Book review: Faces by Martina Cole

I wrote a post in December about my favourite books of the year and I included “The Jump” by Martina Cole. I loved it so much that I immediately added all her other books on my “to read” list and I bought this one a couple of weeks ago.

To say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. Maybe if I hadn’t enjoyed the other one so much I’d be a bit more forgiving but knowing how well she can write made it even worse for me. Faces is the story of Danny Cadogan, ruler of London’s underworld and all round nasty individual. The story starts with Danny’s wife, Mary, and her brother and Danny’s business partner Michael plotting to get rid of Danny and then jumps back to Danny’s childhood and how he became to be a “Face”.

Please. Let’s talk about the repetition for a second. How many times can we be told that Danny is violent, that’s he’s crazy, that he’s a “face”? We all know the golden rule of storytelling is show, don’t tell, and Martina Cole seems to forget that here. We get the picture, we don’t need to be reminded every 5 seconds. I’m sorry, but this completely ruined the book for me, it was overlong and if all the repetition had been cut out it would be PAGES shorter.

Only thing that redeemed it was I liked the character of Arnold. That was IT. I was so disappointed because I loved the first book I read of hers. I think I’ll leave it a while before I pick up another one. 2/5 stars.


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