Maura's Game by Martina Cole
The return of Cole's queen of the criminal underworld, Maura Ryan, in Maura's Game is welcome indeed. Since her first novel Dangerous Lady (which introduced Maura), Cole has broadened her appeal with such novels as Two Women, a grim picture of domestic abuse that coincided with a government initiative on the subject. The new book has no sociological concerns: it's just an extremely powerful journey through a dark underworld where life is cheap. Maura Ryan has left her life of crime behind her after a big score, and fondly imagines that she can settle down with the man she loves. But the life she has left behind is full of enemies who have plans to make things very tough for her, unless she can make things tough for them first. The proceeds from her last gold-bullion robbery can't help her: she needs all her wit and sinew to survive. The queasy feeling that comes from being forced to identify with such a ruthless character is a carefully calculated part of Martina Cole's tactics, and ... read more
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