Review: The Good Life by Martina Cole

Friday 14 August 2015
Title: The Good Life
Author: Martina Cole
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 9th October 2014
Pages: 450
Source: Purchased
Rating: 1/5
Purchase: Amazon
Jenny is not just any girl. She cares nothing for Cain's hard-man reputation - she just wants to be with him.

But Cain is not a free man. And he's about to find out that when his wife 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. 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.

But there are greater trials ahead than either can foresee. They're about to learn the hardest lesson of all:


Martina Cole is one of my favourite authors, but like most of her long-time fans I have been left disappointed with pretty much all of her recent books. My rating for The Good Life isn't so much about the story itself, just the fact that the whole plot was basically given away in the prologue. Seriously, the whole of The Good Life's story is essentially just an expanded version of the prologue. The book had no surprise or mystery which I found annoying, as the story itself could have been great had certain parts of it been written as a surprise rather than the reader knowing everything that was coming. For example the death of one of the main characters. Why reveal something so crucial to the story in the book's opening pages?

Jenny is a normal girl who catches the eye of notorious Face Cain Moran, one of the most feared men in London. When the two fall in love (almost instantly) Cain decides to leave his wife Caroline (a complete pantomime character who only gets more ridiculous as the story progresses), but she's not about to go down without a fight (except she does). Cain soon finds himself behind bars, and despite living a rather comfortable life locked up (I think I fancy it myself he was that comfortable!), his enemies are never far behind and on the outside there are plenty of people plotting his downfall (and we know every single one of them). And Jenny's love for Cain is about to be tested to its limits. Can the couple ever live the Good Life again? Does anyone really care? Both of these characters will be recognised instantly by anybody who has read a Martina book before, they just have different names. Jenny's character changes personalities numerous times throughout the story to suit what's happening at the time which I found to be a little silly and unbelievable.

Martina seems to have an almost lazy writing style now, and the book is littered with similar words and phrases and so much repetitiveness about 'the Good Life' and 'the Life' which Martina mentions on almost every other page. Each chapter is only a page or two long which results in a lot of white space and so the doorstops that Martina used to write are a thing of the past. The competition in this genre is too fierce nowadays that just writing the same story over and over doesn't cut it with me, but it seems to with everybody else as Martina's books still fly off the shelves. Just as a final side note, it amuses me that a lot of the negative reviews for Martina's books don't even mention the plot just the fact that her characters swear a lot. What, it's fine for her characters to murder people and commit crimes but God forbid one of them swears! I can't recommend The Good Life simply because you could read the prologue and epilogue and know the whole story. I'll keep reading Martina's books in the hope she has a return to form one day, but with the blurb for her upcoming book already mentioning 'the Good Life', I'm bored already.


  1. Wow Shaun, I have to say I felt like this with the last few of her books I read. I love MC and used to always buy them as soon as they came out, now I wait until someone passes them along to me and even then they aren't priority. Such a shame as she offered so much.


    P.s, good to see another reviewer who posts reviews that aren't all 3 and above, I hate doing 1 stars too but they offer balance and credibility I think. Plus my 1 star may be someone elses 5.

    1. I totally agree, This book was rubbish.I never thought I would say this about my favourite author but clearly she has lost interest in pleasing her fans. I have now lost interest in paying good money after bad.Martina must clearly be aware of the lack of effort on her part and I personally will not be conned again. Shocking writing.

    2. Absolute Rubbish and Martina would be a liar of Olympic Standards if she thought not. No effort at all was put into the writing of this book. One big money racket but one less no1 fan...Moving on.


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