The Faithless by Martina Cole - review

(5 ratings)
Martina Cole book review
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What's The Faithless about?

Cynthia Tailor is a dangerous woman. Spreading chaos and heartache throughout her family and community, she will stop at nothing to get the perfect life she's always dreamed of - but at what cost?

Married to the lovely but weak Jimmy, envious of her much-loved sister Celeste and mother to neglected children Gabby and James, The Faithless tells the story of her reign of terror over those closest to her, spanning decades of family life.

goodtoknow says: You know what you're going to get with a Martina Cole book but with characters this gritty and plot lines this dramatic - that's not a bad thing! Set in her familiar London gangster world, The Faithless includes the usual men and machetes action but places the story firmly within the family. Cynthia herself could easily be depicted as evil incarnate but with Martina's clever switching first-person perspective, you almost feel sorry for her - much to your own dismay!

The Faithless is a gripping gangster story with family at it's heart. It'll leave you feeling exhilarated, emotionally drained and thoroughly entertained. You won't be able to put it down.

Rating: 9/10

You'll like this if you liked: All Martina's other books!

Publisher: Headline

Publish Date: Out now

Buy it now on Amazon

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I am a big fan of Martina Cole but have to say this book was bordering on terrible. It is badly written, the short chapters are something I usually enjoy. As it helps when you haven't got a lot of time to sit and read. But the characters in each chapter repeat thoughts and sentences almost to the word! Th internal dialogue of the child also seems very unrealistic. All in all just an awkward read very unlike Cole's other work.


Love a good crime thriller but never read a Martina Cole book untill now. The Faithless is a book full of brutal crimes, evil emotions, selfish people and family ties that are meant to be broken! From the very first chapter, (and there are 162 - but don't be put off, all are short and this makes the book a good read at bedtime), you will be hooked, or appalled, either way Martina Cole's style of writing means that the book has a strong narrative, and a fast paced story line. I read the book in 5 days, I just could not put it down! I think overall the theme of the book is 'what goes around comes around', and this makes the book fascinating to read to see how each character tries to gain one up one each other. The main character, Cynthia, is pure evil, and the book does make you think how does someone become that from such a normal family? But I was really intrigued to see how she taints all of her family and people she meets. Manipulative, scheming, rude, arrogant, disowning her children, sending her husband to breaking point; I personally felt the author chose to make this type of character female so that it challenges the usual view of how a woman should act and feel. I really liked the way the author also developed the relationship between Cynthia and her daughter Gabby. Well I say developed more like how it is destroyed by Cynthia and her hatred for Gabby making her look foolish by not choosing to date someone far better than Vince. Insane thinking or a mother who just wants the best for her child? The author explores how this is taken to the extreme by Cynthia. The explosive first chapter tells you just how Gabby feels about her daughter 'n' mother relationship! My only gripe with the book is that certain key characters share the same letter for their name, (e.g. James, Jimmy, James Junior, Jonny, Celeste, Cynthia...not easy to remember who is who when you are tired and reading after a hard day with the kids!!) , but other than this I really enjoyed losing myself in this book. Would I read more by this author now? Definitely!

Rach A James

My first Martina Cole book!! Wow....! I've never even though about picking up one of Martina Cole's books before as, whenever I've seen her interviewed on tv before, I've always found HER a bit terrifying! Having read her book...I find her even more scary!! A very gritty (and swear-y!) novel set in the "I want it so I'm going to have it" decade of the '80s and boy do the characters know what they want and not care who gets hurt in their pursuit of it! Cynthia is a fascinatingly evil woman. You could easily begin to feel sorry for her, then she'll do something even more evil, leaving you breathless. Gripping, easy to read - hard to put down until you reach its conclusion. My only problem with it was that I found the opening chapters a little repetitive but then perhaps this is a tool to reiterate the ruthlessness of Cynthia's character.

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