No Mercy by Martina Cole: Is a gripping Cole classic, awash in graphic violence, brutal betrayal and the darkest of deeds - book review -

No Mercy
No Mercy
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Essex-born Cole, the undisputed queen of the gangland thriller, is back on the beat for another of her classic heart-stopping tales of menace, malice and murder in the shadowy corners of London East End’s notorious crime world.

Twenty-five novels in and Martina Cole has lost none of her power to shock… and entertain!

Essex-born Cole, the undisputed queen of the gangland thriller, is back on the beat for another of her classic heart-stopping tales of menace, malice and murder in the shadowy corners of London East End’s notorious crime world.

Cole first made headlines in 1992 with her debut novel Dangerous Lady, the book that catapulted her to instant fame and launched the career of one of the bestselling fiction writers of her generation. Twenty-seven years later, her hard-hitting crime stories have sold well in excess of 15 million copies and passed the £63.2million sales mark.

And No Mercy – a heart-stopping, twisting, turning journey into the merciless wheeling and dealing of a gangster family led by an indomitable matriarch – packs the breathtaking gritty realism and bone-chilling thrills that have made this author so perennially popular.

It’s 1980 and Diana Davis has been head of the family ‘business’ since the death of her husband, Big Angus, an infamous bank robber who was well respected by his fellow gangsters. But Diana was always the brains behind his throne and now she runs the show… she might be a woman in a man’s world, but no one messes with her.

Diana inspires loyalty in those around her and listens to reason, unlike her only son, 19-year-old Angus, who might be a good fit for the gangland world but is a loose cannon with a quick, violent temper and a lot to learn where ‘the game’ is concerned.

Champing at the bit to fully immerse himself in the world in which he has been raised, Angus firmly believes he is destined for ‘great things’ but he needs to earn his mother’s trust before she will allow him into the business.

When Angus finally proves he has the brains to run their clubs in Marbella, Diana gives him what he has always wanted, and it turns out to be just the beginning of a reign of terror that knows no bounds.

But by this time, Angus has a blind spot… his wife, Lorna, and their three kids, Angus Junior, Sean and Eilish. And as the next generation enters the business, Angus has a painful truth to learn. Even when it comes to family, he must show no mercy…

No Mercy is a gripping Cole classic, awash in graphic violence, brutal betrayal and the darkest of deeds, but also brimming with immaculately drawn characters, psychological insight, and the acute observations of family life that have made this author such a crime-writing sensation.

Cole knows the world she writes about and it shows… from the tough, smart, ruthless but fair-minded Diana, to her unreliable and vicious son Angus who was born to be a villain, these are unforgettable players in a terrifyingly authentic world.

So sit back, hold on tight, and steel yourself for one hell of a ride!

(Headline, hardback, £20)