Being in the know can be deadly. Joanie Brewer's children mean the world to her. She'd do anything to make sure they're fed and clothed - even if it means going on the game - and she lives in constant fear that one of them will be taken from her. Eighteen-year-old Jon Jon is knee-deep in crime, and Jeanette, only fourteen, knows more than is good for her. But it's Kira who really scares her, for in a world where no one is to be trusted, her eleven-year-old angel is the most vulnerable to danger. Then Kira disappears and Joanie's darkest fears are realised. She thinks she knows what's happened to her little girl, and her obsession to uncover the truth threatens to destroy them all.
©2003 Martina Cole (P)2012 Headline Digital
'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)
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"OK but nothing to write home about"
Not really time well spent. I'd rather be listening to another book.
I couldn't be bothered to get there so couldn't say.
Not that good in my opinion. I'm not sure I really believed the narrator which is not great if you're playing gritty, hard hitting characters.
"great story line very real"
i thimk either would be just as good
it was all good really , very real and very much true in all aspects of life now
all of it
"GOOD GRITTY DRAMA"
Its pace. Kept me reading and making me annoyed when I had to stop to get dinner for the family. Good Essex girl is Martina - enjoy most of her books.
Sorry - can't remember names of books once I've read them.
No, I haven't but she is perfect for this author's style.
Martina involved us in the central family's world and made us sympathize despite some of its members not being very good people. As a mother, I couldn't stop a tear or two flowing when the mother lost her child. Every woman's greatest fear.
Jane Austen, she aint - but for a good rollicking read without having to work too hard, she suits me.
Eng Lit Lecturer
I had not read any Martina Cole books previous to this was tempted to purchase due to an offer on Audible.My expectations were not that high but I was wrong, An excellent listen with a story and characters that are entertaining, engrossing, vile, the whole spectrum.At times very bleak and dark but never less than enjoyable. I will be listening to more Martina Cole books
I found this novel an interesting take on the criminal underworld and its interaction with the police and everyday life of those living on the fringe of society. It is based on the life of a working girl and how this impacts on her family and friends. This is reflected in the language and some might find this a little uncomfortable as it is peppered throughout with choice words.
It delves into prostitution, their pimps and some might find the explicit child abuse difficult to deal with and cringe worthy, especially the way some of the minor characters see, speak and use their children. It does however show how some children follow in their parents’ footsteps.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the novel and its juxtaposition of different styles of mothering from the same social settings. It follows the route of honour among thieves and how they look after their own which at times seem a little cliché but at others have you thinking ‘good on you’. All in all the story is a bit like Christmas cake, not to everyone’s taste and sometimes comes with cheese and at other times soaked in brandy.
I loved the way Annie Aldington adds character to each personality through her narration of the book. I would definitely listen to another of her performances.
"Brutal and Believable"
This book deals with the people who struggle to survive in, and the people who run, the sex industry. To paraphrase the Beatles, it's a dirty novel of a dirty business. A business that turns the children who survive their initiation into this depraved world into the abusers of the future.
If it has a fault (other than the hard to swallow violence) it is promoting the ideal of 'good' criminals over 'bad' ones.
Martina Cole writes with conviction about the complexities of life as a prostitute in a world of sadism, crime and casual violence. She manages to make her characters three dimensional, showing the humanity in brutalised people as well as the inhumanity.
A book for people with a strong stomach. It is bleak, depressing and powerful. You cannot help being moved by the compassion and resilience of its main character, Joanie, or by the conflicting elements good and evil in its many players.
The reader is excellent and brings shocking life to this Booker listed epic.
"Good, but a little clichéd"
I would try another book by Martina Cole. The story can't quite decide whether to be feel good or totally bleak and I like that about it. The narration is excellent with subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences between characters and I guess that the accents are OK. Since I come from Sweden I can't be a judge of that.What I don't like quite that much is that I get a picture in my head of Lock, stock and two smoking barrels at times. The crooks are a little too cliché for my taste.
The character that stand out is Joni, the warm loving mother, who in the middle of all the misery tries to raise her children the best she can.
Anne Aldingtons narrative brings life to the book.
I could see this turned into a TV series starring some of those brilliant unknown British actors that seem to grow on trees. I think that a visualisation would be a lot bleaker than the book.
"Not what I was expecting :-("
No - there were too many graphic scenes of child abuse and kids sold into prostitution - not what I was expecting. Also I thought the crude language (although sometimes necessary was way too overused. One sentence alone had 6 'C' words (my most hated word) - overkill!
She is a consistently good narrator
Yes, look for something lighter to read next.
Wouldn't read again or recommend it to anyone who feels, like me, that it is unnecessary to use foul language every other word!
Compelling, real world and absorbing.
No, but the next Martina Cole I listen to will feature Annie!
A compelling real life book. Totally absorbing, yet you deeply hope that your life will not cross any of these characters, though knowing that many of these experiences are an inch away.
The story captured me from the very first words
Very expressive narration with good voice differentiation
There are several very moving moments throughout the story
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