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The Graft Audio Download – Unabridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
P>This is the stuff of contemporary politics, with Parliament currently debating what sorts of violence homeowners are entitled to visit on a burglar. But in Martina Cole's world, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Here, the homeowner is a rich, respectable businessman ... but a man whose legitimate building business is paralleled by an even more profitable criminal empire. And the burglar, a young teenage punk, has somehow got past the state of the art alarm system, and is discovered carrying a state of the art automatic weapon.
The young burglar's death sets in motion a chain of reactions as police, press, and, most importantly, the families of the homeowner and the youth try to come to terms with the death.
I read this immediately after reading Martina Cole's first published novel - "Dangerous Lady". The difference in style is astounding. This is a writer who has matured and who has worked at her craft ... really grafted. "The Graft" is a character driven novel. Seedy, loud, graced with language you wouldn't want the vicar to hear, this is a very well structured, very well written, and superbly paced piece of work.
Cole dismembers her characters, explores the ways in which the youth's death unhinge all their certainties and assumptions and brutally chronicles their slide into a range of personal addictions. She strips her people down to the marrow, exposing their shallowness or their strengths. As the characters struggle to understand exactly what has happened and why, they are sucked into a maelstrom of violence. The youth will not be the last to die.
A real page-turner of a novel. Gritty, gripping, a first class and highly entertaining read which I commend to anyone who enjoys a good crime story. Not a whodunit in the conventional sense, more an exploration of human frailty. Excellent!
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Format: Paperback
The Graft is my fifth Martina Cole book after reading The Take, The Ladykiller, The Know and Broken. While my first 4 Martina Cole books had me gripped from page one I have to agree with others before me.....The Graft wasn't up to Cole's usual standard.

The story starts with the death of a local villain who is killed while trying to burgle the house of local hardman Nick Leary. Nick becomes the hero of the hour after `doing what anyone would have done' when faced with a local thug with a gun in his house in the middle of the night. While everyone applauds Nick for protecting his own Nick is having trouble dealing with what he's done. For a man who maims and kills in the course of his every day why should the death of a villain like Sonny Hatcher upset him so much? That's where the real story lies.

While The Graft had the usual formula of hard men, tragedy and retribution I too felt 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 700-odd 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. Disappointing.
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By Pete UK VINE VOICE on 24 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I forced myself to the very end of this book; I naively assumed that it had to improve at some point or no-one else would have read it either. It didn't.

A smattering of rather forced underworld argot and lots of violence don't make a novel. You need some characters you care about. The entire collection between the covers of this book combined had less depth than Ronald McDonald.

I have seen this phenomenon before. Television - and the lure of film rights - have encouraged a new breed of author that write strings of action-oriented visual cliches, not novels. I think this is a sketch for a not-very-good TV miniseries - a bit of soap opera and a bit of "hard" crime drama in equal measure.

But it's not really worth an academic debate about how good or bad it is. It's just that there are so many better things to read that I am irritated I wasted the time I did on this one.

We all have our own tastes. This may be a rivetting read for you. But if you reach, say, page 3 and are beginning to wonder if it is going to be worth it, the short answer is probably "no". Sorry.
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Format: Audio CD
I have to admit I gave up on this book about 1/3 through. It is coarse, slow and unappealing. The plot plods along. The characters are cardboard cliches who are unattractive. She wants to be gritty and hard-hitting but it comes across as forced and unnatural. Very disappointing.
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By Sandford VINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Martina Cole pulls no punches in her latest novel. Once again, her insight into the life of the London criminal world is enthralling, frightening, and exciting. Foul language and swearing proliferates, none of which is gratuitous. Her use of language is powerful and appropriate, so don't read this if you are sensitive!
Cole tackles important social issues in this novel. She is clever in her invitation to subject the readers' own perceptions and judgements during the evolving story. She writes in a style that encourages her predicted readers' assumptions on a particular social issue, trusting that this will prevent us from solving the mystery. Cole actually reveals the plot well before the end, so obvious really, if only we can read between the lines! I felt this was a most powerful approach, and made me think about my own assumptions and prejudices. Cole makes us realise that the powerful are also weak, and that we are all vulnerable as people. Just wait for the Achilles heel, and the "powerful" will collapse like a pack of cards.
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