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Publisher's Summary

The most authentic novel of gangster family life ever written, from the number one best-selling author Martina Cole.

The Bailey brothers are gangsters determined to make their mark in the world. Peter and Daniel are chalk and cheese in many ways - Peter's calm exterior belies his ruthless nature, while Daniel's penchant for spectacular violence is legendary - but together they are unstoppable. From the late 70s they rule London's East End, and when their sons join the business, it seems that no one can touch the powerful Baileys. Although it's never easy at the top; there is always someone waiting to take you down - sometimes even those closest to you....

Lena Bailey is determined to shield her youngest child Tania from the Life. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, Tania's eyes are opened to their world in a way that forces her to make an irrevocable choice that will determine her future.

Martina Cole's gritty and gripping new novel is an unflinching portrait of a family torn apart by violence and betrayal, but ultimately bound by loyalty, by blood, and by a burning desire for revenge.... It is a story of the Life, told as only Martina Cole can.

©2012 Martina Cole (P)2012 Headline Digital

Critic Reviews

"Utterly compelling." ( Daily Mirror)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christine Williams
  • 09-29-12

Marinta Cole - The Life

Another cracking read from Martina Cole she brings the characters to life and you feel as if you are there with them through all the tragedy, brutality and also the joy





I always enjoy reading the books by this writer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • 01-31-13

Dont bother

This is not a review of "the life" as to be honest i only managed to listen to 4 mins of it before i had to turn it off, instead this is a review of Annie Aldington's naration. She has without doubt the most whining voice you will ever hear. the 4 mins i listened to centered around the furenal of the main charactures mother after being killed by a car bomb, after listening to Annie narate all i can think is please kill me too!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lesley
  • 01-06-13

The Life

Its difficult to get into the narrator is hard to listen too not so good with the male cockney, but eventually its a good read if you have read martina cole before you will know the stories are predictable but good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • CARRYN
  • 12-23-12

You know what you're getting

with Martina Cole and yet she still manages to hold the interest Gangland life in the East End, told from the perspective of the women standing on the sidelines

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catfish Knight
  • 12-23-12

An excellent story, and an excellent narration....

As usual this Martina Cole story does not fail to disappoint, it focuses on two half brothers and their relationship with each other, between them run the criminal world in London. The story revolves aound them, their families and all the siblings.

What makes this audio book even better is that it is read by Annie Aldington, who does a brilliant rendition as always.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Hamish
  • 11-11-12

Boring and badly written

This was really disappointing. It starts well enough, a thoughtful prologue and fairly punchy first chapter. However, it goes on to become a mind numbing account of the uninteresting lives of a family of London crooks.



The writing is dreadful. We are *told* virtually everything and *shown* none of it. When there is some action it is followed up by pages of tedious exposition.



I gave up on it after about 4 hours, not caring one iota for any of the characters nor what lies in store for any of them in the latter part of the book.



The publisher says it is "The most authentic novel of gangster family life ever written". Well, if that's the case give me the inauthenticity of Mario Puzzo over this any day.



...and Annie Aldington's Jamaican accent is appalling.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • barbara smith
  • 05-27-18

not my best... but still.enjoyed it..

I struggled with the first half of this book even though i started it again .but the 2nd half of really picked up and I loved it..narrator brill as usual..stick with it...it does get good

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • chris
  • 07-16-17

The Life

Martina at her best listened to it in 1 sitting couldn't put it down 1st audio book I've had will definitely buy more Chris Luton

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-16-17

great read

loved it from beginning to the end.
martina cole another great read.
and as always Annie Aldington makes it all come to life

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 04-05-17

Too slow for me.

Boring, very little action. Martina's books are usualy better than this. Not for me.