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Maura's Game [Paperback]

Martina Cole
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Oct 2002

Maura Ryan was the queen of the criminal underworld when she pulled off the most audacious gold bullion robbery of all time. Since then she's retired from a life of crime to be with the only man she's ever loved. But enemies from her past are closing in and they're about to learn that they should never cross Maura Ryan. The dangerous lady is back and she's as lethal as ever...

MAURA'S GAME is an explosive novel of East End violence and corruption from one of the most original voices in fiction today. Martina Cole's unique blend of emotional drama and shocking realism combine in this electrifying new bestseller.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; 1st Trade Paperback edition (21 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747269661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747269663
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 859,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martina Cole is the No. 1 bestselling author of sixteen hugely successful novels. Hard Girls went straight to No. 1 on the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list. The Business was the No. 1 bestselling hardback adult fiction title of 2008 and was a No. 1 Sunday Times hardback bestseller, along with Faces, Close and The Take. The Take also won the British Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year and has been adapted for Sky One - with remarkable reviews - and The Runaway is currently in production. The Know was selected by Richard & Judy as one of the Top Ten Best Reads of 2003. Maura's Game, Faceless and The Graft also shot straight to No. 1 on the Sunday Times bestseller lists, and total sales of Martina's novels are now at ten million copies. Martina Cole has a son and daughter and lives in Kent. Martina Cole is highly acclaimed for her hard-hitting, uncompromising and haunting writing, as well as for her incredible success.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The return of Cole's queen of the criminal underworld, Maura Ryan, in Maura's Game is welcome indeed. Since her first novel Dangerous Lady (which introduced Maura), Cole has broadened her appeal with such novels as Two Women, a grim picture of domestic abuse that coincided with a government initiative on the subject. The new book has no sociological concerns: it's just an extremely powerful journey through a dark underworld where life is cheap.

Maura Ryan has left her life of crime behind her after a big score, and fondly imagines that she can settle down with the man she loves. But the life she has left behind is full of enemies who have plans to make things very tough for her, unless she can make things tough for them first. The proceeds from her last gold-bullion robbery can't help her: she needs all her wit and sinew to survive.

The queasy feeling that comes from being forced to identify with such a ruthless character is a carefully calculated part of Martina Cole's tactics, and works to unsettling effect in this hard-edged thriller. We are never comfortable reading Maura's Game, and that's exactly what the author had in mind. If your taste is for cosy, middle-class thrillers, this is most definitely not for you. But fans of Martina Cole will know exactly what to expect--and boy, does she deliver. --Barry Forshaw


The Guardian ran a piece in Inside Track (latest news from the publishing industry) on Martina Cole.

"With her second number 1 of 2002 she joins the small band of so called "mega" authors, in a particularly valuable category who produce at least one new book a year...Cole's success, like Rankin's, follows a steady build-up of a kind that is becoming rare in the book business, which prefers nowadays to produce such results instantly."


'Pacy and dramatic' Woman's Own (Woman's Own)

'A violently realistic thriller of East End life, with Essex-born Cole once again proving adept at getting authentic language down on the page' Closer magazine (Closer magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC READ 12 Mar 2004
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maura's Game - Martina Cole's best yet? 20 Nov 2002
Maura's Game - the sequel to Martina Cole's brilliant 'Dangerous Lady' is absolutely engrossing. From page one, the story is as dramatic and shocking as Martina Cole's fans have come to expect. The characters are violent and believable, and the plot is superb and keeps the reader guessing all the way through - to the very last page. As always, Martina Cole challenges the boundaries between right and wrong, and evil and humane and the reader finds themselves sympathising with people from another world to their own. An excellent read, and even better if you have read 'Dangerous Lady' as this gives the reader extra insight into the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Gripping Read 8 Nov 2002
I've read all Martina Coles books now and have not been disappointed with any of them. In this book Maura returns from retirement and once again exerts her power over the criminal underworld. This book keeps you engrossed and has a few twists and turns on the way. As it is a long time since I read Dangerous Lady I did have some difficulty in remembering which character is which - It would have been useful to have quickly scanned through Dangerous Lady first. All in all a cracking read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Read 4 Nov 2002
This book follows the story of Maura Ryan who we first met in the book Dangerous Lady. It tells the story of what happened to the Ryan family after Micheal Ryan died and Maura took control of the family business. It is full of East End violence and corruption and family members who have to face shocking and gripping consequences. Enemies from Maura's past soon surface but they should know better than to cross her.
This book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering where the next shocking revelations is going to come from it is an utterly complling read.
Another great powerful and shocking read by Martina Cole.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you read "Dangerous Lady" first 7 April 2008
By Al
This is the sequel to Dangerous Lady, and you have to make sure you read them in the correct order. Also, don't leave too long between books as this one assumes you are still fully familiar with the characters and events in the first book - it doesn't have any of the re-caps that most follow-up books have.

i really enjoyed Dangerous Lady and actually felt it was a complete story and should have been left as it was. Writing a sequel, largely featuring the next generation of the family, seemed to me to be milking the success of the first book.

Having said that, this is an excellent book, though not quite as good as the first one. Without giving the plot away, this book picks the story up 8 years after the previous one ended. Maura has become less involved in the family business, but dramatic events ensure she has to get back in the thick of it to resolve escalating problems.

I enjoyed Dangerous Lady because it followed the family from the 1950s to the 1990s, watching many of the characters grow up and start the family firm. It was much, much more than a gangster story, but Maura's Game is little more than a story of London gangland. It is however, a very good book and if you enjoyed Dangerous lady, I'd recommend you read this. It just lacks that extra dimension that Dangerous Lady had.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brutal detail but made me want to keep reading 10 Jan 2008
I know this is fiction but it is a scary thought that anything like this is happening in the real world. At one point in the book a gangleader is described as living in the same street as some Liverpool players - gems like that being dropped into the narrative make you feel that the stories are more real life than you first think.
I love Martina Cole's underworld, although it feels like a guilty pleasure as there are so many inhumane things going on. Although it is always interesting to see that there runs through her criminal classes a law of what is acceptable and what it not - its only when the rules are broken that there is real trouble.
This book is an unpleasant read and all the more fascinating for that with an amazing hard family who have cracks in their armour just like anyone else (just a bit more difficult to find than most!).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff 30 Nov 2003
This is the first Martina Cole book I've read, and I must say that I was reasonably impressed with it. In Maura's Game we follow Maura Ryan who is the semi-retired head of Britain's biggest and most notorious criminal organisation. In this story she is called back into the criminal underworld one final time.
The author clearly tries very hard to make her female lead a convincing gangster leader, and to a large extent succeeds. However at times, it seems a little unrealistic, and the Godfather role seems more suited to a male. But the biggest success is the way Cole brings out the family element to the criminal mayhem and disorder...she shows how Maura has both a soft side as well as her hardened one. The Ryan family is an organisation by both blood and business, and it is this that creates intrigue in this novel, which is done quite well.
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