I was very disappointed in this book, having been totally enthralled in the TV adaptation of The Take, which was brilliantly cast, brilliantly scripted, brilliantly acted, brilliantly directed, and, I thought, based on a presumably brilliant novel.
Hard Girls was boring, predictable, badly written, tedious and I knew who the perpetrator was after their first scene in the book. The author has adopted a short-chapter format - most chapters are two pages or less - and coupled this with an effort to provide a cliffhanger for each chapter. This broke the rhythm of the story and brought an artificiality to the reading that I can only liken to the "fourth wall" in TV: I saw the construction of the story and this stopped me believing in it. In trying to create an atmosphere of hard, callous characters she gives her people words to say that sound mealymouthed and clumsy. I couldn't believe the solution would be so obvious, I also couldn't believe Martina Coles would continue to write so badly throughout. So I kept going and unfortunately it was, and she did.
I will try others of her work, The Take cannot be an accident, but I advise you not to bother with this.