Denise Danks lives in London. She is a former journalist and managing director of a technology news agency. . She wrote the Georgina Powers series of crime novels, two of which were shortlisted for the CWA Macallan Gold Dagger 1999/2000.
Pace. Tick. Tick. Tick. Plot. Tick.
Cole is the UK’s best selling crime author of all time.
2011, Neilson Bookscan listed her as the first British female adult-audience
novelist to exceed the 50m sales mark since its records began. Her sales in the 21sC’ first decade topped 6m (sold value £41m) putting, her 21st in the top 100 .
Cole’s novels, set in London gangland, inevitably rocket to the top of The
Sunday Times Best Seller list. She
rewards her fans with a book a year. She writes in longhand. She is a publishing phenomenon.
is in a minority of one having also, arguably, created her own genre of crime
writer of choice for those detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, her fan base, they say, lives mostly within
the boundary of the M25. Whoever they
are, readers return again and again to Cole’s novels for her authentic,
exciting and uncompromising stories of working class antiheroes, strong female
protagonists, and their families, whose main business is crime with lashings of
It is the love and despair within these
families that gives her stories piquancy. Cole, a single mother twice over,
understands poverty and aspiration. You know, too, that the most horrible
scenes do not come from her imagination.
hoodlums are brutal, business-like and uncompromising but Cole never forgets to
give them, and the people who love them, often to death, an emotional
battering. Her dry, mordant wit is always in play when some evil ‘bastard’ gets
his come uppance or some gold digging ‘bird’ is left wanting. There is never a dud note on that score.
InThe Good Life, her 21st novel, top
’face’ and married man, Cain Moran, the charismatic son of a prostitute, falls
for a virginal, young, beauty, Jenny Riley, whose mother, a rollicking
character, is also a prostitute. Moran’s wife is their nemesis. She is never going
to give up her well-earned, comfortable ‘good life, provided for her and her son by Moran’s ill gotten gains,
and let her goodie two shoes rival enjoy it instead. Through her scheming and his rivals enmity, Moran
ends up inside and Jenny has to pay the ticket price that dangles from the
so-called good life. The big question is
will Moran’s crime fiefdom and their love survive? Will the desire for that good life still
drive their ambitions or will love triumph over all?
The Good Life is a bittersweet tale that
nevertheless gives the reader all the essential Cole components. Pace. Tick.
Tick. Tick. Plot.Tick. Characters. Tick. Humour. Tick. Sex. Tick. Glamour.Tick. Brutality. Tick. Torture. Tick. Murder.
Tick. Love. Tick. It’s like a TV boxset
that won’t let you go and it took me
just two days to finish it, stiff drink in hand.
said, I found the virginal Jenny a bit too perfect and nice for a Cole woman.
She showed some spirit but she could not
compete with Moran’s insane wife, who stole all their scenes. The story does slow eventually and repeats a
little towards the end but, in this novel, we may be observing something new, Martina
Cole, dare I say it, in a more
we see the characters that survive again? Who knows, but I think they richly deserve another