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132 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read from start to finish!
This was another masterpiece by Martina. I stumbled on her first book Ladykiller about 6 years ago and haven't looked back since! All of her books are gripping from the first page to the last and are easy to follow and an enjoyable read. Goodnight Lady was fantastic and a sad but true portrayal of life in the early 1900's. She has a fantastic imagination and the...
Published on 2 Nov 2000 by cmachin@lehman.com

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
this book started very well, when precocious teenager briony offers to become a child prostitute to save her family from poverty but as the plotline developed i thought it became rather tired. it was very repetitive- just gang conflict after gang conflict. martina cole tends to write the same book over and over again and goodnight lady was no exception- the protagonist...
Published on 13 Nov 2005 by helensuperroller


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read from start to finish!, 2 Nov 2000
By 
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
This was another masterpiece by Martina. I stumbled on her first book Ladykiller about 6 years ago and haven't looked back since! All of her books are gripping from the first page to the last and are easy to follow and an enjoyable read. Goodnight Lady was fantastic and a sad but true portrayal of life in the early 1900's. She has a fantastic imagination and the ability to make you feel that you are actually there, her attention to detail is amazing. People tend to forget the hardships of east end families in the 1900's and this book although disturbing in places, is a very good portrayal. A truly enjoyable read. If you like this book you had better start ordering the rest. I have passed this book around to all of my family and friends and can honestly say it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb characters, superb storyline -could not put it down!, 5 Aug 2001
By 
dawni10@tinyonline.co.uk (Farnborough, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
This is the second Martina Cole novel I have read, the first being 'Two Women'. I could not put the first one down and I could not put his one down. It begins in the slums in the early 1900's and portrays the sad and disturbing lives that many had to endure during these times. It spans almost a century and is superb throughout. I really felt like I knew the characters and it was wonderful seeing the rise of the main character, Briony Cavanagh. It is disturbing in places but unfortunately is a true account of what has occurred in this country in the last century. The storyline had me gripped until the very last page. The only downfall was the 'tough identical twins' which, in my opinion, was almost a carbon copy of the Krays. However this did not overshadow the book as a whole which I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 29 Mar 2006
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
This is not my favourite Cole book, but I have read it more than once! This one starts in the twenties and continues through to almost the present day. The usual grit, drama, and graphic detail and telling the tales of how life's events have a funny way of panning out. As usual, the central character is a strong female, who starts life in the slums. She is forced into child prostitution and claws herself and her family out of the slums and gives them all a better life.
This novel is not only a great piece of fiction, but also a bit of an insight into the lives of the 'lower classes' during the 20s, 30s and to the present day.
A great read and another must have for all Cole's fans!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Call me madam...., 28 July 2008
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
My mum lent me this when I was staying at hers and having finished Sniper One (see other review) in two days I was stuck for something to read. Not my usual choice, but I found it enjoyable and it is now my guilty secret.

The Cavanaghs were a large family of Irish immigrants struggling in London's East End at the turn of the century. When the no-good drunkard father is offered two pounds a week for the "services" of his eldest daughter by the wealthy Henry Dumas he readily agrees. On reaching puberty, Eileen is callously discarded and her younger sister, the ambitious Briony, seizes her chance for a shot at the good life and takes her place with the reluctant consent of her mother. She unfortunately becomes pregnant and with nowhere to turn, she accepts Isabel Dumas' offer to take the son as her own in exchange for Briony's silence, the house and a large allowance. Meeting and falling for the Artful Dodger-type Tommy Lane changes things and using her windfall, they go into business opening their own bordello (not bad for a pair of teenagers...)

The rest of the book deals with Briony and her family as they go from strength to strength though the path is rocky, violent and controversial. Eileen never recovers from her stolen childhood and dies in childbirth leaving "madam" Briony to bring up her boys Daniel and Boysie (aka Ronnie and Reggie) with devastating consequences. Throughout this, she carries the burden of giving up her only son, but he is never far from her mind.

Quite an epic novel, it reads like a female Jeffrey Archer, the story spanning almost a century though the first world war is strangely omitted and the second lightly glossed over. More contemporary references may have given it extra credibility and a better time-line and some of the cockney dialogue is cheesey enough to make an Eastenders scriptwriter wince. The plot does stretch credibility at times, but overall it's quite a good read and next time I'm stuck for a read at my mum's I'll check out her other Martina Coles. Just don't tell anyone.... :o)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best novels yet, 10 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
Martina Cole has done it again! Like her other books she has managed to capture the reader in the life of the character and making it a book you can't put down. If you enjoyed this story you should certainly read all the other Martina Cole books. Most enjoyable!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stomach churning., 2 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
I started to read this book before I went on holiday,it was so gripping I decided to take it with me and I just could not put it down. Not unusual you might think for someone going on holiday but it was the first time ever that I have mananged to read a book while on holiday they usually come back not even with the first page read!
It is absolutely brilliant and quite like an account of the Krays life, at times it made me gasp out loud, where does she get her ideas from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly good read, 4 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
I have never read any of Martina Cole's books before so was quite apprehensive. However, it was available on kindle so decided to give it a go. The first part was really disturbing and daunting (some of the descriptions are really too graphic) and there were times when I didn't really feel that comfortable and it was an effort to pursue as I am normally a fan of good old chick lit as it's light and pure escapism. Goodnight lady however, was worth the read after you have got through the harrowing first part. She portrays a horrendous life as it was and after a while I really enjoyed the story and it was good read. I am not a fan of crime novels but it was really interesting and had very strong characters. Well written. The fact that it was written in the 1900s and was intriguing. I haven't read much about this era before. Read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will love this book!, 18 Jan 2000
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
I took this book with me on a New Year holiday to Malta. It was a bit cold, and a bit rainy, but I didn't care! I had my Martina Cole book and I was happy. You will love this book. The heroine is Briony Cavanagh, sold to the rich factory owner at ten years old to become his child prostitute. The story follows her life from the dark days of poverty in London's East End, to the days that Briony rules the East End underworld, with her lover Tommy Lane. Martina, hurry up and write faster!!!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, 13 Nov 2005
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
this book started very well, when precocious teenager briony offers to become a child prostitute to save her family from poverty but as the plotline developed i thought it became rather tired. it was very repetitive- just gang conflict after gang conflict. martina cole tends to write the same book over and over again and goodnight lady was no exception- the protagonist briony cavanagh was very similar to maura ryan, the female lead in dangerous lady. i felt that the story with it's family saga went on for too long., i found the subplots about briony's great-niece and her adopted sons very tiring. the book was ok for passing the time but it could have been so much better.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite!!! :o), 30 Jun 2005
This review is from: Goodnight Lady (Paperback)
I am a complete Martina Cole fanatic! This is the second of her books that I read (the first being Runaway, which got me hooked) and I have now read every title. Goodnight Lady is 'un-put-downable! The story takes you through Brionys life from childhood to adulthood, from rags to riches. You feel for her from start to finish. She's betrayed by almost everyone, her father who sells her to Mr Dumas by who she gets pregnant & Mrs Dumas who takes her child away from her. From start fo finish you just want Briony to get revenge on these people & be reunited with her son. She certainly gets her revenge!! Absolutely brilliant book!!!
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Goodnight Lady
Goodnight Lady by Martina Cole
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