Book Review: The Ladykiller

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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? 
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  • Em

    One of my friends will hold her hands up and say she read 2 books between leaving school and being 32. But then she went on her hols with her family and came back a different person, and is quite honestly obsessed with Martina Cole books now.

  • Crime books aren’t really my thing but my mother in law loves them, so I will be recommending it to her! xx

  • At the moment I’m reading Lord of the Rings – shall we just say that adult books are my thing haha. I love reading but I am chronically slow at it. I’ve been reading the same book since Feb…

  • Oh god, my mum loves Martina Cole. Her and Jools Holland. Such a bizarre combination…

  • Katie

    Sounds good- I’ll add it to my list! I read a pretty good thriller over the weekend – Iron House by John Hart. It’s like a novel version of a Jason Statham movie (but slightly less wooden). My guilty reading pleasure is young adult fiction – preferably some kind of humor, fantasty, adventure combo – but it has to be well written. None of that Twilight bollocks. xxx

  • Oooh I absolutely love Crime Thrillers, thank you for the idea, will start reading on my 24hr flight back to the Yooou-Kay in August. Rosie

  • Emma

    I’ve never read a Martina Cole for the reasons you’ve mentioned, but I must admit I’ve heard some good things about this one, and she must be doing something right, right?

    Hmm maybe…

  • I’ve read a few and most of them I didn’t like so much but I’ve read this one a couple of times and still enjoy it each time. I fear there may be something warped in me!!
    M x

  • It’ll be great to pass that journey with Rosie!
    Flying visit or for good?
    M x

  • Yeah, Twilight can bog off! My stepsie Katy gave me the Noughts and Crosses books to read (I think by Malorie Blackman?) not so much with the funny but they’re great reads!
    I’ll add Iron House to my list. Just the name of it sounds Statham-y!
    M x

  • That is a weird combination!! Totally different end of the spectrum! Although I have insider knowledge that Holland is a bit of a knob so…
    M x

  • Keep going soldier!
    M x

  • Oh do, it’s a pretty good one in the genre I think!
    M x

  • Haha, it takes all kinds I guess!
    MC does irritate me normally but there’s just something about this one.
    M x