I really enjoy reading Martina Cole's novels; the realism which she conveys, with gritty and reliable characters, make you want to become part of her world. However, the one thing that strikes me about her novels is their predictability. Cole knows her audience and she has a specific formula: A London gangster; a character with Irish ancestry; and a woman who, despite adversity, becomes the novel's heroine. Furthermore, Cole invariably highlights women's oppression, and this novel is no different. The eventual murder of George Markham was committed by a woman, a prostitute, and so it became socially acceptable, as opposed to, the murder being committed by a revengeful, Patrick Kelly. `The Ladykiller' is based around the lives of three people: London's most feared gangster, Patrick Kelly; Detective Inspector, and the novel's heroine, Kate Burrows; and the sexually violated, George Markham. Despite the predictability of the narrative, it's a highly enjoyable read and will leave you gripped right until the very end. Martina Cole is a terrific storyteller; she invites you into her world and leaves you wanting more, and more. She does, though, within this novel, make us ponder a really interesting subject: Are people born evil? Or are we all shaped by our backgrounds and childhood to become the kind of people will grow up to be? This question was certainly relevant to George Markham. Despite the murders of the woman - and a child - we are left feeling empathy for the man because of his cruel childhood - his Mother was a prostitute, and he was `experimented' on by his Mother's partners. Overall I enjoyed the novel and would definitely recommend it.