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The Ladykiller [Paperback]

Martina Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 29 2009
A terrifying thriller that never relaxes its powerful grip from the No. 1 bestselling author Martina Cole

George Markham has a nasty little hobby, one that erupts into an orgy of vicious sexual depravity. Patrick Kelly is a hard man. His one soft spot is his daughter, and when she falls victim to the Grantley Ripper, Kelly wants revenge. The DI in charge of the case is Kate Burrows. She feels for Kelly but her growing involvement with a known villain is putting her career at risk... As the forces of law and order and London's underworld converge in a huge manhunt, Kate fears she'll lose everything she's ever cared about... to the ladykiller.

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Product Description


'The story will grip you from the first pages'— Best

Intensely readable—Guardian

'Utterly compelling'— Mirror

'Cole is brilliant at portraying the good among the bad, and vice versa, so until the very end we never quite know who to trust. This is the very stuff that makes her so compelling'— Daily Mirror

'Right from the start [Cole] has enjoyed unqualified approval for her distinctive and powerfully written fiction'—The Times

'Martina Cole explores the shady criminal underworld, a setting she is fast making her own'— Sunday Express

'Gritty novel from an author who knows intimately the world she writes about'— Express

About the Author

Martina Cole is the No. 1 bestselling author of seventeen hugely successful novels. Her hard-hitting, uncompromising and haunting writing makes for an incredible read, and sales of her books now stand at over ten million copies. She is the person who dares to tell it like it really is.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ladykillers Nov. 30 2009
This book has you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. I could not put it down. As with all of Martina Cole's books, it was excellent. A great read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb crime novel with a love story to boot Feb. 11 2006
By Veronica - Published on
Many years ago I listened to the audio version of Dangerous Lady and quite liked it. Since then I hadn't touched another Martina Cole novel but after reading an interview with the author I decided to give her books another go. I'm very happy that I started with The Ladykiller, as it is one of the best crime thrillers I've ever read. The book is about the criminal underworld in the East End of London where violence, prostitution, sex shops, massage parlours, hired thugs, bent coppers and paedophiles are a part of ordinary life. I know, it all sounds pretty heavy, and believe me the book is not what you would call light-hearted, but it is written with a such a down-to-earth style and with such realism and psychological insight that it is very enjoyable and exciting to read. Martina Cole is an amazing storyteller, and knows how to keep the reader hooked all the way through.

The novel starts by focussing on George Markham, an abused boy who has turned into an abusive man. George is heavily into sadomasochism and he has started to turn his violent fantasies into real-life crimes by raping and murdering women. One of these women is Mandy Kelly, the daughter of London hard man Patrick Kelly. Patrick will stop at nothing to track down her murderer and bring him to his kind of rough justice.

At the same time, the serial rapist / murderer is being hunted by DI Kate Burrows and her police team. Kate is a woman with a wayward daughter and an ex-husband who has breezed in and out of her life too many times. The emotional heart of the novel lies with Kate and Patrick, who are on opposite sides of the legal fence but who grow to love each other. Their relationship is rocky, passionate and controversial. I absolutely adored the fact that this book included such an interesting love story. In another author's hands it could have come across as ridiculous but Martina Cole writes it perfectly.

As a female reader, I found myself absolutely falling for Patrick Kelly whilst at the same time aghast about his criminal activities and penchant for much younger women (late teens to his forty-something years) when not in a relationship. You can see how Patrick is the result of his poverty-stricken upbringing - he did what he had to do in order to survive. Everything that makes him attractive - his strength, confidence and power - is also what makes him such a successful villain. Kate is also a really strong and interesting character, and I liked the way she stood up to Patrick and didn't give up her principles when she was with him, such as when she walked out of an illegal boxing match that Patrick wanted to see.

The book is also great because every scene seems so authentic. You become immersed in a world where women are `birds' and `skirts' (I know, I know, so chauvinistic - but it's part of the culture) and police officers are the `Old Bill' and `filth'. This book is certainly not politically correct, but it is better for it. Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like crime novels and aren't offended easily by violence, bad language and sexploitation! This novel is a wonderful guilty pleasure.

One final note:
I'm surprised that Martina Cole isn't well-known in America, which I assume is the case due to the lack of reviews for her books on this website. I can only assume that the publishers felt that the distinctive East End slang / London gangster world wouldn't be understood by an American readership, which is a real shame because this is a great rough-tough gangster crime novel with a fiery romance sub-plot that is exciting all the way through. The subject matter is along the same lines as the Kenzie and Gennaro novels by American novelist Dennis Lehane, which also expose the violent and shocking criminal underworld where nothing is black and white and the line between the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys' is not as clear cut as you might think. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and gripping Jan. 10 2011
By Bogumila Anna Sobolewska - Published on
It was my first book of Martina Cole, and deffinitely not the last one.
Loved the plots and very rich composition of characters.
Could not put the book down, till the last moment couldn't guess the ending.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, Woow, Wooow!!! Oct. 8 2014
By Relax and Read Reviews - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
"What's bred in the bone comes out in the blood."

I was 'pressed' into reading this book by my dear wife who has practically devoured it on a recent holiday and who without divulging any details has spent all holiday telling me what a great book she was reading.

Finally I gave in and read 'The Ladykiller', this being my first Martina Cole book ever. Now I know that my wife didn't exaggerate at all when she praised this book so much and I'm so glad to have read it myself. ​Written in the third person, this book showcases Martina's excellent writing skills. It is the first book in a series featuring DI Kate Burrows and Patrick Kelly.

Everyone knows that Martina Cole is up there at the very top with the best crime fiction authors, but seriously I didn't think this book would be this good. Written back in the 90s, the thoughts it evoked in my mind as I was reading are still valid today, more than two decades later.

The Grantley Ripper is making news by savagely raping and murdering women. He is terrorising the whole community. The ferocity of his attacks indicates that this man really Hates women with a capital H. One of these victims happens to be the young daughter of a local hard man, a repoman, a man feared by many, Patrick Kelly, known for his not so legal businesses around London and other places. Kelly vows to use all his means and connections to catch this sadistic murderer and make him suffer a very slow, agonising death. His daughter was the most important person for him.

DI Kate Burrows is assigned the Grantley Ripper case. She's an excellent, bright detective and she's determined to find the Ripper and lock him away for ever. But Kate Burrows has personal problems of her own.

Being assigned to the case, Kate meets Patrick Kelly and finds herself wanting to help this distraught man in this difficult moment. Though they come from very different backgrounds and with opposing ideas and beliefs, they are both immediately attracted to each other, however such a relationship is bound to compromise her career. Can a police DI have a relationship with a notorious ruthless villain?

From the beginning we know who the ripper is, just an ordinary-looking Englishman but with a secret nasty interest. All characters brought to life by Ms Cole in this thriller are multi-dimensional, realistic people with a background. I loved all the characters (except the Ripper and his mother of course), especially Kate Burrows and Patrick Kelly. I also liked a lot Willy, the scary-looking bald giant who's also Patrick's minder.

All circumstances and story lines in the book are also very believable. The murders are all gruesome and different.

This book is very realistic as it shows what horrible consequences sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children can bring about. The monster in this novel is the production of such abuse. It makes you shudder to think that nowadays in real life there are children suffering the same things this murderer has suffered as a boy. By the end I have to say that I even felt pity for this sadistic killer.

I would have preferred the Grantley Ripper case to be solved in a different method to the one chosen by the author, however, I then understood her reasoning behind this decision and it made sense. I would have also preferred shorter chapters as they are a bit longish.

Having said that, I highly recommend this book to everyone as it is certainly one of the best thrillers I have ever read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Kate a very career minded DI who meets and falls in love with the town villain under such harrowing circumstances Oct. 21 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very unusual story of a abused boy who grows up to be psychopathy. Who because of the time that he lived in there was no such thing as counselling even though it took George until the end until he realized that he had a problem.
Kate a very career minded DI who meets and falls in love with the town villain under such harrowing circumstances.
I picked up the book and once I got into it I had trouble putting down. I would love to be able to read more of Martina Cole books in the future.
5.0 out of 5 stars CQ Comment May 16 2014
By CQ - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Have to give this book 5 star , I love a book that I just can't wait to read.. I was hooked from the first chapter ... Not for the faint hearted thou. Very detailed in parts . Really enjoyed this book.
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