The Family By Martina Cole Review!

The Family


The Family (2010) by Martina Cole is a really outstanding read which is so realistic of life.


This is only the second book I have read by this author and already I am a huge fan and want to read more. Her writing is amazing and I am intrigued by what her other work has to offer.

This particular outing, which was Cole’s 17th novel, is set in Southend in England and tells the story of the Murphy family. Christine marries Phillip Murphy and finds herself in a dangerous situation which goes on for many years. The Murphys are involved in everything including murder and all manner of gangland activities. In Cole’s signature style of gritty, honest crime fiction, she gives us fantastic background on each of the characters and what makes them all tick. Phillip is an evil nutjob who is obsessed with public image and everyone is in danger if they do not obey him. Cole manages to really bring the reader into this very claustrophic world everyone is living in.

I particularly liked Christine and Breda. These two women are very different but both incredibly strong women in their own ways and though the two go on a bit of a journey to find a respect for each others’ approaches, they eventually do and form a friendship. Watching their relationship was fascinating and nice among all the choas in the book. Phillip’s mother has always backed Phillip which has not been helpful to his behavior or especially to anyone else and their mental wellbeing. His father has not been much help as he takes little interest in sorting things either. In their own way, everyone is afraid of Phillip and it is easy to see why.

Cole tackled many issues in this book from murder and gangland situations to gaslighting. She writes of the gaslighting Christine has faced throughout all her life. First from her mother and then from her husband. Breda also faces a lot of gaslighting throughout her life from her family. As someone who has faced gaslighting, I admired Cole’s truthful way of telling the mental abuse they faced and for talking about and hightlighting an issue that is not hightlighted enough in fiction.

This is an incredible write. It is hard-hitting and draining and superb. I can’t praise this book highly enough. The background information really helps the plot run along with ease and creates a tension that is needed in a book like this.

The book also has a very interesting interview with the author.

Absolutely amazing job. A must read.


To purchase The Family by Martina Cole go to:


And for more information about Martina Cole and her work go to:


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