Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Take” as Want to Read:
The Take
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Take

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,926 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He's done his time, made the right connections, and now he's ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she's forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can't leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her lit ...more
Paperback, 661 pages
Published June 5th 2006 by Headline (first published January 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Take, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Take

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jacquie South
Mar 02, 2012 Jacquie South rated it did not like it
Maybe a bit generous giving this 2 stars - it's getting the second star only because, like a terrible train wreck, you want to walk away, but you can't!
The whole basis of this book was, for me, awful. The characters were horrible in the extreme, the action violent and shocking, the storyline miserable and predictable, and the actual writing was poor. Cole seems to think that the readers of her book are stupid, as she explains things in the greatest detail, over and over again. We get it!! We re
Nov 13, 2014 Elaine rated it it was amazing
 photo 2d4d6543c79e088603c07e8bfcaca214_zpse2d2bd32.jpg

Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He’s done his time, made the right connections, and now he’s ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she’s forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can’t leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her little sister Maggie’s star rises. In love with Freddie’s cousin Jimmy, Maggie is determined not to end up like her sister. Fam
Nora Beaman
Mar 23, 2014 Nora Beaman rated it really liked it
I actually had a really hard time getting into this novel. I'd seen the BBC film version starring Tom Hardy and was intrigued with the characters so I picked up the book. Despite taking awhile to get into once I did I couldn't put this book down. The film and book couldn't have been more different and I actually preferred the novels ending. Freddie Jackson is that quintessential character that you love to hate. He's a drug snorting beer guzzling philandering murdered but you can't help turning t ...more
Mar 24, 2009 Linda rated it it was ok

Not as good as others she has written, tends to repeat herself in places.
Nov 25, 2014 Fergie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Take is a page turner from the onset. Freddie Jackson is the kind of antagonist who keeps the reader guessing. You never truly know what this insatiably unstable character that Martina Cole created will do next. At one step, you realize what the character is capable of, yet, his debauchery, knowing no bounds, becomes more and more surprising as you read. You’re left in awe of the power of Cole’s scenes as the flawed characters make their way through the story, causing unending debris in thei ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of intense crime novels and the TV mini-series.
Recommended to Ryan by: No one, became interested in reading it after seeing the four-part mini-series.
I was instantly scavenging for anything with actor Tom Hardy in it after seeing his extraordinary performance in "Bronson" and his scene-stealing part in Christopher Nolan's "Inception". So soon after finding out about the four-part mini-series called "The Take" starring him, I immediately sought out to watch it. I loved every episode, and was blown away by Hardy's performance in it. I couldn't help but read the novel of the same name. It pretty much had the same effect on me as the mini-series, ...more
Oct 16, 2013 1976 rated it it was amazing
Absolutly addictive! This is the second book I have read of Martina Cole's, and it looks like am becoming a fan of hers. Excellent book. Londoners underground crime... love it! looking in to Martina's next book to read!

Update-Just watch the DVD. The book was excellent and I must admit I had didn't think a film would do it credit. Well I was wrong! The DVD of four part series was excellent. Am glad this film did Cole proud. Best to read this book first then watch the film. Ten Stars for this book
Stan Armiger
Aug 08, 2010 Stan Armiger rated it it was ok
I had a love hate relationship with this book, sometimes I could not put it down and and then I would find myself scan reading passages. This occured when the author to me seemed to repeat herself at length on describing characters and relationships and this caused me to think "I know all that, just get on with it.' Otherwise not a bad read.
Feb 10, 2015 Rai rated it liked it
Shelves: terrible-books, crime
Sexism, even if it's deliberate sexism as I presume it is in this book, is fucking irritating. Women are constantly insulted and abused. A prostitute is raped and murdered? Oh who cares? She basically begged for it! Maggie is raped by her sociopath brother-in-law? Guess who's to blame there! Wives are expected to get beaten, get cheated on and do nothing but keep their mouths shut. A man can sleep around all he wants, father as many 'outside' children as he wants but if a women even looks at ano ...more
Feb 05, 2011 Dianne rated it really liked it
A good read about sibling rivalry set in the criminal underclass of East London. Freddie Jackson leaves prison having made contact with a major criminal Ozzy who runs his empire from within the gaol. Acting as Ozzy's lieutenant Freddie chooses his young cousin Jimmy to act as a go-between because Jimmy has no criminal record. But over time Jimmy gains Ozzy's respect and trust.

The two gangsters are married to sisters. Freddie's wife is dependant upon drink and drugs and very jealous of her siste
Sep 08, 2011 Kristen rated it it was amazing
This was an exhausting book, but I loved it nonetheless. I originally saw the BBC miniseries but this book builds on so much that I'd have to say the miniseries only has about 25% of the novel along with a COMPLETELY different ending. They're both worth checking out if only because the meaning and tone changes so drastically. The character of Freddie Jackson is probably the worst person in history, yet there's always his attempts to rationalize everything. In fact all the characters rationalize ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have read all of Martina Cole's novels. There is no point reviewing them all because they follow a similar plot. However The Take is with out doubt my favourite. As gritty as grit could ever be. Characters you despise. Characters you should despise. Women you love, Women you pity. Women you recognise. But the men are always responsible for the carnage. Freddy and Jimmy Jackson are two of Cole's best characters. Tom Hardy played Freddy to a tea in Sky One's version. However son't watch it befor ...more
Catherine Yarwood
Jan 27, 2016 Catherine Yarwood rated it liked it
The cover of this book describes it as a cross between Eastenders and the Sopranos. It kind of is like a 10-hour long episode of Eastenders, just darker and more violent without some comedy gingers for light relief.

This book is 608 pages of unrelenting misery.

The book starts on the day that Freddie Jackson is released from prison in 1984 after a six year stint. He is immediately portrayed as a c**t. Then we spend the rest of the book watching him destroy everything and everyone around him.

He liv
David Proffitt
Jul 27, 2014 David Proffitt rated it really liked it
“The Take” by Martina Cole
Martina Cole has a reputation for writing gritty, down to earth novels set in the seedier side of London. I have read only one of her books before but she is a firm favourite of a relative who has passed a couple onto me recently, including this one.

The Take is the story of one family, the Jackson’s. At the centre of the story are Cousins Freddie and Jimmy. Fresh out of prison, Freddie is determined to make a name for himself using the contacts he made on the inside. Te
Jul 13, 2014 El rated it liked it
After watching both The Take and The Runaway, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this and getting to grips with the writing of Martina Cole. I was really disappointed with this book, which I felt dragged on too much and the plot (which is actually very good) got lost somewhere in between. The repetition drove me crazy - she kept repeating characters feelings and thoughts and in the end it felt extremely patronising (I got it the first time, thank you) as well as certain phrases like 'any ...more
Ethan Spier
Mar 25, 2014 Ethan Spier rated it it was ok
The story is good, if a little predictable in places, and it keeps you wanting to read and find out what is going to happen to these characters. The two stars I'm awarding this book are entirely due to the story.

There is one major problem with this book and that is the endless repetition and the frustrating way the author seems to want to make points again and again. It feels as if she actually cut and pasted passages of text several times in order to endlessly hammer in certain points
Mel Horne
May 16, 2012 Mel Horne rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller-crime
I read this as part of World Book Night. I found it quite hard going and it took a long time before the characters captured my interest. I found the constant crude language a distraction and it took a while to ignore it and flow with the story . I am pleased that World Book Night made me try something new, but am not sure I will be rushing out to get the next Martina Cole book.
Mar 16, 2011 Emma rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of the tv adaptation of the take so I was really excited to read the book. It was just what I expected, yes it's not a work of lyrical art, it's gritty and it's written as in you are actually in London not just looking from the outside.

I did skip some bits out of repetition and the swearing shocked even me (and my family are bad!) but overall I really enjoyed it.
Leonie Byrne
Jan 16, 2013 Leonie Byrne rated it it was amazing
Another of my favourite Martina Coles ok I may seem weird for saying it but I love the ones that shock you, the ones that deal with issues you don't want to face up to in the real world. The things we brush aside and pretend like they don't happen. The take has all of this and more if it was a film it would have the tag line 'some viewers may find some scenes upsetting'
Nov 12, 2015 Dark-Draco rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-reading
Hmmmm * sigh *.

I seem to be going through a spell of trying new authors and really wishing I hadn't. And this turned out to be another that I gave up reading.

I don't mind reading about violence and mayhem. I don't mind cruel, vicious characters. I don't even mind reading prose written in 'accents'. What I do mind is being introduced to a huge cast of characters within a short time and trying to piece together who they are. And I want to have something to like about them. Five chapters in and I w
Ashley Long
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Read On!
Apr 20, 2015 Read On! rated it really liked it

Set in London during the mid 80s, this novel spans 3 decades.
The story centres around young sociopathic Freddie Jackson, who has just served his time in prison, but while in there he was taken under the wing of mega infamous gangster Ozzy. It is unlikely Ozzy will ever get out so he needs someone to run his organised criminal empire while he is inside. He believes Frankie is up to the job and entrusts him with the operations of his underhand businesses on the outside.
Frankie has a younger cousin
Mar 01, 2013 Ellen rated it really liked it
It was a well set out book. I was really into it. Then I watched the drama on telling. That was shit.
Nicola Terry
Not one her best books, i found it quite boring in most parts and very nearly gave up on it.
Christina M
Dec 23, 2015 Christina M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you like your characters amoral, your prose vicious and riddled with 'gangster slang', your favourite adjective is f*cking and your favourite noun is c*nt, then this is possibly for you.
Personally I found reading it like watching a car crash. You want to turn away but you just cannot, because it is so awful your brain cannot believe it and will not let you go.

Ms Cole is a good writer, it is just the subject matter that is appalling to me.
Apr 06, 2016 Georgia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had loved the TV adaptation of The Take and decided to give the book a go. I found this book was quite tricky to get into but I began to enjoy it when I was about ten chapters in. I found it quite dry at times but overall, it was a pretty good read and I'm excited to read more of Martina Cole's books.
The ending was very satisfying for me. Cole never fails to shock me with her writing. It was quite a brutal book and to see the good characters get a happy ending was very pleasing.
Adrienne Hughes
Jul 23, 2015 Adrienne Hughes rated it liked it
It gets three stars. Its was alright, but as with any Martina Cole, the stories are so similar its hard to differentiate. I preferred the runaway but that's probably because it was my first Cole book. And the themes, language and concept seemed new to me. If I was to recomend one of her books. It wouldn't be this one. And I wont be reading another for a while.
Jun 23, 2014 Kyrie rated it liked it
i watched the drama of this on tv so decided that i must read it! as like most films/dramas the books are so much better!...but.....i was very dissapointed with this book!

I found that Martina Coles writing was horrendous she repeated herself continuously and as much as i wanted to really love this book i just couldn't! and i found it such a shame!!

Siobhan O' Sullivan
Oct 07, 2013 Siobhan O' Sullivan rated it liked it
what to say about this book, I liked the story line and the characters except Maggie who annoyed me because Cole tried to make her out as a saint even though she was a gangsters wife and all her businesses were based on the drug money Ozzie gave her as a wedding gift. Freddie Jackson is an awesome character, the one we love to hate! psychotic and yet loveable. Cole is not my favourite writer sometimes I feel that she treats the readers like children and repeats herself over and over again in-cas ...more
Ugochukwu Ani
Oct 20, 2015 Ugochukwu Ani rated it liked it
Shelves: saga
This book left an aftertaste of bitterness on my heart after reading it because even though the characters were vivid, they lacked... And they were so unlikable you could shoot them. But still, the woman did good and worked this to such level of high noxious level
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Female Criminal Masterminds? 1 1 Apr 18, 2015 04:40AM  
Love Martina Cole 5 18 Aug 10, 2014 12:44PM  
  • The Charmer
  • Black Widow (Annie Carter #2)
  • Born Evil
  • Taken
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.

More about Martina Cole...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »