Book Review – Close by Martina Cole
It has been a while since I have read a Cole book, and while it was deliciously violent and full of character we would expect in the East End, it slighted in so much ‘feelings’ and explanations of feelings…in fact, how many times and how many characters shared their thoughts on Lance’s ‘weirdness’ alone was doing my head in…OK, we get it. And repetitiveness did not stop there. I swear, it was all I could do to climb into the book and give Lily (the main character) or Annie (her fucked up mother) a slap or two. Deep breaths…
Lily starts a relationship at age 16 with one of the more notorious characters in town, Patrick Brodie. Despite his normal gangster and philandering ways he is besotted with her and they start a family and Pat’s empire starts to grow. It follows their ups and ups (slight downs where the mother-in-law is involved, but that’s real life i’nt it?) which includes Patrick going off his nut and bludgeoning anyone and everyone who fucks him off. This reaches a pinnacle when Patrick is stabbed to death in his own house but four brothers right in front of the family as they prepare for the oldest son’s 10th birthday.
As someone not in line with the law the deceased’s estate is well hidden and ends up being divvied amongst the others in the criminal fraternity leaving Lily and 5 kids to fend for themselves, in various manners not befitting a mobster’s wife. And as the oldest son grows (also named Patrick by some sort of American-guffo slip) Lily and Pat Jnr vow to claim back all that was taken from them. Yadi, yadi, yada…and so it goes in violent detail.
The attempt at a twist in the end was sniffed out about 300 pages earlier but is still comes as a shock as nothing is spared in a Cole scribes…
Aside of the apparent need to write more pages with unsolicited and irrelevant drivel at times it was still a good book.
The real judgement lies in that it took me a good two or three weeks to complete it, and if I really like a book it can be devoured in a matter of days. Worth a look, but she has done others which kick it’s arse.