You don’t need me to tell you who this writer of crime fiction is. She is Martina Cole, who shot to fame in 1992 with her debut novel Dangerous Lady. Martina Cole’s books are gritty, hard-hitting usually set in London and the Essex home counties.
Martina Cole’s books are unusual in that her main protagonists tend to be women doing battle as it were, in what is predominately a male world.
Yes, you are right. I am a HUGE fan of this writer especially her earlier work, for example, Goodnight Lady published in 1994 is a brilliant book. However, Dangerous Lady is the novel that launched this new crime writer and right from the first few pages you can see why. Her books are long, detailed and full of action. Never a dull moment!
I had the pleasure of re-reading Dangerous Lady over last Christmas and I have to say, it made my Christmas. That’s the thing to do you know, revisit books you have not read in a long time. You will be surprised just how much you enjoy it again and get out of it. I loved it.
The Plot of Dangerous Lady
Dangerous Lady is about the life of Maura Ryan the only sister to five older brothers. However, her main relationship and closest bond is with the oldest brother Michael Ryan. Theirs is a family that are in the grip of extreme poverty and so when the chance to climb out of it comes knocking, Michael and then Maura are only too glad to take it.
The main problem being it leads them into a life of crime, violence and exclusion from mainstream society. They don’t call it the underworld for nothing!
And then there is Maura’s personal life. This adds juice to a story that is rich enough! Read the book and you will see what I mean! Okay, so let me reveal a little bit of the tale, I know you’re dying to find out! At seventeen Maura Ryan falls in love with the last person in the world the Ryan family need in their lives. When the eldest brother Michael finds out there is hell to pay, as they say. Watch out, this book will make you catch your breath!
What I like most is the sense of atmosphere (true for all her books). You really get to feel the poverty, hardship and desperation the Ryan’s are immersed in. Yet, you also feel the family love, the blood ties and fierce loyalty they have for each other including their parents.
Dangerous Lady is tense and fast-paced but you do not feel sad that it was over too quickly. Give it a read.
Martina Cole has written twenty-two novels so far, so take your pick. But only if you can handle the pace…
Until next time, happy reading, S