Image found here
First things first, this book is pure trash. It’s not going to change the world or your outlook on life (although it might change the way you look at that little old bloke walking towards you in the street!) It’s one of those I pick up when I need a little bit of distraction or something to dip in and out of amongst all the busy.
Secondly there’s nothing ironic in the title; this book is literally about a man who kills women. So if crime writing isn’t your thing, steer well clear. George is the titular bastard and the story unfurls as a cat and mouse affair between him and the heroine DI Kate something-or-other.
Crime thrillers are my guilty pleasure but I’m not a huge Martina Cole fan. I find her violence a bit gratuitous and some of her characters a little (a lot) clichéd; a lot of ‘apples and pairs’ and ‘awwight me old china’. To some extent the same is definitely true of The Ladykiller and yet it still keeps me coming back when I want to escape a little. I think that’s all to do with George who is, without a shadow of a doubt the vilest and most terrifying old codger I’ve met in a book. I don’t want to give anything away if, after this glowing recommendation, you fancy a read but the thing Martina Cole does really well is developing his back story. She manages to elicit, if not empathy, then a better understanding of what broke George in the first place. I did find myself feeling a bit sorry for him (I gave myself a talking to)! It’s pretty fast paced too and, dare I say it, funny in places. It’s also hide-behind-your-hands horrific in places.
Kenny is a woefully under developed character (he could have been brilliant), the setting is pretty bleak, the daughter is an arse and George will make your skin crawl but you might just enjoy it.
Read it if: you fancy getting away from it all, you don’t mind a bit of cheesy rhyming slang, you like a fast paced romp of a crime thriller, you’re a tiny bit warped.
Don’t read if: you struggle with Crimewatch let alone graphic violence, you can’t handle a bit of patronising colloquialism, you’re after a mind bender.
What’s your guilty book pleasure?