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4.1 out of 5 stars844
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2012
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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on 5 June 2013
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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on 4 October 2012
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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on 15 September 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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on 6 June 2013
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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on 9 February 2013
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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on 24 May 2013
While this book is sure to be a big seller, as all Martina Coles books are, it doesn't alter the fact that it is a perfect example of very lazy writing. Coles adopts a formula, which seems to requires every guy to 'swallow his knob' more times than is good for anyone. Every character has to think, almost every time he appears, just how much he loves the person who is doing him wrong right now. Then of course we have the astute black brother and the out of control white brother who beget the black sons, most of whom are out of control and white sons, most of whom are astute.

I could go on about how bad this book is and how much I hated it, including the extremely irritating chapter headings, which on a Kindle sometimes take four pages to disappear(depending on the size of font used), but suffice to say that this will be the last Coles book that I every read. Some may say 'why read it if it was so bad?'. I can only explain that having spent money on it I refuse to give up. But it is certainly quite the most badly written book I have read for many, many years.

My advice to the author, if she actually cares about such things, would be to do a count of the number of times the same phrases as used throughout the book. To reduce the page filling technique of repeating points, but in different words by at least half. Reduce the incidences of characters realising 'I love him with all my heart, but' by about 90%. To spend a little time building a character rather than a series of cardboard cut-outs..... the list is endless but pointless I suppose.

My advice to potential readers would be DONT.
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on 14 May 2013
I have read and enjoyed all Martina Cole's books up until this latest one which I just didn't get. As always we had the same good son/bad son, go to mass, Irish mum etc,etc. It all gets a bit predictable after reading so many of her books but I can normally overlook that as her standard of writing is ,for me, brilliant and the stories have me gripped.This time though there were so many characters we didn't get to really know them and I just kept getting mixed up as to who was who. There were so many chapters often only a couple of pages long which were not necessary as they did not define a new part of the story but were just a continuation of the last page. I kept reading on waiting for a story to evolve but it didn't and I found myself getting annoyed wanting the old MC magic to happen but it didn't. Finally I know MC's books contain strong violence at times as this is part of the world she writes about but there is a torture scene towards the end of the book which was so graphic I skipped some of the pages. In future I will stick to Jessie Keane or re-readings M's earlier books.
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on 5 February 2013
I am an ardent Martina Cole fan and have read most of what she has written and as such I was very much looking forward to reading The Life.

I know as a Cole fan that you are going to get a somewhat similar theme to the book (Irish, Poor, Gangster, Big Family, Matriarch Mass Loving Mommy, violence some mental illness and a women who see's nothing but her man), however with this book I actually felt like I was reading snippets of all of her other books.

It doesn't help with the lazy character naming, its like she had a pot of all of the other names in her other books and she dipped in when she needed one.

Also as the book went on the characters seem to have an alarming way of completely changing their personality and moral code to fit with the storyline (or chapter which seemed to come every 3 pages)

The Life feels like it has been Cut & Shoved from all of her other books....has she ran out of ideas?

All in all I was disappointed as I am normally a fan
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on 7 October 2012
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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