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Dangerous Lady

(Maura Ryan #1)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  4,988 ratings  ·  189 reviews
No one thinks a seventeen-year-old girl can take on the hard men of London's gangland, but it's a mistake to underestimate Maura Ryan: she's tough, clever and beautiful —and she's determined that nothing will stand in her way. Which makes her one very dangerous lady.
Together, she and her brother Michael are unbeatable: the Queen and King of organised crime, they run the pu
Paperback, 566 pages
Published 2005 by Headline (first published 1992)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  4,988 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Oh him, he's about as much good as an ashtray on a motorbike'

I have a handful of go to authors who I know wont disappoint me and Martina Cole is one of those authors. This is my eighth Cole novel and her first. I loved it just as much as everything else I've read by her.

Cole gets right into the heart of London West End, the gangs, the drugs, the family ties, the values. The violence, the love, the loss and it brutally raw.

This novel runs a tried and tested formula of Cole's, one family, four d
W.H. Johnson
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’ll tell what I was going to say when I finished this book, my first Martina Cole gangland novel. I had it in mind to muse on the fact that she is a best-selling author, that she certainly knows the world of crime and criminals and that she is without any doubt a compelling story teller. Dangerous Lady absolutely zips along and the reader is drawn into a gripping crime story, a crime saga, dealing as it does with the Ryans, an East End criminal family, over a period of thirty years. It’s a tale ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
If I were 17 I think this book would have been perfect. Blow my mind in pieces and I would probably go to London and find myself an Irish boyfriend. Hohoho! Just yeah, not entirely 17 anymore and although this books smells like teen spirit, it smells as well like once upon a time gorgeous mister Harold Robbins and once upon a time irresistible mister Sidney Sheldon.

Well Martina Cole would have smelled even better if I were still 17. I think I will never forget Jennifer Parker from Sheldon's 'Ra
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very easy read, which stopped me from abandoning the book before finishing. I was curious about why Martina Cole books are so successful, and wanted to read a full novel. The story had no twists, and was very repetitive. The advance signposting of events took away any suspense - it felt like a soap opera rather than a thriller. There were gruesome bits, but nothing thrilling, and in some cases it was repetitive. Sometimes events that could have been a whole book in themselves (e.g. the ice cre ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love this author's books - very gutsy and powerful.

Back Cover Blurb:
No one thinks a seventeen year old girl can take on the hard men of London's gangland, but its a mistake to underestimate Maura Ryan: she's tough, clever and beautiful - and she's determined that nothing will stand in her way.
Together, she and her brother Michael are unbeatable: the Queen and King of organised crime. But notoriety has its price. The police are determined to put away Maura once and for all - and not everyone in
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well that was some rollercoaster ride & boy what a thrill ride it was too. This book was quite the page turner, loved it from start to finish. Great story plot & amazing characters. Edge of seat with anticipation of what will happen next. What more could u want. It truly was a fantastic read.

This was my first ever read of Martina Cole, but it so won't be the last. I'm looking forward to reading all of her books now.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Heard a lot about Martina Cole. Every book shop highlights her books saying its the best blah blah. So picked the very first one "Dangerous Lady". To be very honest, I did not find this book as great as everyone says. Its a good read, normal crime thriller but nothing that makes you say "WOW". A simple crime story without many twists etc. Even the climax was bit lame.

3 Stars.

Amanda Watchus
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally!! All finished an I've got to say that I have never related to anything as much as I had to the main character, Maura. This book had me crying 3 separate times and I felt it all. It was a great story and worth the read!
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
if you like a book that keeps you hooked but has those moments where your not sure you want to keep reading this is the one for you
I read this back in 2007 when my thoughts were that while I felt the style of this book wasn't what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed it & felt I would certainly read more.

Sadly all the other of Cole's books I've read since, maybe 2 0r 3 of them, have been pretty much identical, full of cold-hearted vicious thugs with no redeeming features so I don't read them anymore.
Zoe Hall
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martina-cole, 4-stars
This is the Martina Cole I know and love. I thought I’d go back and read some old school Martina and I wasn’t disappointed. Violence and control prevail here. A story of vengeance, violence and visceral crime. A few chapters had me actually wincing a bit. I haven’t experienced that for a long time.

A very good read. One of my favourites of Martina’s. Maura is an interesting character (and one of my preferred female leads of recent reads). I look forward to reading the sequel!
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Top of my favourites list. I'm a person who joins for the plot and sticks around for the characters. This book was perfect for my way of doing things.
Sandra Harvey
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another brilliant book by Martina Cole.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I have read a Martina Cole novel and it was fantastic!! It is not the normal sort of thing I go for -gangland crime and murder but I was surprise and every pleased to learn that I could not put it down! It was so easy to read, even though there are many characters, it switches from one to another with ease and every chapter leaves you desperate to know what happens in he next!

I am looking forward to reading the sequel and I have also downloaded four other Cole novels which
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
The life and times of one of London's top crime families starting from the birth of the youngest Ryan and the only girl of the family Maura to her first love and how she became the most dangerous woman in London.

An ok read if you like MC, again very much like most of her other novels; the Irish Catholic IRA connection, the young man wanting to be a face, the sexual element and the strong female lead.

The moral of the story is even though you might be related there is always someone jealous and w
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Engrossing read by an author who always provides vibrant characters and twisty plots. This is the first book about Maura Ryan, the youngest child in an impoverished Irish family whose fortunes improve when the eldest, Michael, becomes London's king of the underworld. This is as much about sibling loyalty and rivalry as it is about crime, and it's all very well done.
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely brilliant. I'm so glad I discovered Martina Cole. Dangerous Lady grabs hold of you from the start and you can't help but be engrossed in the story, unaware of the hours passing by. Highly recommend this wonderful book about a London gang-the Ryan family.
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Britsh saga about a criminal firm run by the Ryan family.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This book started my long obsession with Martina Cole...great gritty stuff. Mobs, drugs, crime, sex,'s got it all! Love Martina Cole and this book was amazing!! Couldn't put it down!
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
took too long for the end to come
Jodie Louise  WitchinnReadin 🔥
This review contains slight spoilers into the story.

Martina Cole is a name we have grown up with in our house. My mum has read Martina Cole's books for as long as I can remember and every Christmas my Dad has bought her Cole's new release as a gift. Since getting back into reading in my late teens she has tried relentlessly to get me to read her books. After me and my Boyfriend watched Tom Hardy's film Legend, centred around the notorious Kray twins I fancied a crime/ gangster novel so thought

May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
So at the beginning of the year, my Wife and I decided that we would each pick a book from our own collection and let the other read it. I gave her a Star Wars book and she gave me Dangerous Lady. It's not my typical read and now that I have read it, I couldn't be happier that she picked this one for me.

So I give it 4 stars (it's really 4.5...wish we could do half stars on this site). I'll start with what I didn't like that kept it from getting that last half star. There are huge gaps in time in
Abishek Thangamani
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dangerous Lady - Martina Cole
“𝘋𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘥. 𝘎𝘦𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯” - Ryan
“In a fight between good and bad, it doesn’t have to be always the bad to suffer. The bad is not always bad as you see. It could be either way. But the bad can’t be good. It can be very bad which is bad for good.” 👈This pretty much sums up the whole story😜
First of all, this one is a finest page turner. The plot just goes with the flow. Reading a thriller is just like watching a movie. You need that suspense building, breaking it a
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first Martina Cole novel and I went in open minded but really not expecting much. What I got was something truly masterful.

Cole walks us through the lives of the Ryans, from the birth of Maura to her climb to being the biggest badass name in London and beyond. Maura blasts through glass ceilings at a time when women were expected to stay home and have babies in a world dominated by men. But she does so through her work, her cleverness, and her getting stuck right in.

We also get to
Claire Bailey
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maura Ryan is the youngest of Sarah and Benjamin Ryan's nine living children and the only girl. Of all her brothers, it's the eldest Michael (known as Mickey), who loves Maura the most.
After a heart breaking few months at seventeen, Maura begs Mickey to let her join the family firm, which he reluctantly agrees to.
Maura starts by running the hot dog stalls and makes them a success. She then starts moving up through the firm and runs the clubs with Mickey. Their other brothers run some of the Ryan
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a Martina Cole book before and can thoroughly say I really enjoyed reading! Her books are easy and simple and I really lost myself in this book!

No one thinks a seventeen-year-pld girl can take on the hard men of London's gangland, but it's a mistake to underestimate Maura Ryan: she's tough, clever and beautiful - and she's determined that nothing will stand in her way. Which makes her one very dangerous lady.

Together, she and her brother Michael are unbeatable: the Queen and ki
Dora The explorer
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the second Martina Cole book I have read during lockdown. It did not disappoint even though I understand it is the first book she wrote over her long career. Maura is the youngest child and only girl in the huge Ryan family of boys. It’s really gripping and even though there are so many characters she describes them so well that you don’t have to flick backwards and forwards to remind yourself who’s who.

Over the last few years I have started so many books and given up on them because th
Mary Pimbblet
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
In comparison to a lot of Martina Cole's other books this one is actually reasonable. It's more like a soap opera than a novel, plots are picked up and dropped all the time. We get weird bits of back story that go nowhere, and far too many characters that do very little.
I find it really annoying the way the personality of her characters completely changes every couple of chapters, one second someone is a good loving mother, then the next they're over protective and manipulative and everyone hat
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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.

Other books in the series

Maura Ryan (2 books)
  • Maura's Game (Maura Ryan, #2)

News & Interviews

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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“Maura had never dreamt that she could feel like she felt at this moment. She had indeed burnt her boats. But she smiled while she did it.” 0 likes
“She sighed. Children were a bind really. You loved them but they never seemed to be out of your life. Wherever they were they demanded your time and energy.” 0 likes
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