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on 12 March 2004
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on 20 November 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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on 8 November 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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on 7 April 2008
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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on 20 July 2003
This was my wife’s book, which I reluctantly started to read on holiday after finishing my own book. What a great surprise!! The action and suspense is wonderful not to mention the feelings of total despair felt by some of the Ryan family and the overriding duty to be loyal to the family name. I have never read any of Martina Cole’s other books as I assumed them to be of a romantic nature if my wife was reading them. I urge every man out there if he is not reading a Martina Cole book then buy one because the writing is both compelling and gripping and I am looking forward to reading a lot more of this wonderful authors books.
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on 11 June 2012
Yes, I know it's a genre crime book, and it's not meant to be nice, but I struggled to align myself with any of the characters in this tale, so consequently, it did not deliver a very enjoyable read that had me rooting for any particular 'baddie', or indeed 'goodie'. And, to be honest, the much-hyped Maura doesn't exactly do much, it seems to me, so where/how, exactly, her supposedly fearsome reputation comes from is beyond me. Dangerous Lady - its predecessor - is more Aga saga than this sequel, so if that's the only MC book you've read so far, you're in for a shock, as Maura's Game goes up several gears in terms of writing style and the violence, but then there was quite a gap between the author's first book and this one. Although the writing's tightened up since that 1st book, in my opinion, the sequel story borders on the pure farcical. At least in The Sopranos you got to know how the bodies were disposed of! Whereas in this tale, well... Until the end, no-one seems to care a jot about forensics. So, all in all, I think a serious reality check was needed here at some point.
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 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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on 30 November 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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on 20 April 2015
I was delighted with this book although sometimes had to go back checking the individuals . I was always eager to get back into the story after having to put it down.Maura proved to be a most complex character and I found her to be most interesting.
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on 4 November 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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