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The Take by Martina Cole
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The Take (2005)

by Martina Cole

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Gripping, addictive. I could not put this book down. The plotline is pretty grim but I like Martina Cole for that - she does not mince her words and she tells it as it is ( )
  MuggleMagic | Sep 19, 2009 |
I am embarrased by my liking of Martina Cole books for two reasons. One - they really are badly written. Two - they are morally offensive. She really falls for the myth of the "diamond geezer", the good old Cockney villain, who might be an armed robber but has his standards where women and children are concerned, and indeed is ready to dish out some community punishment to the likes of child molesters.

But enjoy these books I do. She is a story teller, and I somehow get interested in spite of myself. I do want to know how it is going to come out.

"The Take" is probably the one I have liked the best. It does seem, for once, on the edge of making a moral point. The central character is a Kray type villain name of Freddy Jackson, who initially comes across as something of a glamorous go-getter - though a man with flaws - but gradually reveals himself as living in a nihilist cul-de-sac, destructive of every one around him, and self-destructive to boot.

In the end she cops out, and the point is blunted - it would give too much away to say just how.

The weirdest part of this book just has to be quoted. Towards the end a minor drug dealer crops up that sends Cole into what I can only describe as a Jeremy Kyle rant.

"He was an addict, and that meant that every agency the Labour government funded was there expressly to help people like him. He had never had it so good, life had simply got better and better.

"His addiction had helped keep him out of prison, had helped him to get rehoused time and time again when the going had got a little too tough, and it had made sure he got his drugs whenever he needed them because he was, after all, big roll of drums, addicted.

"Roll on Tony and his wonderful nanny state."

Fortunately Freddy Jackson turns up to give him his community puishment.

Quite what this character has done that is so worse than any other character in the book is beyond me. Freddy is a drug dealer from higher up the food chain.

Moral consistency is not her strong point.
1 vote GeorgeBowling | Jun 3, 2009 |
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For Mr and Mrs Whiteside. Christopher and Karina. With all my love to you both.
And for Lewis and Freddie, my little pair of Kahuna Burgers!
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Jackie Jackson is preparing a party to welcome home her husband Freddie. Everyone is gathered at the party, including her sister Maggie. But after six years in prison, Freddie thinks he is the Essex equivalent to the Godfather. And he's going to make sure everyone knows it.… (more)

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