.
My Rating: 4/5
Continue reading “The Good Life by Martina Cole”
My Rating: 3/5
Martina Cole used to be one of my favourite authors until recently. Hard Girls was an awful read and The Business was even worse. I was convinced that Martina Cole had lost her skill however I am pleased to see that maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t get me wrong, this book was not in the league of the books from her early days such as Ladykillers, but it was a massive improvement on her last two books.
Early on we are introduced to the Murphy family and we meet Phillip the head honcho. He emanates the self importance of being the leader of such an influential crime family. We meet Phillip and his family along with Christine very early on and learn how the family all came to be in a position of such importance.
I liked the fact that the book is set over many years with the early introduction of how Christine and Phillip met and the sort of woman Christine was. We see their love affair turn to marriage, children and lastly the solid family Phillip wants and expects. Phillip is the eldest of the children in the family and although the main story leads with him we get to see the effect he has on his brother Declan and sister Breda. They are both part of the family business and as such get caught up in all the drama.
The story itself was a vast improvement and it was a pretty fast paced read. There is lots of action and business very early on and the tension runs high in the book which I loved. Martina Cole has also slightly changed her chapter style for this book with many shorter chapters as each persons role and situation changes. I wouldn’t necessarily say this was a bad thing and I think it helped highlight certain key situations.
I liked the characters she created and loathed Phillip Murphy from the outset. Although I must admit that Christine just wasn’t a strong enough character in my book. She is the woman that is put into a situation where she no longer recognises the man she has married. This was a major opportunity in my opinion to develop her as a woman and to fight back. However, this doesn’t really seem to happen and she just drowns her world in drink and prescription pills.
The story itself is a typical crime and underworld family involved in business that can and does go wrong so from that point of view it was okay. Due to the storyline and Phillip Murphy the book was a surprisingly easy read. The thing that still bothers me is that this still seems to fall so short off the mark of what she used to produce. Whether that is because there is so much competition or whether MC has lost her touch, I don’t know. All I do know is that this was much better than the last two and I can only hope that her next one is even better and maybe we will see the Martina Cole of old.
My Rating: 2/5
Martina Cole has been writing since 1992 and has produced some fantastic crime novels. Some of her work has been turned into TV Dramas and her most recent book turned TV Programme was The Take which attracted over 600,000 viewers in the first episode. Martina Cole Books have always been popular and many of them have reached number 1 in the Bestseller lists. I have read each and every book she has ever written and have been a fan for many years. However, in recent years I felt like she was losing that something special that she had in the first few books she produced. I was, like other fans, waiting with baited breath for her latest book that brings back characters that appeared in `Ladykiller’ and `Broken’.
DCI Kate Burrows is living with Patrick Kelly. Patrick is a former criminal that has changed his life after settling with Kate and going on the `straight’ to a certain degree. Kate is no longer working as a DCI full time but is still a consultant and is drafted in when a new case arises. When working girls are found murdered and brutally tortured, Kate realises that this is a little too close to home where Patrick is concerned. He may be on the straight and narrow but when working girls start turning up dead in houses that he rents out the case becomes incredibly personal. Subsequently Kate and Patrick separate after Kate has doubts about Pat’s involvement. The more time that passes, and the more girls that turn up. Each girl seems to be in a worse state than the last. DCI Annie Carr is the lead on the new case and Kate joins her in the bid to find the killer before they murder more of the working girls.
I am so undecided about this book. This took me a whole week to read, whereas normally I would read a Martina Cole book over a couple of days. I found myself constantly putting it down and reading something else (never a good sign). The characters seem to have changed completely since the last time we met them. Admittedly Kate and Patrick are both much older now but Kate Burrows ended up being a character I really didn’t like that much. The story itself was okay, that’s it just okay. There were no great drama’s or surprises in store and the killer is pretty obvious quite early on in the book. I also found that the storyline was much like Martina’s last book in that there is so much repetitiveness it makes me bored of reading it again…and again…..and again! The crime scenes seemed to be almost skipped over and there didn’t seem to de any depth to any storyline, whether it is a violent one or a murder that had happened.
Overall it wasn’t bad but I just found that it wasn’t a gripping enough read, the characters nowhere near as good as they used to be and her style of writing has changed. I was really hoping that her new book would be back to her `old style’ types where you literally couldn’t put the book down. Unfortunately it wasn’t and I find myself wondering whether Martina Cole has lost her touch. I am disappointed that somebody that in her heyday produced books that I couldn’t wait to read, has now produced something that makes me think I won’t bother with the new releases she brings out in the future. I will save my pennies for authors that I really love, and will probably wait until her new books are on special offer somewhere.