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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I CAN'T BE THE ONLY ONE????
Who enjoyed it? Ok its not her best, as most of the earlier books are excellent to say the least.

but I enjoyed this and it still kept me up late to finish it.

It's the story of the women who are left behind, set in London's dark and violent gangland...

Don't be put of reading it, its still very very good....
Published on 5 Jun 2007 by Dee

versus
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Close
I am such an ardent fan/reader of Martina Cole, every one of her books has been in my hands since her very first, I cannot wait for her new books to be finished and I count off the days till the new one hits the shelves. But who wrote "The Close" was it a Martina Cole clone, it was such a dissapointment almost a repeat from all her previous books. The same lines and...
Published on 2 Feb 2007 by Bookworm


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Close, 2 Feb 2007
This review is from: Close (Hardcover)
I am such an ardent fan/reader of Martina Cole, every one of her books has been in my hands since her very first, I cannot wait for her new books to be finished and I count off the days till the new one hits the shelves. But who wrote "The Close" was it a Martina Cole clone, it was such a dissapointment almost a repeat from all her previous books. The same lines and events were repeated over and over again (from previous stories). Some of the language had absolutely no representation to the story it seemed just for effect at times and the violence will give some very good ideas to some nasty people. The story had no substance it just seemed to go on and on with words to fill pages. So many authors in the past have written books on their names "too big or their boots" comes to mind. Please, please Martina you have so much talent don't let this happen with you. You can write white knuckle, gripping, fantastic books that we are all unable to put down (unlike this one which sent me to sleep after one page)so please don't let "Gangland" rule you so much - you are worth so much more that that. "Two Women" was the best I have ever read but Close was like walking through mud. Get back to your roots girl "PLEASE" otherwise Mandasue Heller will be taking your place.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best work, 9 July 2007
By 
O. Doyle "celticshedevil" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Close (Paperback)
I was lucky enough to start my Martina Cole reading with such great books as The Know, Ladykiller, The Take & Broken. Whereas those were page-turning, all-action books Ms Coles last two installments (The Graft & Close) were quite disappointing and both were disappointing for the same reason. While both had the usual formula of hard men, tragedy and retribution I feel that Cole spent way too much time focusing on the thoughts and feelings of every character and not enough time on developing the story and moving it along. Quite a big chunk of the pages could have been omitted and nobody would have noticed. The story was there, the characters were there.....I just feel the final product was lacking. Having said that I did enjoy seeing how the lives of the characters changed over the years. But there just wasn't any depth to the story really. The Lance issue was as plain as the nose on your face so couldn't even been classed as a twist yet it went on and on and on. There was definitely some serious repetition and that in itself was driving me insane. But it was worth a read.....I just wouldn't recommend it as a must read.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Close, 6 Aug 2007
This review is from: Close (Paperback)
Meet Lily. Lily is the wife of London gangster Patrick Brodie, and the mother of a tribe of children fathered by several men.
CLOSE follows the story of two generations of the family living in the violent gangland world of London from the 1960s through to the nineties.

CLOSE follows the fortunes of the family by chronicling Lil's life. Born into a poor household with indifferent and sometimes neglectful parents, Lil meets Patrick at the age of fifteen and is married to him by sixteen. Lil's status rises with Patrick's success in the underworld and falls again upon his murder at the hands of rivals.

This is a case where the author would have been well served by using the "less is more" philosophy. For example, three pages are devoted to Patrick's infidelities, when he's unfaithful, his attitude towards the women, how his wife feels about him cheating. It's just too much. One paragraph would have been sufficient. Another instance is the murder of Patrick on his son's birthday. Men rush into the house and repeatedly stab and beat him to death in front of his wife and children. The author relates this event, and then proceeds to retell it from the point of view of several people present. The problem with this is that she is merely restating the same thing with slightly different wording. The reader is offered no new insights into the event. Handled differently, it could have been a brutally stunning passage. However any impact the violence might have had is dulled by this heavy handed overkill.

Author Martina Cole seems to know about the sub-culture of which she writes, and the story could give the reader a real glimpse into this culture of crime. However, plot is a bit thin on the ground and predictable and the characters are one-dimensional shadows of what they could have been. In fact, I didn't care for most of them at all. There was little to like about them and nothing to admire. The book also suffers from being about two hundred pages too long. Martina Cole has many fans. I hope CLOSE doesn't disappoint them as it did me.

One last thing. By page 100, my copy of the book had started to come adrift from the spine and pages were falling out. I'm reasonably careful with the books I read, I don't turn down the pages and I don't bend back the spine. I was lucky: the publishers very kindly gave me a copy of CLOSE to review. Had I paid the retail, I would have been most unhappy to find the book falling apart just one quarter of the way through reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars FLATLINED WHILE READING "CLOSE", 4 Sep 2007
This review is from: Close (Paperback)
First and last book of Martina Cole's to land in my reading pile. Boring, tedious, I forced myself through it to page 121, somewhere near the top and mid-sentence, when I could not justify wasting my life on it any longer. Flat characters, grey imagery, poorly written - I flatlined while reading it.

I've kept or given to libraries nearly every book I've ever read (shelves and shelves of them). "Close", however, was that rare bad choice of book that ended in the bin. (Well, it's not entirely without honor then, is it?)
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atrocious, 12 Mar 2007
This review is from: Close (Hardcover)
I was a huge fan of Martina Cole, but am totally disappointed by this book. If I hadn't know better I would have thought it was written by someone else. There is so much unneccessary text and repetition that the book could have easily been told in half as many pages. Cole should work on the basis that if you haven't got anything good to write about - don't write anything. Then fans won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Close review, 29 Jun 2007
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This review is from: Close (Paperback)
I love Martina Cole and have all her books, but this book was absolutely awful. It was so repetitive all the way through. I kept putting it down and picking it up, it was a real struggle to even finish it. I felt nothing for any of the characters and really didn't care what happened to any of them. I kept telling my self it would get better, but i was sadly mistaken. Martina Cole really lost the plot with this one. The whole book probably could have been wrote in a hundred pages if she hadn't of kept repeating her self over and over and over. I love her books but seriously hope the next one is better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetition - Repetition, 12 Jun 2007
By 
Lucky Luke (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Close (Paperback)
Those readers who have enjoyed Martina Cole's early work will be disappointed by a dreary, uninspiring and repetitive read. Really not up to her earlier standard. The story is weak and the author seems to be padding out what little storyline there is by writing a phrase and then repeating it in the next sentence but with the words in a slightly different order. (Hoping to assist any readers who dropped off for a second?)

By the time the small twist comes in near the end you will have given it up as a bad job.

One for eBay or the car-boot sale, I'm afraid
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to the next book., 24 July 2007
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This review is from: Close (Hardcover)
If I hadn't read earlier novels by this author, I might have given up quarter way through. It became rather tedious as one character after another was introduced with a lengthy and, often repetitive, monologue as to what had shaped their personalities. However, knowing how she can deliver, I persevered, and, yes, she eventually did so, but minus her usual punch. I look forward to Ms Cole returning to the page-turning story telling of earlier books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst book I have ever read, 26 May 2008
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Close (Paperback)
I have read several novels written by Martina Cole - DANGEROUS LADY, THE TAKE, THE KNOW and TWO WOMEN and I must admit that I thought each one was good, if not better than good. This one however is in a different league. I rarely order books months in advance of the publication date but CLOSE was one of the few I chose in 2006 for this costly indulgence. I have been annoyed ever since! If I had written my review back when it arrived (I read the book immediately) I am afraid that censorship controls would have prevented my words being published here. I was angry because I spent hard-earned money on a book which, now that I have had more than 18 months to collect my thoughts, is complete and utter rubbish and when I think of the number of trees that were sacrificed in the making of the tens of thousands of copies, well it brings a tear to my eye and I'm no tree-hugger I assure you. As so many others have commented, Martina Cole seems to have nothing at all in the way of new ideas for a storyline or character creation; while delving into her own portrayal of the criminal underworld she (once again) offers no balance by stereotyping the police as useless airheads, clearly demonstrating her lack of knowledge of police procedure and instead depending heavily on the characters she manufactures. And early on in the tale the reader wonders if some or all of these characters are nothing more than re-workings of very similar characters in previous Martina Cole stories. The men tend to be seedy, repellent and abusive and whatever sex takes place is devoid of love or erotica, indeed incest seems to be a running theme through several Cole novels of late. It was horribly fascinating the first time, but when it's recycled as it has been in this novel, it holds absolutely no appeal whatsoever and gives me the impression that this once admired writer has lost all sense of direction and creativity. I would strongly urge you not to buy it new or second-hand, nor even borrow it from your local library. Your time spent reading it, no matter how short, would be totally wasted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars boring, 19 Nov 2007
This review is from: Close (Paperback)
I have read all of Martina Coles books and loved them all from start to finsh- untill this one. I bought it in the airport before going on a two week holiday and actually had to force myself to finish it. It was boring, repeative and just re-hashing all the same old story lines. Having bought this and all her previous book new and at full price I feel I have been robbed. Will NOT be buying the next book
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Close
Close by Martina Cole (Hardcover - 19 Oct 2006)
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