THE TAKE by Martina Cole (January 1st 2005, Headline Books)
Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He’s done his time, made the right connections, and now he’s ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she’s forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can’t leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her little sister Maggie’s star rises. In love with Freddie’s cousin Jimmy, Maggie is determined not to end up like her sister.
Families should stick together, but behind closed doors, jealousy and betrayal can fester until everyone’s life is infected. And for the Jacksons, loyalty cannot win out. Because in their world you can trust no one. In their world everyone is on the take
I attended the Newcastle Noir event last weekend and I took only ONE book with me, thinking that I would be able to finish that in a weekend. Less than 24 hours later and book finished, I needed my next hit. Still suffering from my book hangover after reading THE KILLER, I was ready to jump back into the underground world of gangsters, guns and law breaking.
Off to a local discount book store and less than 10 minutes later I had THE TAKE in my hands. I was well aware of Martina Cole’s work, however I had not read any of her work. Part of my Christmas gift was her latest release; BETRAYAL and I have yet to sit and read this.
First thing I loved about this book is how down right filthy and real it is. I don’t mean filthy as in sex, but filthy with language. There was an eff here, a jeff there and Cole doesn’t shy away from using the c-word throughout. But what Cole has the skill of is being able to use these words in context and it gives to the story. She is not just using these words as fillers.
As a reader, I was on a rollercoaster ride through the Jackson family life and I was horrified at some of the behaviour the family was subjected to and how each member of the family was forced to react – some in very contrasting ways. Throughout the story, I felt nearly every emotion going – I was happy, sad, angry and scared and this is what kept me turning the pages, I didn’t know where the next page would take me.
The only reason I left off that last star is….and this is my own personal reading style… is that the book reads a little too fast and erratic for me. Within the first few pages, the characters and plot had advanced by 10 years! I’m not for one minute saying this as a criticism of Cole’s writing, I thoroughly enjoyed her writing – it was just the pace for me. I sometimes found it difficult to either keep up, or confuse myself thinking I had missed something crucial as we were down so far down the line.
If violence, action, lots of swearing, blood, drugs, prostitutes and warring families all laced with a hint of humour are your thing – then this book is for you!
THE TAKE is available through the following outlets;