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The Life [Hardcover]

Martina Cole
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (654 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012

The most authentic novel of gangster family life ever written, from the No. 1 bestselling author.

The Bailey brothers are gangsters determined to make their mark in the world. Peter and Daniel are chalk and cheese in many ways - Peter's calm exterior belies his ruthless nature, while Daniel's penchant for spectacular violence is legendary - but together they are unstoppable. From the late seventies they rule London's East End and, when their sons join the business, it seems that no one can touch the powerful Baileys. Although it's never easy at the top; there is always someone waiting to take you down - sometimes even those closest to you... Lena Bailey is determined to shield her youngest child Tania from the Life. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, Tania's eyes are opened to their world in a way that forces her to make an irrevocable choice that will determine her future.

Martina Cole's gritty and gripping new novel is an unflinching portrait of a family torn apart by violence and betrayal, but ultimately bound by loyalty, by blood, and by a burning desire for revenge... It is a story of the Life, told as only Martina Cole can.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755375572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755375578
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (654 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,255 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


'We always get excited when a Martina Cole novel drops on our desk, and she continues to maintain her reputation as one of the best fiction authors around with this gritty and unforgettable story of a family immersed in a world of violence and revenge. Spectacular' 5 ***** (Closer)

Book Description

No. 1 bestselling author Martina Cole's new novel is an unputdownable read with all the hallmarks which make her books so utterly unforgettable - shocking, hard-hitting, haunting and completely riveting.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feeling 30 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Martina Cole's early books were great reads, but unfortunately she doesn't seem to have had the same edge in her recent books. However The Life shows indications that early talent is still there.

The story is a saga about a criminal family with two psychopathic brothers with contrasting personalities who build up a criminal empire in London's East End. There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot as the next generation join the family business. It needs careful reading as the plot is complex in places with intrigues and betrayals. There is plenty of violence for those who like that.

Martina Cole's avid fans will love this book, but the more critical readers will find some of the repetition tiresome and although it is a fresh story, the characters seem to be stereotypes that Martina Cole has used before. Let's hope her next book will be more of an improvement and we will see Martina Cole back to her old form
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointed. 9 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an avid martina cole reader, I was looking forward to her latest offering. However I found the book a bit predictable. Not up to the usual standard.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the dog's Gonads at all.. 4 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
sick to death of that expression..seems to be on every second page of this book. I am afraid Cole has lost her touch, same old drivel. Looks like she has chucked bits of every book she has written together to produce this book.
Trading on her past glories...
I wont be buying any more of her books
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's life in Martina Cole yet! 15 Sep 2012
Most would agree that Martina's books over the last couple of years have been somewhat lacking The Life however reminds us that MC is still capable of writing a book on level with her early work!

Although The Life may not be on par with the likes of Dangerous Lady or Broken for the first time in years I was unable to put one of her books down! I never share plot lines as I hate to read reviews that give the story away but what I will say is this book focuses on one family's intimate lifestyles and the pitfalls of living the criminal lifestyle.......

It does get a tad heavy reading wise in the middle of this book and as another reviewer pointed out the inner plot lines get a little tangled and I had to go back and check a few facts but it does come together really well at the end and Martina leaves this open for a sequeal and I hope she does pen one in the future! MC does have a habit these days of repeating points which in the Business completely ruined the book and she does do it in this book but it's done in such a way that it doesn't ruin the book..........rather feels like a little extra padding out of the story though!

All in all I actually really liked this book and I would recommend that you give it a read, no its not the best but it does feel as if MC is getting her mojo back!
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THE LIFE 7 Oct 2012
By Pat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read all of MC's books and this one was terrible.
Repetative ,boring,no proper story line .
I ordered in advance and could not wait to read it .What a disappointment.
I am afraid that I got so fed up with it I deleted it from my Kindle before
the end .
I hope MC's gift for great stories returns.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worst of her collection 6 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was excited as usual to read the next gripping instalment of Martina's books, but I was sorely disappointed . I have never had to scan pages or skip any part of her usual finger bitingly edge of the seat gritty books, yet the life proved that mistakes can be made, mine was purchasing it
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, waste of everyone's time 5 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed much of Martina Cole's work and was looking forward to this substantial book. Unfortunately, it is far too long with almost nothing happening throughout. The writing is shoddy, and the whole work is seriously disappointing. Hope she's back to form soon, and that this one's a blip. Not worth the paper it wasted for printing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good book from Martina 2 Aug 2013
By Jan w
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being a fan of Martina Cole i enjoyed this book as usual. I very much look forward to the next one and many more.
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