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Two Women

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,860 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston’s East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she smashed her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she’s done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is celled up ...more
Kindle Edition, 640 pages
Published (first published October 7th 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 23, 2014 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Two Women] being the first book I have read by author Martina Cole has made a great impression on me. I now have a new author to read who's books shed light on other parts of society that some of us are blind to. The book begins with an introduction to Susan on her way to a new prison while she works on her appeal with her Solicitor. It is revealed that Susan is in prison for the murder of her husband, Barry, and that she does not regret what she has done.

After the Prologue [introduction] the b
Sep 14, 2015 Kirsty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book when I first joined Audible as it came up in the daily offers. I hadn't read a Martina Cole novel before and so didn't didn't know what to expect.

I'm not really a fan of this type of story line and felt uncomfortable with some of the subject matter & nearly gave up at one point. However, I persevered with the story, & grew to love most of the the characters in this book.

The only issue within the story was that all seemed to end well for one character, which didn't see
Kelly Tennant
Aug 14, 2012 Kelly Tennant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I felt I wouldn't get into and enjoy the book but I was very wrong. Its brutality is hard to take, I don't think it will be for everyone, and I felt it was a little formulaic at times. However by telling the story and developing the characters in such a way the end was incredible, I struggled to put it down. The story is about so much more than the brutal side of life, which it first appears about. The characters are real, it was about the good that come from depravity, the lengths peop ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to enjoy this book. It had so many great reviews. Intact all of Martina Coles books do. However she's just not for me. This was the first and last book of hers that I have read. I actually didn't even finish the book. I hate how it would jump to things happening or certain things would be said in the book and I had no idea how the characters got there and I had no idea what was going on. I can read a lot of gruesome stuff but I cannot read child rape. It's just too much for me. I ...more
Jillean Whyte
Giving it 2 stars as the title is misleading, as it really focus on the horrific story of Susan Dalston, raped and abused by first her father, then her husband. She is a product of her own environment living in the east end (Eastenders it ain't). The story is horrific and gripping and I'm sure even today 2014, there are many Susan Daltsons living the same kind of life today. You cannot help but feel sorry for Susan but at the same time screaming at the choices she makes. However she finds the st ...more
Lat Leigh
Very well written. Extremely depressing fictional life story. Hard reading. The book leaves one question in your mind.. Why doesn't she leave?. Saying that, I did want to find out what happened to Sue, but guessed quite early what was going to happen anyway. The book made me feel as though I was in the dirtiest of quagmires, in the end just desperate to get out, that also describes the way I found the ending to have been written.
Louise Jennings
Dec 20, 2013 Louise Jennings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 20, 2013 Loraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Martina Cole novel I have read and I will most definitely be reading another. She painted a very vivid and brutal picture of life in the east end with powerful characters that kept me turning the page. I didnt even notice the thickness of the book because I was too immersed in the story. Not for those of you who are easily offended by violence and extreme bad language.
Monica Akinyi Odhiambo
This book had me crying and frustrated but I loved the ending, Martina Cole did this novel justice.At times I felt like what happened to Susan was so depressing.Married a useless man who used to beat her up, the torture and torment of always been on the edge.A man who would look at other women, sleep with them and dump them.Gave her their only daughter a venereal disease, honestly even I would have killed him meself.
These women are seriously strong but naive.I guess in that era things were done
Aug 05, 2014 Bec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2015 Misha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The past catches up with you, no matter how clever you think you’ve been. The past is the future but you don’t realise that until it rears its ugly head again.”

I have actually marked down a sentence from this book. That is always a good sign.
Two Women is a very powerful book. Somehow it feels like it has more in it than your usual thriller.
First of all, Cole knows what she’s writing about and writes about it in a way that makes you feel like you know intimately what she’s writing about as well
After reading half a dozen Martina Cole books one recognizes that the Author writes her books according to a template:
- Young girl from a poor background in London
- Abusive father who sexually molests her or instigates molesting
- Mother apathetic to child and permits molestation
- Siblings who mother and/or father prefer
- Father mixed in thuggery or gangsters
- Partner abuses her, has numerous “sexual partners” also into gangsters and crime
- Girl now adult takes action and inter acts with police
Lauren Maunsell
Mar 08, 2010 Lauren Maunsell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, loved it, loved it! I couldn't put it down- read the whole thing in 3 days! Completely gripping, Martina draws you right into the story.
Aug 06, 2011 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant, the twists and turns made this a really good read. What a woman will go through for her family...
Tammi Ashbee
Apr 14, 2016 Tammi Ashbee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Another great story. I'm slowly becoming addicted to Martina Cole.
Jun 29, 2012 Meera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are no words that could describe this book. It blew my mind.. And it's my first of Martina Cole's books, and it definitely won't be the last .

Two Women was a very graphical and sad book. It still captured me because I wanted to find out what happens in the end. Will Sue finally find justice, will she ever acquire a happy life, or will she always be repressed in her dark and dangerous life. Martina Cole was able to answer all of these question with her smooth and great writing.

I don't know
Mar 06, 2014 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, 2013-reads
Two Women Two Women had been on my wishlist for several years and when I found a cheap copy on sale a few weeks ago I thought it was high time I actually read the damn thing. Although crime-mysteries aren't usually my thing, I've been reading quite a few of them lately, and this one particularly appealled to me as it sounded more like an insight into the lives of women in prison.

Aaaaand this is the bit where I tell you if you have this book on your TBR/wishlist because you think that's what it i
Book Addict Shaun
Aug 19, 2012 Book Addict Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2012
An absolute doorstop of a book but what else would you expect from Martina? But unlike some of her other work not a single page was wasted and after a slow couple of days I went from 30% read on my Kindle on Saturday morning to finished early this morning (not in one sitting!) because I couldn't stop reading and wanted to see how everything turned out and I was not disappointed. The ending of this book was fantastic. After reading Mandasue Heller's Two Faced and being left disappointed I wanted ...more
Clive Thompson
Jul 13, 2013 Clive Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Dalston, the prologue tells us, has murdered her husband, is in prison and is being transferred between prisons pending an appeal against her sentence. This is an appeal that she doesn't intend to go through with, it's just a means of getting closer to her family for a few weeks to make visits easier.

As is quite usual with Martina Cole novels, we find out the ending, or near ending, in the prologue and the rest of the novel takes us from an early point, through a desparately hard life to t
Jemma Bow
Jul 11, 2014 Jemma Bow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My fist Martina Cole book though certainly not my last! I thought the book was set up very well and the setting was superbly believable. The only negative thing I have to say is that it is an extremely emotionally heavy book. The main character's plight is so heartbreaking that I had to break my reading sessions up as it had me so depressed. This isn't, however, a criticism of the author or the writing however, just an emotional warning.
June Jones
Nov 28, 2015 June Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would have given 10 stars if it were possible, Susan a poor abused, battered daughter, and then mother, who loves her children, and puts them above everything, this women is so so strong, suffering appalling injuries, but never gives in, her parents are scum, and then her husband, who she thought she loved desperately, was also scum. At times it's harrowing, but you cannot put it down, loved it.
Sep 17, 2010 Barbra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth book I have read by this author and they just get better and better. They are very powerful books - very graphic and the language is not for the fainthearted but she paints a picture of East End London that is very real. She writes about the criminal underworld just as it is and each book just gets better.

Back Cover Blurb:
Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her ent
Jun 25, 2014 alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another Martina cole book that grabbed me from the start, I couldn't wait to finish work to get home and read more. The book starts with Susan arriving at prison when it is revealed she is in prison for murdering a husband. About 75% of the book takes you through Susan's life and gives the reader in a different life living in the east end. The last part of the book talks of Susan's experience in prison. I don't necessarily feel the title reflects story accurately as her cell mate has a small ...more
Sami Lewis
For Martina this was ok but not her best work. It was a bit predictable, even down to the incest. Reminded me a bit of a Catherine Cookson type of tale. It's about wanna be gangsters down trodden wives which did make me question why Martina has to have the women as victims in a lot of her books with the occasional feminist popping up.
Apr 24, 2016 Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why was the book titled 'Two Women' as the story involved few woman. The main character is Susan Dalston and it's mainly about her life growing up in the 60's whereby women were always subjected to violence, abuse, etc and despite what life throws at them, they still rise up. The book mainly describes the fact that the other side of the grass is not always greener. Personally, I'm not fan of stories that goes back in time. So, I just wanted to finish reading and be done with the book.
Ghyda Nagi
Jul 28, 2015 Ghyda Nagi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brutal insight on the lives of the less fortunate in the city of London, and the lengths to which a mother is ready to go in order to protect herself and her family.
I loved this book even though I read it a very young age and was scarred forever. I was hooked on right away and brought to tears several times along the way.
Joy Lawson
Jun 22, 2015 Joy Lawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, as with all Martinas books, they flow. You get to feel that you know the characters and find yourself thinking about them when you are not reading it. I would have rated it 5 stars but there is a lot of repeating the same thing and it gets a bit annoying.
HNC Library
This book was read by Huddersfield New College student Ellie Gray as part of her Six Book Challenge - here is her review:

Favourite author with another great book. Ladykiller is still my favourite but I love the crime genre it entices you to read more you cannot put it down.
May 28, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read and mainly focuses on the main character Susan being in the centre of domestic violence. Susan is a likeable character and this made the book a "page-turner" as you find yourself questioning what is going to happen to her and how is it going to pan out.
Mar 02, 2012 Rose rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Someone suggested I read Martina Cole for her 'gritty realism'. If this is gritty realism, then I have clearly led a very sheltered life! I found the non-stop violence and rape secenes repulsive, and the book did not have many other redeeming features. Are East End gangsters and prostitutes really all cliched cardboard cut out characters? And everyone seemed to undergo radical personality changes in order to bring the story to a happy ending. But worst of all, the story was supposed to be about ...more
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  • Forget Me Not
  • The Make
  • The Betrayer
  • Dishonour
Martina Cole was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London's gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina's novels stand at over eight million copies.

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