The Good Life by Martina Cole
Martina Cole is an English author who was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London’s gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina’s novels stand at over eight million copies. I was delighted to meet her at the Bloody Scotland’s Crime Writers’ Festival last year and am pleased she is on the programme again, this year.
The Good Life is an interesting book in which the central character truly does learn, grow and change his life by the end of the novel. Cain Moran lives a life of crime. Jenny Riley is a naive, young girl. The novel tells a love story revolving around Cain and the love he has for Jenny. Cain is a face in London, England who seems to have it all.
In her turn, Jenny is not interested in Cain’s hard man reputation all she wants is to be with him. For Cain, loving Jenny Riley was the easy part; it was telling his wife, Caroline, that he wanted a divorce that was going to be the killer, because when Caroline said ’til death us do part’, she meant it. When Cain is sentenced to life in prison it seems that Caroline might have got her wish.
Caroline enjoyed The Good Life with Cain and loved the reflected glory she commanded as his wife. Jenny is not interested in the money or infamy Cain brings, although she does grow used to it and does miss it when he is sentenced to twenty-five years in jail, but not nearly as much as she misses him. All Cain and Jenny know is that if their love can survive such separation, then one day they will have a chance at The Good Life together again.
I liked Cain from the outset, although Jenny did not seem to be the right type of person for him, I grew to respect her loyalty to her man and her family. The Good Life is set over decades, which works for me and I love the fact that the reader sees a snippet of the future at the very beginning of the book. We then see Cain’s life progress over the years and this is a story that held my interest from the beginning to the end.
The Good Life by Martina Cole tells a great story and an easy read. I enjoyed it, although some of the graphic detail of murders were a bit difficult. If you are not easily offended by bad language or violence, you might enjoy The Good Life too.