Friday, 7 August 2020

Book review : The Graft - Martina Cole

Martina Cole is a hugely popular author, who has written over twenty crime novels, several of which have been made into popular TV dramas. (You might like to read my review of another of her books, The Know.) She is one of the big names in the literary world, and yet, her writing is very down-to-earth and approachable. You wont find big words and poetic descriptions. You will find realistic characters, straight talking and addictive storylines.

The Graft is cleverly written so that you discover more and more about the main characters (including some very big surprises, but I won't tell you what they are !) as you read. The characters have hidden depths and dark secrets that nobody, neither the other characters in the story nor the reader, will suspect until they are suddenly revealed.

The story starts with a sickening and brutal scene. Hearing noises downstairs while his family are sleeping, Essex businessman Nick Leary creeps downstairs to investigate. He comes across a burglar, whose identity is hidden, and, thinking of his wife and two sons, as well as his luxurious home and his possessions, he attacks him. Nick is victorious - the burglar falls to the ground - but his sense of righteous triumph is very short-lived. When the police arrive and unmask the man lying on the floor, they discover that the robber, Sonny Hatcher, was only in his teens.

While Sonny's death is tragic, his life was hardly better. He lived with his mother, Jude, who is a completely selfish drug-addict. His father Tyrell comes back to support his ex-wife and try to find out what happened. His investigation will lead him into the bleakness of the Essex and London underworlds, with the most abject of the big city's residents coming out as he overturns the stones they are hiding under. Drug addiction, violence, child prostitutes, murder ... he will uncover it all as he seeks to find a sense of understanding, if not retribution, for his son's death.

There are surprises for the reader, but mainly a sense of sadness. Martina shows things just the way they are with no embellishments, and, particularly as a parent, it can be hard to discover what goes on behind the glitz and glamour of our big cities.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (11 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780755374137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755374137
  • ASIN: 0755374134


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