Bestselling author Martina Cole was born March 1959 in Essex, England and has Irish Catholic parents; she has four older siblings. Both of her parents died by the time Cole hit her early twenties. While only fifteen years old, she was kicked out of her convent school for allegedly getting caught reading “The Carpetbaggers” by Harold Robbins. Before becoming an author, she had some low paying jobs, these include: agency nurse, shelf stacker in a supermarket, cleaner, and a wine waitress.
Order of Kate Burrows Series
Order of Martina Cole Non-Fiction Books
Order of Martina Cole Standalone Novels
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Order of Maura Ryan Series
Martina Cole was born in Essex, England in 1959 to Irish parents. Her birth name is Eilidh Martina Cole, but is better known by her middle name. Due to her upbringing in Essex, Cole tends to write about the world that she knows and grew up in, the dark and unforgiving English underworld, which has its roots in the south-east of England, in and around Essex and London. So her novels tend to feature gritty, violent gangster characters, both male and female, as well as often gratuitous amounts of violence, which has led to many complains about her work due to the violent nature of it. However, Cole never shies away from such publicity and claimed in an interview with The Guardian, “They go on about the violence but you know someone once said to me, if you was a man you’d have been the Irvine Welsh of the south-east. But I’m not. I’m a blonde.”
Perhaps Cole’s most famous book is The Take, which was published in 2005 and was adapted for television in 2009 for Sky One. The popularity of The Take came about in no small part due to the television adaptation being such a success and a critical hit. Both the book and the television series revolve around the world of Freddie Jackson, a recently released-from-prison criminal who dreams of building his own criminal empire with the help of his cousin, Jimmy. The television series starred Tom Hardy as Freddie Jackson and also featured Brian Cox as the criminal godfather Ozzy.
Prior to The Take being adapted for television, Cole’s first novel, Dangerous Lady was made into a television drama in 1995. Dangerous Lady tells the story of a family of gangsters in London trying to build a criminal enterprise over the span of 40 years, while also focusing on the private lives of the main characters. Dangerous Lady was also adapted for the stage and ran at the heater Royal Stratford East for just a month towards the end of 2012.
Cole’s big break in writing came in the year 1991, when the novel “Dangerous Lady” was bought by a publishing company for 150,000 pounds; it would become an instant bestseller when it was released the very next year. Cole has been married twice, both of which ended in divorce. Once when she was sixteen, that lasted just a year; and then again in the nineties. She has two kids (which are named Christopher and Freddy Mary) after each, the second of which (Freddy Mary) when she was almost forty years old. In the year 2011, she started her own record label (which is called Hostage Music), and it has Alabama3 (a London based band) signed to the label. Martina Cole also co-owns “2 Queens”, which is a television and film production company with Barry Ryan (who is a television executive producer). She has worked on two documentaries, one that looked at the role women have in gangs, and six notorious female serial killers.
She has written many stand alone novels, but has also written the “Maura Ryan” series. Most of her work examines the gangster underworld that exists in London.
MARTINA COLE AWARDS
She has won the Crime Writers Award.
MARTINA COLE BOOKS INTO MOVIES
“Dangerous Lady” was made into a four part adaptation for television in 1995. In 1998, “The Jump” was adapted into a four part series as well. In early 2011, “The Runaway” was adapted into a series and had the same name. Three different novels of Martina Cole’s were adapted into stage productions by Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Lond. These include: “Dangerous Lady” (2012), “The Graft” (2011), and “Two Women” (2010).
BEST MARTINA COLE BOOKS
For those readers looking to get into novels by Martina Cole, this section will help with that. It will go over the novels “Dangerous Lady”, “Maura’s Game”, and “The Ladykiller”.
Dangerous Lady: This is the first novel in the “Maura Ryan” series and was released in the year 1992. Maura Ryan is just a seventeen year old girl, but that is not to say that she should be underestimated. She is clever, beautiful, and tough; nothing will stand in her way when she takes on the men of London’s gangland. She is a dangerous woman. Maura and her brother make a great team; they are the King and Queen of the West End, running the pimps and hookers, and the pubs and the clubs. With Maura’s smarts, they pull of a gold bullion robbery and take most of the Establishment and put it in their pockets.
Notoriety comes with a price, as the police would like to put her away in prison for good. Not everyone in her family thinks that to be quite a bad idea. When it all comes down to it, she has to confront the lost love; she finds that she is not quite made of stone, like she thought.
Maura’s Game: This is the second novel in the “Maura Ryan” series and was released in the year 2003. Maura Ryan is back and better than ever. Since the gold bullion robbery, she has retired so that she can be with the only man that she ever loved. Enemies are coming for her, and they are going to learn that she is not to be crossed.
The dangerous lady has returned and is just as lethal as she ever was.
The Ladykiller: This is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 1993. George Markham has an awful hobby, that explodes into a big orgy of sinister and brutal sexual depravity.
Patrick Kelly has one soft spot (his daughter) despite being a hard man. His daughter falls prey to the Grantley Ripper, and Kelly wants to take revenge.
Kate Burrows is the detective inspector in charge of investigating the case. She sympathizes with Kelly, truly, she does, but going head to head with this villain is putting her career in jeopardy. Law and order and the underworld in London go up against each other while a big man hunt is launched. Kate fears that she will lose all that she has to this ladykiller.
Martina Cole F.A.Q.
Q: What was the name of Martina Cole’s first book?
A: The first book that Martina Cole released was Dangerous Lady, which was released in 1992 and was later adapted for TV in 1995, and was shown on ITV.
Q: What is Martina Cole’s real name?
A: Martina Cole was born Eilidh Martina Cole, but goes by Martina in day-to-day life.