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This is the first Martina Cole novel I have read, I promise it will be the last. The author treats the reader as an idiot who is unable to remember a basic plot. She continually repeats the plot over and over again.From the 666 pages available to read you are lucky if a third of these actually advance the plot or have any new bearing on the story. I became very frustrated reading this book and if this is an example of the authors work I would not recomend her to any one.
Faces is the fourteenth novel by the successful and critically acclaimed novelist Martina Cole. I have said in previous reveiws how much I love Martina Coles novels and I have read everyone of them. The last two though, Faces and The Business, I don't believe are as good as the earlier novels.
As with all her novels Martina Cole is again writing about what she knows best, the London criminal underworld. It is set in the heart of London's gangland, contains thirty two chapters and is seperated into four different books. The story begins in the seventies but continues right up until the present day, with each of the books focusing on different stages in time.
The main character in this novel is Danny Cadogen, at the start he is just a normal fourteen year old boy but the events that happen in his life see him grow into a violent and dangerous man, the most feared face in London.
The book begins just before Danny Cadogen's fourteenth birthday, he lives with his mother, father, sister and brother. However his world his turned upside down when his father walks out and leaves them. His father who is called Big Dan, has managed to get himself into a lot of debt, he now owes some not very nice people a lot of money. A gambling debt which he cannot pay, but instead of staying around to face the music Big Dan wals out and leaves his family to face the men sent to collect the debt.
This is the moment that changes Danny's life forever and he takes on the responsibility of protecting his family, he is now the man of the house and overnight he turns into a young man that will do anything to look after his family. The only way he thinks he can do this is to become a face in a very dangerous and violent world.
With determination Danny Cadogen gets his wish and not only becomes a face but the most feared face in London. This however is not necessarily a good thing and there are plenty of people who want to bring him down and see him destroyed. When someone is at the top of their game the only way they can go is down and I think at times Danny is his own worst enemy.
We also see how Danny becomes married to Mary and has children, this however does not calm him down nor make him a nicer person, they are just more people for him to rule, and he is also violent to his family.
Mary could also play a part in Danny's downfall if she chooses to, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
The book will reveal what happens to Danny, he is an interesting and intriguing character, but not a very likeable one. Will he continue to rule the criminal, shady underworld?
I did enjoy this book and it was a gritty, gripping novel. I just feel it was not as good as Martina Cole's earlier novels, there was not as many twists, turns and revelations as other books. Nothing is really surprising in this novel but it is still one to read.
Faces is one of fourteen gangland novels written by the bestselling British author Martina Cole.
Danny Cadogan is a face, forced to become one at just fourteen when his father abandoned his family to the wrath of the debt collectors rather than face up to the fact that he couldn't pay up.
Danny realises that the responsibility to provide for his family has fallen onto his shoulders and goes to work in the scrap yard of an old family friend. He turns the scrap yard into an incredibly profitable business.
When Danny's father eventually returns, Danny hands him over to the debt collectors without any regrets and so the story spreads of how Danny has had his father crippled and his reputation as a face is secured.
Nothing is ever enough for Danny, he has to be THE face in London and in the criminal communities in Spain, aided and abetted by his best friend Michael Miles, the brains of the operation Danny sets out to achieve his goal.
Danny marries the sister of Michael - Mary Miles, but hates her because she had been with lots of other men before him, whereas Michael married a virgin, something which seems to be important to these men with their possessive natures. Mary turns to drink to cope with living with the abuse and hatred she has to deal with on a daily basis.
As Danny continues on his meteoric rise to the top, his belief in his own invincibility grows and he forgets that the higher you rise the more people there are who want to take you down.
I've read quite a few of Martina Cole's books and they all contain fairly graphic violence, however this one is far and away the most graphic one I have read, there was one part in particular which made me feel physically sick, so this is definitely not for anybody who is particularly squeamish!
I didn't like any of the characters in the book, they weren't the kind of characters that you could like, at times I couldn't feel sympathy for them or feel frustrated by their actions, but they weren't likeable and I don't think that they were meant to be. But if you like books where you can identify with characters or need to like characters to enjoy the story then this probably isn't the book for you.
Despite not liking the characters, I still found the book engaging and compelling, I didn't want to put it down and I read it in a couple of days. The plot was well thought out and well written and I thought it had a fantastic ending, although I don't want to say too much about it as I don't want to spoil the story for anybody else, I really did enjoy the ending, it was a very clever twist and worked very well in the context of the overall plot.
As with a lot of Martina Cole's books, there is a prologue at the beginning which is based in the present and then the story itself starts working up to the point where the prolougue is. I think this is quite a good idea, because it makes you think constantly as you are read the book, trying to make the connection between the events you are currently reading and what you already know from the prologue. It involves the reader, you can't just read it passively and I really liked that!
I would highly recommend this and any other book by Martina Cole, but wouldn't advise these to be read by young people or any body who is squeamish as they really show a harsh way of life and are certainly aimed at an adult audience rather than a younger audience.